Raleigh man’s “Up”-like balloon adventure a bust - WNCT

Raleigh man’s “Up”-like balloon adventure a bust

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© Associated Press © Associated Press
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CARIBOU, ME -

A Raleigh man's dream of flying across the Atlantic Ocean using hundreds of helium-filled balloons has been put on hold.

The multi-colored launch looked like a scene out of a hollywood movie, but Jonathan Trappe's dream to reach Europe was short lived, ending just 12 hours after it began.

Trappe, an IT manager from Raleigh, lifted off from Maine Thursday using more than 300 helium-filled balloons, with a goal of spending up to a week in the air, riding wind currents that could take him to northern Africa or Norway.

On Thursday night, Trappe wrote on his Facebook page that he had landed safely at a remote location and would spend the night there. Tracking software showed he was in Newfoundland.

Trappe is no stranger to the cluster balloons. In 2010, he became the first person to use balloons to cross the 22 mile English Channel. He's also used them to lift a faux hause, just like in the Disney-Pixar movie "Up". For his trans-Atlantic crossing, he rigged his basket as a lifeboat that could be used if he had to ditch in the ocean.

Trappe prepared for the trans-Atlantic trip for two years and hoped to be the first person to cross the Atlantic using a cluster of balloons.

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