Searchers Reportedly Find Balloonist's Chair
A Brazilian priest and amateur balloonist who was attempting to
set a new world record went missing Sunday, and crews say they're
continuing their search despite dwindling hope he will be found
CBC News reports the Rev. Adelir Antonio di Carli took off
Sunday from the southern city of Paranagua, riding below some 1,000
helium-filled party balloons. If that sounds familiar, it's because
a man named Larry Walters -- aka "Lawn Chair Larry" -- attempted a similar feat in
1982, with a few others following suit in the years
The reverend intended to break the 19-hour record for human
flight, using party balloons. He went missing eight hours after
taking off on his journey; crews have since found his chair, but no
sign of di Carli.
There are conflicting reports about di Carli's preparedness for
his journey. The reverend took off wearing a helmet, waterproof
clothes, and a thermal flight suit. He was also wearing a
parachute, and planned to use a GPS unit to navigate.
"Given his physical condition and the equipment he was carrying,
I would say there is an 80 percent chance that he is still alive,"
fire commander Johnny Coelho told Globo TV on Monday. The flight
was di Carli's second, following a successful four-hour flight in
However, as more time has passed, rescuers are reportedly
less-optimistic di Carli will be found alive. Also, Barbara Gancia,
a reporter with Brazil's Folha de Sao Paolo newspaper, said di
Carli may not have been as well-prepared as earlier thought.
"What we're hearing now is that he did not know how to use his
equipment, the GPS, and he was ill-prepared for his flight," she
said Wednesday, adding winds forced di Carli out to sea, despite
his intent to travel inland.
Gancia also says a former flight instructor of di Carli's was
highly critical of his plan to go for the record. "He called him
undisciplined and an exhibitionist, and he was always bragging
about his faith and how his faith was going to carry him and take
him safely through his journey," she claims. "And that's not what