24 Sep 2016

Gas balloons touch down in Greece for the very first time

Coupe Aéronautique Gordon Bennett 2016 champions - Switzerland’s Kurt Frieden and Pascal Witpraechtiger (Team SUI 1) - made history when they landed in Stavros in central Greece during this year’s race.

Not only were they the only competitors to reach Greece, they were also the first ever gas balloon pilots to land in the country.

Antonio Papadopoulos, the Athens-based President of the FAI Aeromodelling Commission, helped Event Organiser Stefan Handl to arrange the Swiss team’s momentous landing.

“Here in Greece, the airspace is not as clear as in some other European countries,” he said.

“The idea of gas balloons flying in Greek airspace worried the authorities because they have no experience of this.

“But we managed to convince them to let the winning team land so it was a happy ending for all concerned.”