Born on March 1, 1958 in Lausanne, Bertrand
Piccard, married with three children, pursues three
parallel careers - practising psychiatrist, aeronaut
and public speaker.
After a period working as a senior consultant in a University
Hospital, Bertrand specialised jointly in psychiatry
and psychotherapy, before opening his own practice.
His thesis, "Ordeal : A learning Experience"
won an award at the University of Lausanne Medical Faculty
in 1996. As a specialist in hypnotherapy, he is a
lecturer and supervisor for the Swiss Society for Medical
Long interested in studying human behaviour under extreme
conditions, he was one of the pioneers of hang-glider
and micro-light flying in the 1970s, becoming European
champion in hang-glider aerobatics in 1985. Introduced
to ballooning, he won the first transatlantic balloon
race with Wim Verstraeten (the 1992 Chrysler Challenge).
He then launched the Breitling Orbiter project
to fly around the world, and was captain of all three
attempts. With the British aeronaut, Brian Jones, he
accomplished the first ever non-stop flight around
the world in a balloon, which became also the longest
flight in both distance and duration in the history