Russian balloon adventurer Fedor Konyukhov resting in Northam after breaking record

Picture: Channel 7
Picture: Channel 7

RUSSIAN balloonist and adventurer Fedor Konyukhov is resting in Northam before he flies back to Russia for a Presidential reception with Vladimir Putin in Moscow to celebrate his achievement.

Konyukhov broke the record for flying solo around the world in a hot-air balloon, completing the attempt in 11 days.

The Russian priest (63) arrived safely back to earth in Bonnie Rock on the edge of the Wheatbelt, about 390km east of Northam on Saturday.

Konyukhov was exhausted and emotional after beating the world record of 13 days set by Steve Fossett in 2002.

His son Oscar said his father had already received a congratulatory message from the Russian President when he arrived back in Northam after a short helicopter ride from Bonnie Rock.

Australian Adventurers Dick Smith and John Wallington, and Oscar met the balloon as it landed a little roughly in a farmer’s wheat paddock in Bonnie Rock.

“You have to be careful with the landing as it is much more difficult than the take off in the balloon,” Wallington said before the balloon landed.

Wallington completed a balloon trip with Smith in 1993, where the duo crossed Australia in a hot air balloon.

Oscar said he would remain in Northam for a few more weeks to pack up for the journey back to Russia with his wife and children.

His Mother, Irina, will travel with Konyukhov back to Russia for the reception.

Oscar said his father wanted people to be inspired by his feat.

“My father would say to everyone who was impressed by his achievement you must have a goal in your life,” he said.

“Whether it is to build a church or a school or climb Everest, spend your life working towards your goal because it will give your life meaning.

“My father believes that we all need to self-educate and spend our lives learning and living, train ourselves, as a personality or have a go at something.

“Dream big, set big goals and go to the goal for the future, is the message my father would like to give from his achievement.”

He said his father loved Australia and was looking forward to returning to Broome in June or July of 2017.

“He will ride a camel at 5km/hr across the desert to Sydney,” Oscar said.