Transatlantic balloon voyage cut short
Saturday, September 14, 2013, 10:50 AM -
An aviator's dreams of crossing the Atlantic Ocean using just helium balloons were deflated when he was forced to land in Newfoundland on Saturday.
Jonathan Trappe, a 39-year-old North Carolina native, moved to Maine two years ago to prepare for the voyage. The last person to cross the ocean in a gas balloon was Colonel Joseph Kittinger in 1894, but no one had ever attempted to cross the ocean using several smaller helium balloons.
Trappe had to wait nearly 100 days for the weather to be favorable for his trip but was still unable to complete it.
The aviator wrote on his Facebook page "Hmm, this doesn't look like France."
The trip would have been more than 4,000 km and could have taken Trappe anywhere between 3 and 5 days. Depending on the weather, he could have landed between Iceland and Morocco.
The daredevil worked with the same metereologist that advised Felix Baumgartner on the record-breaking sky diving stunt in October 2012.
While Trappe was unable to fulfill his latest dream, he already has several huge accomplishments to his name. He holds the record for the longest ever cluster balloon flight, which lasted 14 hours. He is also the first person to have crossed the English Channel back in 2010 and the Alps in September 2011.