Santa Barbara Man, an Accomplished Balloonist, Dies After Accident in San Diego County

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Julian Richard Nott, pictured in an undated photo. (Credit: Facebook)

A renowned British balloonist and scientist who set 79 world ballooning records died after a balloon-related accident in Southern California, authorities and family members said.

Julian Richard Nott, 74, was injured over the weekend after his balloon with a pressurized cabin landed in a rural area of northern San Diego County, the Union-Tribune reported Thursday.

About three hours after the landing Sunday, “as he was packing up the cabin, it tumbled down the mountain with him inside,” Roberta Greene, a spokeswoman for Nott’s family, wrote in an email. “He sustained multiple head (and other) injuries.”

Nott died Tuesday at a hospital, the newspaper said.

“Julian was flying an experimental balloon that he invented (and) designed to test high-altitude technology,” according to an obituary on his official website.

San Diego County sheriff’s officials said deputies responded Sunday following reports that two people were injured after the aircraft landed near Palomar Mountain.

There is no information about the name or condition of the second person.

Among Nott’s records is reaching an altitude of 55,000 feet in a hot air balloon.

According to the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale — also known as the FAI or the World Air Sports Federation — Nott set a Guinness World Record in 2017, at age 72, for the highest documented tandem skydiving jump, from 31,916 feet.

In 2014, Nott helped Alan Eustace break the record for the world’s highest parachute jump, from an altitude of 135,890 feet.

The FAI website also lists dozens of Nott’s other world records for feats of altitude, distance and time aloft.

Nott lived in Santa Barbara.

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