A Huge Loss

By Richard Mineards   |   April 4, 2019
Julian Nott R.I.P.

On a personal note, I mark the passing of a good friend and great adventurer Julian Nott, who has died in a hot air ballooning accident near San Diego aged 74.

A British boffin par excellence, Julian, who received a Master’s Degree from Oxford University, was an exceptionally brilliant man and world-record aviator, who was the first to cross Australia and the Sahara Desert in a hot air balloon.

He broke an astounding 79 world ballooning records and 96 British records, including the world record for a high altitude civilian tandem skydive jump at nearly 32,000 ft., and designing and building a pressurized cabin for a hot air balloon, piloting it to 55,134ft.

It is now on permanent exhibition at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum Center at Washington’s Dulles Airport.

Julian, who rejoiced in exploration and adventure, also received the Royal Aero Club’s Gold Medal for outstanding achievement in aviation, at the time given to only 35 individuals worldwide since the club began in 1901, with other recipients including the Wright brothers, Charles Rolls, founder of Rolls Royce, and Armstrong, Aldrin and Collins of Apollo 11.

The only consolation from what has been described as “an extraordinary and unforeseeable” tragedy is that John died indulging in the pastime he loved…


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