March 20, 2012
Hot air balloon in a storm

Hot air balloon in a storm     Photo: Hellmy/Flickr

Balloonist Dies Saving Skydivers

Thunderstorm pulls basket to 17,000 feet

Rescue teams have found the body of a missing hot air balloonist who was lost in a storm on Friday in Fitzgerald, Georgia after helping a group of skydivers jump to safety. Ed Ristaino, 63, had five skydivers on board when a storm appeared above his balloon. He instructed his passengers to jump quickly before the balloon was sucked up into the clouds. "If we would have left a minute later, we would have been sucked into the storm," said skydiver Dan Eaton. Ristaino was able to radio to his ground team to say that the updraft had taken him more than 17,000 feet before tangling his ropes and collapsing the balloon, causing it to plummet to the ground. Officials said there was no sign of a storm when the balloon took off.

Read more at the San Francisco Chronicle


    Photo: Andres Rueda/Flickr

Spanish Police Bust Doping Ring

Alleged ringleader is doctor

Spanish police have arrested 10 people in connection with an international doping ring that is suspected of providing athletes with drugs at the 2008 Olympics. Police arrested the alleged head of the ring, a Spanish-Colombian doctor named Alberto Beltrán Niño, at Madrid-Barajas airport on March 5. Beltrán Niño is accused of helping several athletes dope during the 2010 Vuelta a España and 2009 Tour of Portugal. Trafficking in doping products is a criminal offense under Spanish law.

Read more at The Telegraph



Paragliding     Photo: Matthew Bietz/Flickr

101 Year Old Catches Paragliding Record

Utah woman gets nod from Guinness

A 101-year-old woman from Ogden, Utah, has claimed a world record as the oldest female tandem paraglider after Guinness on Tuesday ratified a flight she took in September. Mary Hardison celebrated her birthday last year by paragliding with an instructor. She decided to paraglide after her 75-year-old son became interested in the sport. "I didn't want him to get too far ahead of me, so I decided that I'd go too," she said. Hardison's other interests include quilting.

Read more from The Associated Press


A waterfall     Photo: Even Normann/Flickr

Boy Survives Ride Over 35-Foot Waterfall

5-year-old rescued by National Guardsmen

A 5-year-old boy survived a 35-foot drop over the edge of waterfall in Mohican State Park, Ohio, on Saturday. Colton Stanford was walking with his family when he strayed toward the edge of Big Lyons Falls and toppled in. Two nearby Ohio National Guardsmen rescued the boy from the water, and he was released from the hospital with minor injuries. The park manager said this was the first major fall of the season. Four people went over the falls last year.

Read more at the Mansfield News Journal


Amelia Earhart in 1937

Amelia Earhart in 1937     Photo: unknown/Wikimedia

Search for Amelia Earhart Relaunched

Photo may show plane's wreckage in Pacific

The decades-long search for lost aviator Amelia Earhart is underway again with the support of the U.S. government after the discovery of a photograph that may show parts of Earhart's plane off an island in the Pacific Ocean. On Tuesday, Secretary of State Hilary Clinton said the United States would assist The International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery when it travels to the island of Nikumaroro in June to search for signs of Earhart's plane. Past expeditions to the island have uncovered bone fragments and other items that may have belonged to Earhart or her co-pilot, Fred Noonan, who went missing in 1937 while trying to circumnavigate the world by plane.

Read more at MSNBC