Adelir Antônio de Carli

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Adelir Antônio de Carli (1966–2008), also known in Brazil as Padre Baloneiro, was a Brazilian Catholic priest, who died during an attempt at cluster ballooning on April 20, 2008. Carli, an experienced skydiver, undertook the exercise in order to raise money to fund a spiritual rest area for truck drivers in the Paraná port city of Paranaguá.[1]

Human rights advocate[edit]

In 2006, de Carli denounced human rights violations against beggars in Paranaguá.[2][3][4][5][6] These denunciations caused seven Municipal Guard agents and the municipal security secretary to be arrested.[7][8]

Previous cluster ballooning attempts[edit]

De Carli's goal for the cluster ballooning exercise was to break the 19 hour flight record and claim a new world record. His first attempt was on 13 January 2008, during which de Carli successfully completed a four hour flight from Ampère, Paraná, Brazil, to San Antonio, Misiones, Argentina over a total distance of 25 kilometers.[9][10] Using 600 balloons, de Carli reportedly reached heights of 5300 m (17,390 ft).[10]

Attempt and disappearance[edit]

On April 20, 2008, after taking off in a chair attached to 1000 balloons, Carli was able to reach an altitude of 6,000 metres (19,685 ft) before losing contact with authorities. Pieces of balloon were later reported floating in the sea off the coast.[11]

Carli's flight equipment included a parachute, helmet, waterproof coveralls, GPS device, mobile phone, satellite phone, flotation device chair, aluminum thermal flight suit, and at least five days of food and drinking water. His training for the stunt included jungle survival and mountain climbing courses, but apparently did not include instruction on use of his GPS - in a telephone call he made during the flight, he stated that if someone could just explain how to use his GPS he could relay his position to rescuers. Two days after the flight, a Penha (SC) Fire Department commander familiar with the situation put the missing priest's chances of still being alive at 80%.[10] The Brazilian Navy called off the ocean search on April 29, saying the chances of finding de Carli alive in the ocean were "very remote".[12]

On July 4, 2008, the lower part of his body (waist and legs) was found by an offshore oilrig support vessel. It was floating on the sea, about 100 km from Macaé, and it was initially identified by the clothing. On July 29, 2008, DNA tests confirmed that it belonged to Adelir de Carli. The comparison was made with DNA samples from the priest's brother.[13]

See also[edit]

  • Cluster ballooning
  • Other intrepid balloonists:
    • Bartolomeu de Gusmão, a priest and naturalist born in the Portuguese colony of Brazil, recalled for his first balloon flight in Lisbon in 1720 (the balloon burned).
    • Danny Deckchair, a 2004 Australian comedy film inspired by the story of "Lawnchair Larry" (Larry Walters).
    • Larry Walters, an American truck driver who took flight in California on July 2, 1982 in a homemade aircraft consisting of an ordinary patio chair with 45 helium-filled weather balloons attached to it.
    • Matias Perez, Portuguese entrepreneur who attempted a balloon flight from Havana on June 28, 1856, and was lost.

References[edit]

External links[edit]