Sure, thanks for posting this great story.
I’ve been searching all my archives for an article I saved about Steve Fossett’s unsuccessful attempt to balloon solo around the world. I copied the file from hard drive to hard drive for years but couldn’t find it in any of my e-mail accounts or cloud drives. Finally it turned up ten levels deep in an old webserver backup.
It’s too long to fit in a comment, but maybe someone can find a copy online or I’ll find a way to post it somewhere.
I'm going to have to do some debriefing as to what really
happened. I was flying at an altitude above the thunderstorm
line, which was clearing the tops of the thunderstorm. But I
suspect there was some interaction with the tops of the
thunderstorm and the jet stream where I was flying, which
was at 29,000 feet, and I started a descent. At first the
descent was at 500 feet a minute, and then I reversed it by
turning on the burners and climbing back up. But then I was
already under the influence of the thunderstorm and started a
descent of 1,500 feet a minute. I used the burners more and I
flew back up at an extreme rate of 1,500 feet a minute. And I
believe at that point the balloon ruptured. So I started a
descent, and I don't know how fast the descent was because
my variometer has a maximum rate on it of 2,500 feet a
minute and it was pegged at 2,500 feet a minute for my entire
descent down from 29,000 feet to the surface.