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UP! - The Real Thing
As you read this, veteran North Carolina balloonist Jonathan Trappe is floating over the Atlantic Ocean somewhere right now in a small wicker gondola lifted aloft by a cluster of colorful party balloons. It departed from Maine on Thursday, September 12, 2013. A story on the ARRL website reports that amateur radio is onboard. Mr. Trappe is no newcomer to flying in such contraptions. In 2012 he and a specially designed small house used a similar buoyancy arrangement to float above Mexico. A "toy balloon" flight over the Alps met with success in September of 2011. Trappe became the only person to have crossed the English Channel by cluster balloon in May 2010. Uh-oh, being Friday the 13th must have bode ill fortune for the intrepid aviator. I just checked for an UPdate and see that the flight ended in Newfoundland after just 12 hours due to technical difficulties. Bummer. No doubt he'll try again.