About History – Three days in a balloon

On 22 January, 1927, Georgian ballooning enthusiast Vladimir Garakanidze set off from Moscow in a homemade balloon. His intention was to fly to the town of Gorky. It was not a long journey and Vladimir expected to arrive before nightfall.

The balloon did not have a gondola. Dressed in an army greatcoat and boots to help protect against the minus 17 degrees Celsius temperature Vladimir sat on a wooden board attached by ropes to the covering of the balloon.

Vladimir Garakanidze

He did not arrive at his destination that evening, or the next day. On 24 January, search parties set off along the flight route to look for the balloonist, expecting to find his frozen body.

News of what happened to Garakanidze did not surface until a week later. He had been caught in a strong air current that took him in an entirely different direction. Hungry and frozen, he had sat on his board for three days, clinging to the ropes.

The strong winds had blown him off course and taken him to the remote woodland village of Severodvinskaja Gubernia, 702 km away! Cold and very hungry, he rolled up his balloon and was taken by sled to the nearest railroad station, where there was a telegraph office.

The Moscow newspaper Izvestia reported: “Yesterday, it was brought to our attention that Comrade Garakanidze set a world record in amateur ballooning with his flight. (…) Laborers should know about Comrade Garakanidze-a young worker who has conquered the skies!”

Source and illustration: Georgian Ballooning Open

8 Responses to “About History – Three days in a balloon”
  1. טליה says:

    אהבתי לקרוא,זה מעניין מאוד. האיש הגיע כל כך רחוק מבלי שבכלל חשב שדבר כזה יכול לקרות,פשוט פנטסטי! תודה על פיסת המידע המעניינת הזו,נהניתי מאוד לקרוא
    טליה מישראל

  2. Dianda says:

    Wow, 3 days in a balloon? 😮

  3. All’s well that ends well, right? 😉

  4. LOL…. interesting! Set a record but did not intend too…..

  5. All that way in a balloon without a donkey? 😉

  6. Alexey Belokrys says:

    Dear Sir/Madam,
    Would you please kindly contact me via e-mail in order to exchange information, if any, about Vladimir Garakanidze. He was not only a ballooning enthusiast but rather a designer and crew member of first Soviet airships. The Soviet airship history is my field of research.

    • Bassa's Blog says:

      Hi Alexey. I was very interested to hear of your research. Unfortunately, I do not have any further information about Vladimir Garakanidze.

      • Alexey Belokrys says:

        Hi and thanks.
        Just a simple question, where did you get the picture in your post? Would you please share it in higher resolution?

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