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Wed, Sep 11, 2019

Pair To Attempt Balloon Crossing Of The Atlantic Ocean In 2020

Flight Planned To Travel From New Brunswick In Canada To Landing In Europe

In the summer of 2020, Deborah Day and Mike Scholes will take on the exciting and challenging record-breaking attempt adventure to fly across the Atlantic Ocean in a Cameron Balloons built, lighter-than-air, gas and hot-air combination balloon.

The intrepid pilots plan to take off from New Brunswick, East Coast of Canada with the aim to land “where the winds take them” over Europe. The adventurous flight is expected to take between 5 to 7 days aloft and the couple also hope to break existing distance (the Atlantic Ocean is approximately 2,520 nautical miles), duration and altitude records for this size of aerostat.

"We are very excited about the flight, it will be an adventure of a lifetime, challenging - of course but we are really looking forward to completing the flight successfully and raising awareness for Blind Veterans UK who have given Mike invaluable support and training, since his sight loss,” Day said.

One of Day’s ambitions is to be the first female pilot to cross the Atlantic Ocean and Scholes aims to be the first registered blind person to make such an adventurous balloon-crossing as crew.

This new Cameron Balloons designed and built balloon is the first of its kind. It can be adapted to fly with either hydrogen or helium and has been designed to reach altitudes in excess of 20,000 ft. “The Roziere balloon can be flown as a helium and hot-air combination or it can be used as a hydrogen only balloon.” explains, Pilot, Deborah Day.

The Cameron Balloons specially designed balloon created a job for the UK Civil Aviation Authority too who had to invent a new classification type for this unique balloon, so now Deborah and Mike’s lighter-than-air craft, is the first of this new classification, the Roziere 77 Gas Balloon (R77GB) G-ZOZO (affectionately known as Golf-2020.)

The pair has decided against a convention when flying over such a large expanse of sea, and despite advice to the contrary, they will use an open-weave basket rather than the more usual and highly-recommended capsule.

Deborah and Mike are adamant that an “ordinary” basket will provide them with the flight experience they want and have planned their flight in the basket extremely thoroughly; to ensure the equipment to counteract the cold of altitude/night and the emergency systems are all in place despite being so open to the elements. For example; the basket will carry added insulation, as well as all supplies, equipment and communication systems the couple will need.

Both Deborah and Mike are also undergoing specialized training to get them ready for their adventurous flight – including survival “dunk” training and general fitness training.

During the flight one of the specialist pieces of equipment Mike will use is an audio app so that he can monitor the flight whilst Deborah sleeps. Mike clarifies “Even though I am registered blind I am bringing a wide range of experience to the challenge and my sight loss does not affect my ability to crew. I am really looking forward to the journey and having been to the test inflation and understood each step of the set-up, I have every confidence in the design and manufacture of the envelope.”

The Couple also have the support of a very experienced ground support team who will work alongside them leading up to and throughout their flight; Kevin Stass, Flight Control Director, David Dehenau, Professor of Meteorology in Brussels, the team’s meteorologist and Bert Padelt, experienced Gas Balloon Launch Master, all of which have worked on previous record-breaking balloon flights or FAI (Fédération aéronautique internationale) approved competitions.

(Image provided with Cameron Balloons news release)



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