Record-breaking gas balloon ride ends in Labrador woods

A record-breaking gas balloon journey came to an end in the Labrador woods on Tuesday.

Labrador City Fire Rescue was called to a wooded area just south of Lorraine Lake around 9:00 a.m. on Oct 10. A gas balloon was making an emergency landing.

Swiss team America's Challenge balloon

The Swiss team’s America’s Challenge gas balloon landed in the Labrador woods on Tuesday morning. (Labrador City Fire Department/Facebook)

The balloon had flown all the way from Albuquerque, New Mexico, and was competing in the annual America’s Challenge long-distance gas balloon race.

Its landing in Labrador set a new race record for the longest distance travelled.

The balloon was piloted by Nicolas Tièche and Laurent Sciboz, of Switzerland. After 60 hours in the air, they travelled 3,666 kilometres, beating the competition’s previous record by 450.5 kilometres.

Swiss America's Challenge landing site Labrador

The Swiss team in the America’s Challenge gas balloon race landed in Labrador, south of Lorraine Lake. (Fribourg Freiburg Challenge/Facebook)

Members of the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary and the Labrador City Fire Rescue team responded to the call from the command centre in Albuquerque. When they arrived at the Swiss team’s balloon, neither Tièche now Sciboz were hurt. They were taken by helicopter to the airport in Wabush.

The two will be in Labrador for a few days as they retrieve their balloon and their equipment from the Labrador woods.

Balloon tracking

Here’s where the competitors in this year’s America’s Challenge landed. (Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta)

The second-place finishers in this year’s America’s Challenge,  Krzysztof Zapart of Poland and Andy Cayton of the United States, flew 3,516 kilometres and landed near the Quebec – New Brunswick border.

In third were the defending four-time champs, Peter Cuneo and Barbara Fricke of Albuquerque. They touched down near Brighton, Vermont, after flying 3,119 kilometres.

The America’s Challenge race is held each year as part of the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, the world’s biggest hot air balloon festival.

A gas balloon is typically smaller than a hot air balloon, and powered by helium or hydrogen. The balloon itself is spherical.

Record-breaking gas balloon ride ends in Labrador woods

Aggregated from: CBC | Newfoundland and Labrador News

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