News Announcement 1800UTC/1900 BST, Gordon Bennett Control Centre

This statement is available to download in PDF format at the bottom of the page, and reproduced below in text form.

News Announcement 1800UTC/1900BST, Coupe Aéronautique Gordon Bennett Control Centre

The Italian Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre (MRCC) has continued to search throughout the day with support from other civil and military assets, including US and Croatian Military.

Both families have been informed that the Gordon Bennett 2010 Control Centre received recorded transponder readings from the air traffic control unit local to the area where the balloon had last been tracked. Transponder readings show the height, time and location of a balloon in a coded form.

The Gordon Bennett 2010 Control Centre has examined the transponder readings from Richard Abruzzo and Carol Rymer-Davis’ balloon, registration N801NM, and calculated the change in height of the balloon over the time period recorded. The data show that the balloon had a moderate descent rate initially which then increased into a high rate of descent, to around 50mph. This is very pessimistic information.

It is the opinion of the Gordon Bennett 2010 Flight Control Team that the balloon appears to have suffered a sudden and unexpected failure. The cause of this tragedy is still being examined.

Immediate and extended family of pilot Rymer-Davis politely request that the press do not make contact with them.

Both families are most grateful for the good wishes and messages of support.

There are no further planned statements on the www.gordonbennett2010.com site.

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