selves next week, shooting a TV ad for the German National Lottery.
I may even send reports of our drive down, 20 hours across the Great Karoo
desert and such. A truely beautiful drive but at 1873km a flipping long way.
Anyhow onto the story that caught my eye, we went higher than Everest down
here a couple of years ago that was not really a serious altitude attempt
but a beer fueled dare, took some organising and training though. I even
went to the Gym.
So good luck Vladas Vitkauskas and Vytautas Samarinas!!
Balloonists to break world altitude record
Nov 15, 2006
>From wire reports
<http://www.baltictimes.com/photos/429/sports.jpg> VILNIUS - Two
Lithuanians are hoping to set a new world record this month, flying the
Baltic state's largest hot-air balloon to an altitude of 8,848 meters – the
same height as Mt. Everest. Mountain climber Vladas Vitkauskas and hot-air
balloon pilot Vytautas Samarinas announced their goal last week, saying that
nobody had successfully reached 8,848 meters in a balloon. "Balloonists have
been trying to set such a record for years, however, their attempts were not
serious. They did not have the necessary equipment and could only reach the
altitude of 4-5 kilometers," Samarinas said.
The idea was born after the company KG Group purchased a new hot-air
balloon, the largest in Lithuania. The balloon will be used by Vitkauskas
and Samarinas to rise to an altitude of over 8 kilometers.
According to Samarinas, thorough technical preparations for the flight,
scheduled for later this month, are already underway. Yet something
unexpected and unforeseen can always come up, he added.
Two weeks ago, a pilot reportedly flew at an altitude of 7,000 meters,
Samarinas pointed out.
Vitkauskas, who is famous for climbing Mt. Everest, said the most difficult
part of achieving their goal will be flying at low pressure and freezing air
temperatures, which may drop to -50 degrees Celsius. Therefore, Samarinas
and Vitkauskas will wear flameproof suits and face masks during their
flight. They will also wear oxygen masks.
The two Lithuanians could not specify the date of their planned flight,
which claims an entry in the Lithuanian Book of Records, as they must first
evaluate weather conditions.
The flight is planned to take about three hours, with the hot-air balloon
reaching a speed of 100 kilometers per hour.
Factum agency will observe and register the balloon's altitude with the help
of cold-proof video-cameras, global positioning system devices and a
barograph measuring altitude by pressure changes.
Lithuania's current altitude record stands at 7,212 meters, set by
balloonists Aurimas Vengrys and Vytautas Sviderskis in September
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