Dispute holds up skydiving attempt

Oct. 18, 2010 at 7:53 PM
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LOS ANGELES, Oct. 18 (UPI) -- A plan by an Austrian daredevil to break the world's record for the highest skydive has been put on hold by a lawsuit, organizers of the attempt say.

The Red Bull Stratos mission, sponsored by the energy drink company and intended for this year, was to send skydiver Felix Baumgartner to 120,000 feet in a balloon, then use cameras attached to him to record his plunge back to Earth at supersonic speeds, SPACE.com reported Monday.

The current record is held by retired U.S. Air Force Col. Joe Kittinger, who as a captain set the world's skydiving mark at 102,800 feet in 1960.

But Red Bull's attempt is on indefinite hold, the company said, because of a lawsuit filed by California promoter Daniel Hogan, who claims the idea was originally his and that Red Bull passed on the proposal when he pitched it to them in 2004.

"Despite the fact that many other people over the past 50 years have tried to break Colonel (Ret.) Joe Kittinger's record, and that other individuals have sought to work with Red Bull in an attempt to break his record, Mr. Hogan claims to own certain rights to the project and filed a multimillion-dollar lawsuit earlier this year in a Californian court," Red Bull officials said in a statement Oct. 12.

"Due to the lawsuit, we have decided to stop the project until this case has been resolved.

"Red Bull has acted appropriately in its prior dealings with Mr. Hogan, and will demonstrate this as the case progresses."

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