Man using cluster balloons lands in Newfoundland

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In this photo provided by Mark McBreairty, a balloon cluster carrying Jonathan Trappe lifts off from Caribou, Maine, Thursday, Sept. 12, 2013. (AP Photo/Mark McBreairty)

In this photo provided by Mark McBreairty, a balloon cluster carrying Jonathan Trappe lifts off from Caribou, Maine, Thursday, Sept. 12, 2013. (AP Photo/Mark McBreairty)

YORK HARBOUR, Newfoundland (AP) — A balloonist who tried to cross the Atlantic Ocean using hundreds of helium-filled balloons is one step closer to heading home after landing short of his goal in Newfoundland.

The Canadian Broadcasting Corp. reported Friday that it used a helicopter to retrieve U.S. balloonist Jonathan Trappe from the remote area where he landed a night earlier.

“I’ve never been so glad to see the media,” he told a CBC reporter when he was found.

Trappe landed safely in a rugged area near York Harbour after reporting that he was having trouble controlling his balloons Thursday evening, according to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

Instead of using a conventional hot-air balloon, Trappe was using more than 300 colorful helium-filled balloons, like those used in in the animated movie “Up.”

He lifted off Thursday morning from Caribou, Maine, in hopes of becoming be the first person to cross the Atlantic using a cluster of helium balloons.

But he ran into trouble as he approached Newfoundland and was in communication with a search and rescue center in Halifax, Nova Scotia, said Lt. Steve Henley of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police in Stephenville. The balloonist’s movements were tracked by radar by Canadian officials, he said.

The CBC said the much of the area around his landing site was impassable and isolated south of the small Bay of Islands community of Lark Harbour.

Trappe will likely have to meet with Canada Border Service Agency before being allowed to return to the U.S., officials said.

The North Carolina native said he’d worked on the trans-Atlantic crossing for two years, and he was no stranger to using clusters of balloons. He’s once used them to lift a faux house, as in the Disney-Pixar movie, and he’d used them to cross the English Channel.

By Thursday afternoon, he was well on his way, headed toward Newfoundland. But a couple of hours later, he ended his quest. “This doesn’t look like France,” he posted on Facebook.

 

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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