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Around the World P: The Story of Our History-Making Balloon Flight Paperback – 13 Oct 2000

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From the Back Cover

"A roller–coaster adventure of emotional highs and lows." –Library Journal

Into the real thin air: The gripping story of the history–making around–the–world balloon flight as told by the pilots themselves. In this dramatic and inspiring account, adventurers Bertrand Piccard and Brian Jones, the pilots of the Breitling Orbiter 3 balloon, tell the remarkable story of their record–breaking, first–ever around–the–world balloon flight in March 1999.

During their 30,000–mile voyage, they faced many unexpected challenges and near–disasters, including a harrowing six–and–a–half–day trip across the Pacific when the balloon came dangerously close to plunging into the ocean. Using their logbook and journals, as well as photographs taken on– board, Piccard and Jones have brought their 20–day marathon flight vividly to life, capturing the emotion of their many moments of high tension, as well as the uplifting humor and camaraderie that helped them persevere. This is the tale of a great adventure that shows how two very different characters forged a unique relationship during the greatest challenge of their lives.

About the Author

BERTRAND PICCARD is a medical doctor specializing in psychiatry. He comes from a family of scientific explorers: his grandfather was the first man to reach the stratosphere in a balloon, while his father dove to the deepest part of the ocean in a bathyscaphe. He lives in Lausanne, Switzerland.

BRIAN JONES spent thirteen years with England’s Royal Air Force and is now the United Kingdom’s chief flying instructor. He was the flight’s project manager before becoming a pilot of the balloon. He lives in Wiltshire, England.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 9 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Almost like going along 7 Dec. 1999
By Razz - Published on
Format: Hardcover
I'm writing this review having only read the first 112 pages of this fantastic real-life, just-yesterday-adventure ( I kinda know how it ends...), but the good feelings that I get from hearing the first hand account of Bertrand and Brian's epic balloon has sent me out finding copies to give to friends for the Holidays. Their down to earth ( no pun intended ) narrative, while maintaining a soaring spirit of adventure reminds me of stories from favorite teachers and mentors from my past. Open this book while in your favorite chair before a warm fire, and soon you'll feel as if they are sitting across from you telling the story themselves.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Wonderful armchair adventure of historic flight. 20 Dec. 1999
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Aviators Bertrand Piccard and Brian Jones toggle linear narratives of their around the world journey. There's lots of emphasis on what would appear like almost every altitude, groundspeed and directional change. Still, this is perhaps the most important element to success (the weather and catching the right winds aloft) and these frequent alternations between voice of Jones and Piccard keeps the reader consumed. Yes, it can be argued (as Piccard and Jones have to agree) that the two weather wizards at Breitling base in Geneva are just as much the heroes. Some pilot introspection, humor and color images make for the ideal armchair adventure. We are made to understand that great grandson of Jules Verne supported this endeavor (greatest integrity tie to simple love of flight) more than the other attempts (financiers and simply record seekers). As such, and from this pool, it's probably with the most pure love of flight from Jones and Piccard that we are priviledged to share in this fantastic journey.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
I liked it. 18 Nov. 2009
By John B. Goode - Published on
Format: Paperback
There aren't that many more firsts to do in the world, and they're all more categorical than anything else, i.e. first non-stop something, first solo something because all the highest mountains, North Poles, South Poles, source of the Niles, around the worlds have been done.

This one was the non-stop ballooning around the world. I'd heard about it at the time, but I never followed it closely. I picked it up on a whim just to see what the balloonists experienced (and because I also bought Vernes' 5 weeks in a balloon) and why it was so difficult.

The difficulty had to do with carrying all the equipment and supplies at all once. Obviously if multiple stops and resupplies had been allowed it would have been much easier, and so it was a matter of supplies, endurance, and also danger.

The book is basically a two person log or diary of the two balloonists, Bertrand Piccard from the great family of explorers and Brian Jones. It was somewhat dry, but also eventful. Each took turns relating their version of the trip from their point of view.

I enjoyed it because the book was exactly what I was looking for, a quite detailed telling of their trip. It was like Verne's 5 weeks in a balloon, except it was real. If you want to know what it was like to balloon around the world in 20 days, this is the book for you.
Page turning adventure 28 July 2013
By Alisa C. Jost - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
And I thought I already knew the story! This was a compelling, two person narrative of a highly planned, highly technical journey and yet we get to ride along and feel the emotion of this real life exploit.
I had no idea......... 6 Jun. 2000
By Heiko Stribl - Published on
Format: Hardcover
... as to what a great accomplishment it was to do this balloon trip. A good read that lets you share the experience .... no macho image, a honest written book about a extraordinary accomplishment.
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