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SAFETY FIRST

The experimental aspect of the Breitling Orbiter 3 project implies that safety must be an absolute priority. The outcome of other round-the-world flight attempts has also shown that several kinds of possible scenarios must be envisaged.
To limit the risks involved, pilots each have the following equipment:

Breitling Emergency watch with integrated distress transmitter (121.5 MHz frequency)
Parachute with built-in minimal survival kit
Individual inflatable dinghy
Life-jacket complete with self-activating beacon
Isothermal survival suit (wet-suit)
Go-pack, a survival package containing tent, sleeping bag and food supplies.


In case of emergency, the complete survival gear can be put on within three minutes.

The balloon also incorporates some noteworthy survival features. An emergency dropping system makes it possible to separate the envelope from the gondola in case of a sea landing or landing in strong winds. Another interesting device enables the lower part of the envelope, or skirt, to be torn off, thereby transforming the rest of the envelope into a gigantic parachute. Finally, the helium cell is fitted with two pneumatic valves to vent excess helium, one of which can be operated manually.

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