Friday, May 28, 2010
Man Crosses English Channel In Chair Lifted By Helium Balloons
36-year old American Jonathan Trappe has crossed the English Channel today in a chair that was lifted into the sky by several dozen helium filled balloons. He is the first "cluster balloonist" to complete that crossing.
Trappe set out from a field in Kent, England early this morning, rising to a height of 2000 feet and moving at a speed of up to 19 miles per hour. It took him roughly an hour to reach the coast of Britain, and then roughly another 2 hours to sail across the channel before reaching the Dunkirk. From there, the experienced pilot began to cut away a few balloons at a time, which gently lowered him to the ground. He would eventually land in cabbage patch, completing his flight. He risked landing in the channel, and possibly drowning, as well as hitting power lines while descending in France, to make this voyage.
Trappe is use to making these kinds of flights, and even holds the record for covering the longest distance. Earlier this year he flew 109 miles over North Carolina in setting that new mark.
Check out some video from Sky News this morning that captures the balloon chair in flight.