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Flying Dutchman Heads Across Atlantic

August 26, 1985

ST. JOHN’S, Nfld. (AP) _ Three Dutch balloonists took off early Sunday in a bid to cross the Atlantic Ocean.

The husband and wife team of Henk and Evelien Brink and crewman Evert Louwman lifted off in their massive balloon, dubbed the Flying Dutchman, in ideal weather at about 3 a.m. (4:30 a.m. EDT).

The balloon was flying about two miles above the Atlantic at a speed of 30 miles an hour. If they maintain speed and course, they would set down in France or Holland on Tuesday morning, about 50 to 52 hours after their departure, said Paul Stokes, a spokesman for the balloonists.

If they are successful, Evelien Brink would become the first woman to cross the Atlantic by ballon, Stokes said.

The project has cost more than $1 million so far, and the crew had been waiting since late June for the right weather conditions, Stokes said.

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