Remember "UP," the Pixar movie in which good ol’ cranky Carl hooks 20,000 helium-filled balloons to his house and floats away to South America?
It’s not as impossible as it looks.
American adventurer Jonathan R. Trappe strapped himself to a wicker chair – sans house – that was strung with 55 multicolored “chloroprene cloudbuster” balloons and successfully floated himself across the English Channel Friday morning.
Snipping off one eight-foot helium filled balloon at a time, Trappe, descended into a field in Dunkirk, northern France, after more than three hours in the air, according the UK’s Times newspaper.
Sure, he might not have flown as far – and possibly as high – as Carl, but Trappe’s latest trip is said to have made history: It’s the first successful cluster balloon flight over the 22-mile ribbon of water between U.K. and France.
Describing the trip the 36-year-old told SkyNews: “It was tremendously peaceful, tremendously beautiful… it was just an exceptionally quiet, peaceful experience.”
“Isn’t it everyone’s dream?” he said. “Grabbing on to toy balloons and flying off into open space?”
But not everyone can attempt such a feat. Trappe is FAA certified pilot with two dozen flights under his belt.
The only way to land in a cluster balloon flight is to cut off one balloon at a time and fine tune the descent by jettisoning water ballast. Trappe’s seat pod was packed with a location device and communication equipment.
Last month he claimed new world record for the longest free-floating balloon flight, flying 109 miles across North Carolina. He has also made flights using an office chair.
The balloons he adds “represent dreams... the uncommon, the unusual, the unlikely the impossible but true.”
The sport of cluster ballooning began in 1982 when Larry Walters flew across San Diego in a homemade craft reaching heights of 15,000 feet.
Question: Does he wear a parachute, you know, just in case?
Sounds really nice and beautiful.. peaceful and serene.. my kinda place right now! Stop criticizing please.. deep inside I know a lot of you WISH you could do that just to get away and be alone.
Maybe be far from comments like this.
Another wanna-be famous persons out there. He could use his time on better things, like helping people. In the end, he is actually poluting the planet with the balloons he cuts off. He should be made to pick them up and dispose of them properly. The movie "UP" does have an adult theme, but my children love it.
A priest (crazy, of course) tried to do this in Brazil a few years ago (I believe that's the story that inspired the writers of "Up"). After one succesful flight, he tried it once again to fly all the way to Argentina.
He ended up being taken to the middle of the ocean. They found his body 500 or 600 miles from where he departed.
Stupid way to die.
"American adventurer Jonathan R. Trappe strapped himself to a wicker chair.." should actually have read:
http://www.clusterballoon.com/ is his website, yet it looks down due to increased traffic.
Danny Deckchair all the way. That was such a good movie.
Next we will have some idiot trying to make it with balloons tied to a house...................people this was a movie!!!
Danni, You got the hot air right!!
He sure is full of something.
If you ask Jonathan, he will tell you the first time this was done was in 1937 by Jean Piccard and yes StarTrek's Next Generation captain character was said to be loosely tied to the same. If you participate in one of Jonathan's launches, he does an extrodinary job preparing for and ensuring safety for those around him as well as himself.
so......................................................................no one took pictures