Ivan André Trifonov is a Bulgarian balloonist who is known for his ballooning achievements. Trifonov was born in 1945 in Bulgaria and studied chemical engineering. He began his ballooning career in 1979 and has since made over 100 flights, including several record-breaking ones.
On 8th January 2000, the first ever hot air balloon flight at the South Pole took place. Ivan André Trifonov flew 14,934m over the geographic South Pole of Antarctica at an altitude of 4,571m with his two Spanish crew members. The Aircraft was Mil 2000, a Cameron AX 66- EC-HDB hot air balloon carrying the flags of the Antarctic Treaty nations which are usually flown around the ceremonial South Pole.
In addition to his South Pole flights, he has also flown over the North Pole, the Atlantic Ocean, the Pacific Ocean, and the Himalayas.
Theoretically, a hot air balloon could be flown to Antarctica. However, there are a number of challenges that would need to be overcome in order to make this a safe and successful journey. The biggest challenges are the cold weather, the strong winds, and no airports in Antarctica.
Trifonov is a member of the International Balloon Federation and the Bulgarian Aero Club. He is also a recipient of the Order of Stara Planina, Bulgaria’s highest civilian award.