Balloons daredevil completes Channel crossing
A daring adventurer crossed the English Channel today strapped in a chair beneath several dozen helium-filled balloons.
Jonathan Trappe set off from a field in Kent early this morning hoping to become the first cluster balloonist to cross the stretch of water.
The US adventurer, 36, was held at the mercy of the prevailing winds beneath his colourful collection of gigantic inflatables.
He set off from Kent Gliding Club in Challock, near Ashford, shortly after 5am, taking about an hour to travel the 10 miles to the coast.
Mr Trappe spent about an hour and three quarters sailing silently over the Channel before reaching Dunkirk.
As he soared high over the French countryside he began cutting away balloons to aid his descent, but continued heading towards the Belgium border.
Mr Trappe's seat pod was packed with position-finding and communication equipment.
A series of updates revealed that he was "OK".
Before setting off, Mr Trappe told Sky News his final destination was unknown because of the weather.
He said: "Part of the adventure is you don't know when you need to land."
Mr Trappe has already made a number of trips using his balloon cluster.
Last month he claimed a new world record for the longest free-floating balloon flight, flying 109 miles across North Carolina.
He described the English Channel as an "iconic ribbon of water that is calling", and in March visited both England and France to meet with aviation authorities.
His feat was reminiscent of the hero of the recent hit animated film Up. That saw grumpy pensioner Carl Fredricksen (voiced by actor Edward Asner) attach hundreds of coloured balloons to his house and fly off to South America.
- 1 The truth about 'girl things': Three cheers for Heather Watson's honesty
- 2 Man who held up 'hire me' sign at Waterloo station returns a year later with 'I'm hiring' sign
- 5 Men behaving badly: Urinating while standing, 'manspreading' and the gendering of selfishness
Nigel Farage: NHS might have to be replaced by private health insurance
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
French court convicts three over homophobic tweets, in case hailed as a 'significant victory' by LGBT rights campaigners
British Muslim school children suffering a backlash of abuse following Paris attacks
George Galloway condemns 'racist, Islamophobic, hypocritical rag' Charlie Hebdo at freedom of speech rally
Islamic history is full of free thinkers - but recent attempts to suppress critical thought are verging on the absurd
Excellent Salary : Austen Lloyd: OXFORD - REGIONAL FIRM - An excellent opportu...
Super Package: Austen Lloyd: BRISTOL - SENIOR CLINICAL NEGLIGENCE - An outstan...
£15000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Fantastic opportunities are ava...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Compute Engineer is required to join a globa...