RENO, Nev. — A third attempt to fly a manned balloon on a record-setting voyage around the world was aborted Saturday morning when the huge vessel broke free from its mooring, struck a crane and smashed to the ground.
The accident happened as the crew was about to board the Earthwinds Hilton balloon at an airport near Reno, project spokesmen said. They said they hoped to make another attempt at launching the balloon in six to eight weeks.
"I don't think this is the end. I think Larry and I will persevere," said Lynn Newman, whose husband, Larry, is captain of the three-member crew.
The dejected captain said Earthwinds was an hour away from its anticipated 14- to 21-day nonstop journey eastward to the Atlantic Ocean, Europe and Asia before returning to the West Coast.