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Balloonist Says it was a “Gorgeous Failure”

| October 10, 2013

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Caribou, ME (AP)- The balloonist who tried to cross the Atlantic Ocean using hundreds of helium-filled balloons is calling the attempt a “gorgeous failure.” ┬áJonathan Trappe of North Carolina says he’s happy that he covered 466 miles, including a 316-mile water crossing, after lifting off from Caribou, Maine, on Sept. 12. He says the distance covered before he aborted his trip in Newfoundland was the greatest covered by someone using cluster balloons. Trappe gave an account of his high-flying adventure on his website. He had troubles from the beginning, with storms triggering a tornado warning just hours before volunteers began filling his helium balloons. He says the wet liftoff in heavy fog became a problem at higher altitudes, when water droplets froze. He ended up making a midair change into dry clothes.

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