Don Day: Red Bull Stratos "most amazing experience of my life"

You know Don Day from his daily radio forecasts on KNEB. But what you don't probably know is that he was the meteorologist on one of the most watched internet and television events of last year, Red Bull Stratos.

Day presented video on the project to the Scottsbluff Rotary Club Tuesday, showing Austrian skydiver Felix Baumgartner falling a world record 128,600 feet (24 miles) from a huge helium balloon, and becoming the first person to break the sound barrier without vehicular power on his descent. Day said it was the greatest high-risk, high reward experience of his life. Baumgartner landed without a scratch and his peak speed during his fall was 846 miles per hour or 1.25 mach, the greatest free fall velocity ever.


Day was asked to be the meteorologist because of his knowledge of the weather, the fact he is a big hot air balloon fan, and his experience in doing similar work on military flight testing. Day says it was his most difficult weather forecasting experience, noting he had to scratch test flights and even the first final flight because the weather was not right for the jump.

Day says the event was watched by an internet record 8 million people, with 60 million more viewing it on television worldwide.

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