Two Eagles Flight Status Updates

January 31, 2015

Update on Two Eagles Landing and Recovery

Troy and Leonid

Two Eagles balloon pilots Leonid Tiukhtyaev and Troy Bradley arrive in Puerto San Carlos, Baja California, Mexico on Saturday, January 31, 2015, after completing their successful attempt to capture the world gas balloon distance and duration records.

Two Eagles

Two Eagles balloon pilots Leonid Tiukhtyaev and Troy Bradley are greeted on the dock in Puerto San Carlos, Baja California, Mexico on Saturday, January 31, 2015, after completing their successful attempt to capture the world gas balloon distance and duration records. Pictured left to right: Bert Padelt, balloon builder and launchmaster, Leonid Tiukhtyaev, Escandra Sabin, recovery crew member, Troy Bradley, and Albuquerque, NM mayor Richard J. Berry.

We are pleased to report that the recovery of Two Eagles pilots Troy Bradley and Leonid Tiukhtyaev and the Two Eagles balloon has been completed. The pilots and recovery team is enroute to a hotel for the night and will fly to Albuquerque on Sunday. The entire balloon system (envelope and capsule) was recovered.

The Two Eagles team once again thanks everyone around the world who assisted with the flight. This successful project would not have been possible without the assistance of:

  • The incredibly dedicated volunteers in Japan who assisted with the launch
  • Our many friends in Russia
  • The huge network of balloonists in the recovery network in North America who were on standby to retrieve the balloon anyplace it might land
  • Our friends in Canada who were gearing up to support the flight should the balloon have travelled there
  • Air traffic controllers in Japan, Canada, the United States, and Mexico during the transpacific crossing who were so cooperative in helping the balloon pilots navigate safely
  • The very cooperative Mexican authorities and enthusiastic balloonists and volunteers who assisted with the recovery in Mexico
  • The City of Albuquerque and the Anderson-Abruzzo Albuquerque International Balloon Museum for hosting the Mission Control Center and team
  • The unparalleled team of specialists in weather forecasting, balloon systems, air traffic control, scientific research, media relations, recovery, and piloting who staffed Mission Control around the clock during the flight

And, thank you to everyone who followed the flight and sent their good wishes to Leonid, Troy, and the team. We hope you enjoyed sharing the adventure!

Albuquerque, NM, Saturday, 1/31/15 10:00 AM MST (1700 UTC)

Two Eagles as seen from below

The Mission Control team has heard from officials and the recovery team in Mexico that Two Eagles pilots Troy Bradley and Leonid Tiukhtyaev (two-kh-TIE-yev) have been picked up by a fishing boat and taken to shore. They are fine, but are being checked out onshore by paramedics as a precaution. The recovery team is working with Mexican authorities on retrieving the capsule and equipment from the landing location in the water about four miles offshore near La Poza Grande in Baja California.


Photo by Albuquerque Mayor Richard Berry

The Mission Control team is delighted that the flight has come to a safe and successful conclusion. We would especially like to thank Governor Susana Martinez of the US state of New Mexico for facilitating contacts with authorities in Mexico that are playing a vital role in the ongoing recovery effort. Mayor Richard Berry is presently deployed with our Recovery Team in the Baja area and has confirmed they have a visual on the balloon and that the pilots are safe. It is clear to us based upon our communication with the Mexican officials that the Mayor’s presence is facilitating our efforts and we are grateful for his participation.

We especially thank Baja California Tourism Secretary Óscar Escobedo of the state of Baja California for his support. He enlisted the efforts of Tourism Undersecretary Ricardo Garcia in Baja California Sur (South), and they have made every possible resource available to our recovery team in Baja.

Subject to ratification, the Two Eagles team has surpassed both the distance and duration records for gas balloons. The team’s distance of 6,646 miles (10,696 km) surpassed the existing record of 5,208 miles (8,383 km), set by Double Eagle V pilots Ben Abruzzo, Larry Newman, Ron Clark, and Rocky Aoki in 1981, by 27%. The team stayed aloft for 160 hours, 38 minutes (6 days, 16 hours, 38 minutes), besting by 17% the previous record of 137 hours, 5 minutes, 50 seconds set in 1978 by Ben Abruzzo, Maxie Anderson, and Larry Newman aboard the Double Eagle II.

   Previous news can be seen here

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