First trans-Atlantic balloon cluster journey cut short

Balloonist Jonathan Trappe from North Carolina has had to cancel his trans-Atlantic flight due to technical difficulties.

The trip began on September 12 from Caribou, Maine, and would have seen the pilot land in either Norway or North Africa within six days.

His aim was to be the first person to cross the Atlantic using a balloon cluster. Instead of a traditional hot air balloon, more than 300 helium-filled, multi-coloured balloons were being relied upon to carry him across the ocean, with lift-off described as being like a scene from the animated Disney movie ‘Up’. Meanwhile, the basket itself was an actual lifeboat that could be used in case of an emergency water landing.

Before the attempt, Trappe said on his website:

“The Atlantic Ocean has been crossed many times, and in many ways, but never quite like this.”

Thursday night saw him post an update on his Facebook profile, informing everyone that he had landed safely in an isolated location where he would be staying that night, but declined to say where he was at the time.

It has now been confirmed that he landed in the Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador, at a remote location just south of the Blow Me Down Provincial Park.

Trappe’s previous encounters with cluster balloons have seen him leave the ground in an office chair and crossing the channel in a suspended faux house.

It has not yet been confirmed whether Trappe will attempt his journey again in the future.

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