Skip to comments.Priest missing on [party] balloon flight
Posted on 04/22/2008 6:24:04 AM PDT by Red Badger
A Roman Catholic priest who used 1,000 helium balloons to try to break a flying record has gone missing off the southern coast of Brazil.
Rev Adelir de Carli lifted off from the port city of Paranagua on Sunday, equipped with a parachute, thermal suit, satellite phone and a GPS device.
A sea and air rescue operation is under way after he lost contact with port authority officials late on Sunday.
He wanted to break a 19-hour record for the most hours flying with balloons.
As well as his GPS and satellite phone, Rev Carli was equipped with a buoyant chair. He is also an experienced skydiver.
In a phone interview with Brazilian TV channel Globo on Sunday, he said he was having difficulty operating his GPS device, and was "very cold, but fine".
He was said to have reached an altitude of 20,000ft (6,000m), then descended to about 8,200ft (2,500m) for his planned flight to the city of Dourados.
But he was blown off course by winds and when last contacted was floating several miles off the coast.
Before losing contact, he said he had to land in the sea as he was "losing height".
Planes and helicopters of the Brazilian air force as well as boats of the Brazilian navy are searching off the coast of Santa Catarina state, where pieces of balloons were found on a beach.
"We are absolutely confident he will be found alive and well, floating somewhere in the ocean," parish treasurer Denise Gallas told the Associated Press.
"He knew what he was doing and was fully prepared for any kind of mishap."
In January, the priest used the same mode of transport to fly over 110km (70 miles) in four hours between Parana and the nearby Argentinean city of San Antonio.
paging mr darwin. mr charles darwin. please pick up the white courtesy phone...
So much education...
So few smarts...
Stupid is as stupid does.
The only difficulty in using a GPS would be if he forgot to pack extra batteries. Hate to say, but he’s probably shark food.
seemed like a good idea at the time file
He may land in Africa somewhere.........
Ein tausend luftballoons
He’s an RC Priest. He wasn’t going to have children anyway.
That would seem to be an overoptimistic statement.
Excuse me, but if wind is your ONLY means of propulsion and steerage, then your course is where the winds blow. period.
Tempt not you Lord.
Thank God he was a priest. I hope he had not bred and reproduced. A candidate for the Darwin Award - think the “Nearer My God to Thee Category”.