- Associated Press - Tuesday, February 3, 2015

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) - New Mexico lawmakers are honoring the pilots who crossed the Pacific Ocean in helium-filled balloon as part of an effort to smash a pair of major distance and duration records that had stood for decades.

Pilots Troy Bradley of Albuquerque and Leonid Tiukhtyaev of Russia traveled Tuesday to the state Capitol, where lawmakers declared it “Two Eagles Day.”

On Monday, the pilots presented flags from their historic flight to the city of Albuquerque.

The Two Eagles balloon landed early Saturday just off the coast of Baja California after being aloft for nearly seven days.

The pilots traveled farther and longer in a gas balloon than anyone in history. Still, international aviation officials need to ratify the distance and duration of the flight, a process that can take months.

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