Crossing of South America completed!
Konyukhov’s MORTON balloon crossed the territory of Chile in just an hour and five minutes, taking two hours to fly over the Andes mountains, with Mount Aconcagua to starboard.
The flight over Argentina was completed at 21:50 UTC the same day. The total flight time over Argentina was 9 hours and 20 minutes.
The flight over Uruguay was just 4.5 hours.
And southern tip of Brazil Fedor crossed in 30 minutes.
Currently the balloon is flying over Atlantic Ocean!
On behalf of the pilot Fedor Konyukhov and the organising committee of the round-the-world flight, we thank ATC Santiago, ATC Mendoza, ATC Buenos Aires, ATC Cordoba, and ATC Montevideo for their amazing professionalism. The MORTON balloon was flying across the busiest air routes of South America. A big thank you to our friendly Air Traffic Controllers.
The head of the Flight control centre in Australia, Oscar Konyukhov has said "It’s been exactly a week since Fedor Konyukhov’s flight took off from Australia. Fedor has covered exactly half of the planned route and traversed most of the planned countries on route. I’d like to emphasize that all Air Traffic Control centres of Air Transport Authorities in respective countries have greeted Fedor on entering their airspace and farewelled him with kind words and wishes of a successful flight at the exit from their airspace.
Air traffic controllers from Australia, New Zealand, French Polynesia (yes, the Morton balloon was in their area of responsibility for almost 10 hours), Chile, Argentina, Uruguay and Brazil have demonstrated great diligence and care in trying to do everything possible for the pilot not to be distracted by extra manoeuvring.
Such attentiveness is aided by wide coverage of the flight in the world media and by the fact that most Air traffic controllers themselves belong to the flying community. They are not indifferent to these kinds of aviation projects. However, it is worth mentioning that Fedor’s ground crew also worked extra hard in advance to ensure MORTON balloon’s arrival in South America was not entirely unexpected for air traffic controllers. The team secured all permits both for entry into the airspace and for transit over the territory of each respective country.”
Flight control centre in Australia would like to thank its partner company, Flight Service Bureau for their assistance in arranging permits to fly over the territory of the whole of South America. The company specializes in a wide range of private aviation services, including permission for flights in the airspace of most countries.
Flying over South America, brought back a series of memories from past expeditions for Fedor. He flew a few kilometres North of the port of Concon (Chile), the launching point of his December 2013 solo voyage on board the rowing boat Turgoyak, arriving on the coast of Australia (Mooloolaba on the Sunshine Coast) 160 days later. Of course, Fedor’s mind went back to this most difficult undertaking.
The balloon also flew just to the north of the highest mountain in the Southern Hemisphere - Aconcagua, which Fedor climbed on 9 March 1996 while conducting his "Seven Summits of the World" program.
When crossing Uruguay with the city of Punta del Esta starboard. It was an official port of call during the round the world race called “Around Alone 1998-99” in which Fedor participated in a 60-foot yacht belonging to the "Modern Academy for the Humanities", which he called “an excellent sailing club with very hospitable people”.
So it happened that the current route of Fedor’s balloon lies over the three South American countries, each of which is associated with memories of the past expeditions. The Atlantic Ocean is ahead. Heading for Cape Town. Fedor will also have a lot to remember while flying over Cape of Good Hope.., but first he would need to cross another ocean.
Morton has flown farther north than Steve Fossett’s route during his round the world flight , adding many more kilometres of distance to Fedor’s flight path compared to Steve’s.
Pictured: Steve Fossett’s actual flight path in his successful June-July 2002 solo flight. Fossett kept to the South from the beginning, crossing close to Tasmania and remaining in the Southern Ocean latitudes almost the whole time during his round the world flight.
You can follow the balloon’s path here: https://my.yb.tl/RRTW2016
You can also view the route map at www.iridium360.ru
The official website for the project “Around the world in a Roziere balloon “Morton” can be found at a flyfedor.ru