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IVANOVO, March 15. /TASS/. Russia’s famous traveler Fyodor Konyukhov has paired with a professional pilot Ivan Menyailo to hold Russia's new record in duration of a balloon flight, now about only ten hours to the world record, which stands at 29 hours, 14 minutes and 35 seconds.
Fedor Konyukhov and Ivan Menyalo took off on Saturday early morning from the frozen river Volga near the ancient city of Kostroma (350 km east of Moscow) in an attempt to set a new Russian duration hot air balloon record for AX-9 type. The current national record - 17 hours and 49 minutes (set by Vladimir Gladkov in February 2013).
After 19 hours and ten minutes of the flight, as the travellers had still four balloons, which could keep them up in the air for another five hours, they decided to land early.
The steep terrain, poorly suitable for landing, made the pilots land at night, though this kind of landing could not guarantee safety, press service of the ground services division said.
The balloon (3 950 m3) was built in Russia by RUSBAL company. Initially, the pilots planned to take aboard up to 36 balloons with gas - depending on the weather conditions shortly before the flight.