Jonathan Trappe, an aviator trying to cross the Atlantic Ocean from Maine to Europe by using 370 helium balloons, failed to make it to his destination and was forced to land in Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador.
His Facebook page said, “Landed safe, at an alternate location. Remote.” He also quipped: “Hmm, this doesn’t look like France.”
“Sadly Jonathan has been forced to abandon his quest early after experiencing technical difficulties over Newfoundland,” said a brief statement Friday on his venture’s Tumblr account. “However, we are happy to report he is safe and well.”
The concept may sound familiar, like the story from the Disney film ‘Up.’ Balloon enthusiast Jonathan Trappe’s attempt has comparisons with the plot about a pensioner who uses a similar bunch of balloons to fly his home to South America.
“The Atlantic Ocean has been crossed many times, and in many ways, but never quite like this,” the North Carolina native said on his website, which detailed his efforts.
Trappe, 39-years old, specializes in cluster ballooning and used them to fly in an office chair, and he’s used them to lift a faux house, just like in the Disney-Pixar movie. In 2010, he crossed the English Channel using a cluster of balloons. For his trans-Atlantic crossing, the basket in which he’s riding is actually a lifeboat that could be used if he ditches in the ocean.
It all started Wednesday night when City Manager Austin Bleess said about 150 volunteers assisted in filling the helium balloons. Trappe and his balloons lifted off from a foggy softball field in northern Maine, near the Canadian border, at sunrise Thursday.
Trappe was also relying on state of the art weather data from the meteorologist who advised Felix Baumgartner on his record-breaking skydive from the stratosphere last year. The latest weather reports suggested winds would take Trappe to western Europe.
“Weather is absolutely the most dangerous factor,” said Trappe, speaking immediately before launch. ” It’s the only thing that will carry me across, but bad conditions could also ruin the attempt or endanger my life.”
Trappe climbed as high as 25,000ft (7.6km) and rode the winds that propelled him towards Europe. To ascend he will drop ballast and to descend he will pop or release balloons.
Man makes transatlantic cluster balloon flight
A US man is making an attempt to cross the Atlantic ocean in a boat lifted by hundreds of helium-filled balloons. Jonathan Trappe took off from Maine, near the Canadian border and could land anywhere between Norway and North Africa.
Daredevil attempts to cross Atlantic using Helium Balloons
Most of us may have seen the cartoon, “UP,” but this balloonist seems to have taken the film a bit too seriously. Although many people may prefer a conventional hot-air balloon, this man, Jonathan Trappe is using hundreds of helium-filled party balloons for a cross-Atlantic journey.