A 70-YEAR-OLD thrillseeker has become the first to pilot a hot air balloon into the bowels of the earth, after successfully maneuvering the flight vessel down to the cave floor 206 metres below the surface.

To mark the 10-year anniversary of Felix Baumgartner’s record-breaking base jump into Croatia’s Mamet Cave, the Croatian tourism board enlisted Ivan Trifonov, also an Austrian daredevil, to fly a specially designed hot air balloon into the same cave.

Baumgartner is best known for having broken the sound barrier when he performed a free fall from 39,045 metres above the earth in 2012.

The stunt was inspired by Jules Verne’s classic novel “Journey to the Center of the Earth” and took 25 minutes to complete from takeoff and landing.

Mamet is popular among daredevil base jumpers and cavers.

Watch how Trifonov, who already holds four Guinness World Records in daredevil hot air balloon stunts, expertly descends the hot air balloon into the belly of the Mamet cave:


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