On Tuesday, July 3 at 00.00 (GMT), David Hempleman-Adams launched a small gas balloon no bigger than most people’s front rooms, from St.John’s Newfoundland in Canada to Europe. He is attempting a new FAI (Federation Aeronautique Internationale) world record in distance. The 3425 km journey could take four days.
David Hempleman Adams
David Hempleman-Adams is a professional businessman and one of the world’s leading explorers. His interest in expedition began with the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, for which he holds a gold medal.
In 1998, after a fifteen year odyssey, he was the first person to complete the Explorers’ Grand Slam; this was a challenge which saw him scale the highest mountain in each of the seven continents, including Everest, and reach the North and South Geographic and Magnetic Poles. In all, he has been on over 20 expeditions to the Arctic and Antarctic gaining many notable firsts.
His passion for aviation came through his desire to fly to the North Pole to pay homage to three Swedes – Salomon Andrée, Nils Strindberg and Knut Frankel – who took part in an ill fated balloon trip to the North Pole in 1897. During training, David flew over the Andes and the North West Passage, northern Canada.
On June 1, 2000, David became the only pilot to fly a balloon to the North Pole and back, setting several aviation records. This is considered by some aviation experts to be one of the most outstanding balloon flights ever. In September 2003, after his third attempt, he successfully crossed the Atlantic solo in an open wicker basket achieving his dream of doing a low tech Jules Verne style flight.
David has gained 39 aviation records including the renowned Mears Altitude record from Greeley, Colorado, to a height of 12, 557 m. He set several speed over distance records on his challenging fixed-wing Smile Cape to Cape flight from the Arctic Ocean to Cape Horn in a small single-engine Cessna. This was a total distance of 18,541 km.
In 1992, David founded the Mitchemp Trust with Richard Mitchell, a charity set up to give vulnerable children an experience of adventure at outdoor camps. He is Chairman of Wiltshire’s St John Ambulance. In 2006, he was appointed a Trustee of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award following his role as Executive Chairman of the Award’s 50th Anniversary.
Over the years he has gained many prestigious awards for his achievements.