Alicia Hempleman-Adams ‘breaks hot air ballooning records’ during solo flight

A British adventurer hopes to have set two hot air ballooning world records during a single solo flight in Canada.

Alicia Hempleman-Adams, 33, from Bath, Somerset, flew across Calgary province and into Saskatchewan province.

She landed on Tuesday evening, having been in the air for an estimated seven hours and 40 minutes.

That beat the previous duration female world record for an AX4 class balloon by around 15 minutes.

Earlier that day, she set a new world record for distance – more than doubling the previous record of nearly 118km (73.3 miles) by managing 303km (188.3 miles).

The hot air balloon during the feat (Johnny Green/PA)
The hot air balloon during the feat (Johnny Green/PA)

Once verified, Ms Hempleman-Adams – the daughter of renowned explorer Sir David Hempleman-Adams – will hold three world records and 12 British records.

She said: “We went out for the distance and got that quite quickly so carried on for the duration.

“It was a bit touch and go whether we would have enough fuel but the temperature dropped and I think that really helped to save some fuel and bring it back in.

“We have broken both records hopefully. I don’t think it’s sunk in yet.”

The records must be verified by the Federation Aeronautique Internationale’s (FAI) Comite International d’Aerostation, known as the CIA.

Its website lists the current female duration world record as seven hours, 24 minutes and 35 seconds.

This was achieved by Sandra Rolfe, from Canada, on January 13 2015.

Ms Hempleman-Adams was assisted by her father, who has held 42 records over some 20 years.

Alicia Hempleman-Adams was congratulated by her father (Johnny Green/PA)
Alicia Hempleman-Adams was congratulated by her father (Johnny Green/PA)

She has been flying for 10 years and has racked up world and British records.

Sir David said: “It’s one thing talking about it, quite another doing it. It’s a magnificent achievement and I couldn’t be more proud of her.”

Members of the Calgary Balloon Club also provided support during Ms Hempleman-Adams’ feat.

Dennis Myrthu, 92, who lives in Calgary, joined the team with wife Heidi.

“I’ve been in this sport for 40 years and what Alicia did today was phenomenal,” Mr Myrthu said.