- Title: SWITZERLAND: SWISS-LED ROUND THE WORLD BALLOON ATTEMPT DELAYED
- Date: 8th January 1998
- Summary: CHATEAU D'OEX, SWITZERLAND (JANUARY 8, 1998) (RTV) 1. VARIOUS OF MOUNTAIN SIDE 2. VARIOUS OF BALLOON/GONDOLA 3. VARIOUS OF CREW MEMBERS LOOKING AT MAPS 4. MORE VIEWS OF GONDOLA (BEFORE IT WAS DROPPED) 5. CREW DISCUSSING FUEL LEAK 6. TECHNICIAN CHECKING FUEL LEAK 7. PICCARD SAYING "WE HAVE SEEN THAT THERE HAS BEEN A LEAK OF THE KEROSENE NETWORK INSIDE THE GONDOLA A DIFFERENT PLACE THAN LAST YEAR. BUT A SMALL LEAK THAT WAS CONTAMINATING IT SO NOW WE ARE MAKING A PRESSURE TEST AGAIN TO BE SURE TO AVOID ANY PROBLEMS DURING THE FLIGHT" (ENGLISH) 8. GONDOLA BEING MOVED JUST BEFORE IT WAS DROPPED 9. GONDOLA BEING LOWERED 10. CUTAWAY 11. VARIOUS OF DAMAGED GONDOLA 12. PICCARD SAYING "WE COULD SAY THAT AFTER HAVING RICHARD BRANSON LOSING HE ENVOLOPE WE HAD TO MAKE ONE POINT FOR US IN LOSING THE GONDOLA FROM THE TRAIN BUT IT REALLY IS SOMETHING BEYOND WHAT WE EXPECT" (ENGLISH) 13. BRIT SAYING WE COULD EXPECT TO BE BACK IN THE AIR BY WEDNESDAY OF NEXT WEEK. I AM SORRY THAT WE ARE NOT GOING TODAY, I NEVER THOUGHT I WOULD BE EXPLAINING THIS BUT THERE WE ARE" (ENGLISH) Initials Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved.
- Embargoed: 23rd January 1998 12:00
- Location: CHATEAU D'OEX, SWITZERLAND
- Country: Switzerland
- Reuters ID: LVA8KDREO9GOO346CJCOBRQH23OQ
- Story Text: - INTRO: A Swiss-led attempt to circle the world by balloon has had to be delayed after the living capsule was damaged as it was being unloaded by crane.
The Breitling Orbiter 2 was due to be launched on Friday (January 9) but after it was damaged British flight engineer Andy Elson said it will now not launch until next Wednesday (January 14).
It is the second blow to their bid to be the first to fly a balloon around the world non-stop.
Just hours after the launch was delayed for 24 hours over a row over the balloon's flight path, Friday's planned launch was scuppered when the capsule was accidentally dropped and damaged during flight preparations on Thursday (January 8).
Cables broke and were pulled out of their fittings while the revamped Breitling Orbiter 2, a combination of hot air and helium-gas balloon which is sealed and pressurised, was being lowered from a lorry.
The three-man team, led by balloonist Betrand Piccard, was preparing for Friday's take-off from the Alpine ballooning centre of Chateau d'Oex near the Swiss ski resort of Gstaad when the accident happened.
They originally planned to take off on Thursday (January 8), but the start of the flight was delayed by 24 hours after the crew were refused permission to fly over China.
Thursday started badly for the trio, which also includes British flight engineer Andy Elson and Belgian pilot Wim Verstraeten, when a kerosene leak was found on the capsule.
The later set-back caused by the accidental drop will put back the launch by at least six days.
A disappointed Piccard tried to make light of the accident at a news conference Thursday afternoon but he was evidently shattered by the blow.
The three are among a growing list of adventurers struggling to break the elusive aviation record.
Other rivals such as U.S. millionnaire Steve Fossett and British businessman Richard Branson have recently failed.
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