Andrew Holly, from Bristol, has recently completed a challenge, successfully flying over 48 US states in 33 days, breaking the current record of 11 states in the same time period.
Holly, who is 42 years old, covered 15,000 miles during that time, flying over a different state daily. A meteorologist travelled with Holly, to ensure that the hot air balloon pilot avoided flying in to bad weather. On 10th February, Holly set off from Louisiana, and took 48 individual flights. He finished the incredible journey in Nebraska, 33 days later.
In order to travel from state to state, Holly drove around 600 miles, equivalent to the distance between Edinburgh and Bristol, getting just four hours sleep each night. Holly is currently ranked 17th in the world in competition ballooning, and is a national champion in the UK. According to Holly, he has seen some amazing sights during his flights, which is one of the reasons that people want to take a hot air balloon flight.
During the attempt at breaking the world record, Holly took off from a number of places of interest, including the Cadillac Ranch in Texas, an art installation. Holly is also the director of Exclusive Ballooning, located in Berkeley. As a child, he used to rush outdoors to watch balloons flying over the house. Once he knew that the current world record was flying over 11 states in a month, he decided to try and beat it. After covering 15,000 miles, Holly and the team celebrated by cutting a congratulations cake once they had landed.