Fossett predicts a balloon will circle globe within 3 years
January 21, 1997
Web posted at: 3:30 p.m. EST
NONKHAR, India (CNN) -- Millionaire balloonist Steve Fossett
said Tuesday that he was not disappointed that he fell short
of a goal to become the first to sail a balloon
nonstop around the world, but added that he would have been
happier if he'd succeeded.
"When I try something this difficult ... success is almost a
reward that isn't anticipated," he said. "But I was very
happy with this flight and I think all the members of my team
will be happy with the results of it."
"I would have been far happier if I succeeded, but when I try something this difficult I don't expect success."
-- Steve Fossett, Balloonist
(513K/23 sec. AIFF or WAV sound)
Fossett left St. Louis, Missouri, on January 13, and put down
in Nonkhar village, about 550 kilometers (330 miles)
southeast of New Delhi, early Monday morning. He traveled
more than 16,000 kilometers (10,000 miles) and remained aloft
six days, two hours and 49 minutes, both world records.
Fossett himself held the previous distance record.
The decision to stop the mission came after a delay in
obtaining permission to fly over Libyan air space cost
Fossett time and fuel. Crew members said the balloon was also
using fuel faster than anticipated.
Fossett said the crew had been unable to get permission
to fly over China as well, necessitating the decision to set
down in India.
"I didn't want to continue on because that would have put me
right into China," he said.
The cold temperatures also took a toll on the balloon
pilot, but he said he was in good health.
"I'm a little bit behind on my sleep," Fossett said. "I only
got about an average of two hours of sleep each day and I'd
really hoped to get four hours to feel good."
The 52-year-old stock broker said the attempt to fly a
balloon around the world was a "fascinating project," and
predicted the feat would be accomplished within three years.
Villagers and crew members worked Tuesday to untangle the
metallic Solo Spirit balloon from a tree, and pack up the
balloon and cabin to be returned to the United States.
- Balloonist breaks records but fails at global mark - January 20, 1997
- Balloonist eyes long shot route to Alaska - January 20, 1997
- Balloonist soars over Libya en route to India - January 18, 1997
- Libya changes mind, will allow balloonist to pass - January 17, 1997
- Balloonist denied passage over Libya - January 17, 1997
- U.S. balloonist nears African coast - January 16, 1997
- Balloonist alters flight route, can't fly over Russia - January 15, 1997
- More balloonists aim for nonstop world flight - January 10, 1997
- Balloonist's heroics cited as
global trip ends early - January 8, 1997
Round-the-world balloonist falls short - January 10, 1996
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