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RETROSPECTIVE/MARCH20
RTS36R13
March 20, 2020
ON THIS DAY -- March 20 March 20, 1999: BALLOONING - British balloonist Alan Noble, flight...
Geneva, Switzerland
British balloonist Alan Noble, flight director of the Breitling Orbiter 3, cracked open a bottle of champagne...
ON THIS DAY -- March 20 March 20, 1999: BALLOONING - British balloonist Alan Noble, flight director of the Breitling Orbiter 3, cracked open a bottle of champagne at the balloon's flight control centre in Geneva, and compatriot Brian Jones and Swiss Bertrand Piccard became the first men ever to fly round the world non-stop in a hot air balloon. The pair crossed the 9 degree 27 minute west line of longitude over Mauretania exactly 20 days after taking off from Switzerland. The triumph marked an 18-year battle to achieve the feat for Noble, who took up ballooning in 1974. As flight director, Noble helped the balloonists avoid trouble spots and find air currents. Noble has played a part in many balloon record attempts, working on a number of altitude records. "I find it challenging and extremely exciting indeed," Noble told local media after one unsuccessful altitude attempt. "Contrary to popular belief, a balloon can be controlled to a big extent and doesn't just drift around in the sky." REUTERS/Denis Balibouse
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