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Thunderstorms Stop Lawnchair Balloon Flight From Oregon To Montana

Crystal, Flickr

Two men are back on the ground after thunderstorms ended their quest to fly an ‘armchair’ balloon craft from Central Oregon to Montana.

Kent Couch, an Oregon gas station owner, and Fareed Lafta, an Iraqi adventurer, had planned to fly their tandem lawchair craft from Bend, OR to Montana, but six hours into adventure, they had to bring it down. The self-described ‘red neck’ craft consists of two lawnchairs attatched to each other, and about 350  5-foot wide red, white, and blue balloons filled with helium.  Couch and Lafta expected to fly at about 15-18,000 feet, and carried with them a variety of supplies, and yes two parachutes.

How did they land the craft?  By using darts they brought with them to pop selected balloons until the craft slowly came to earth.   They also carried about 800 lbs of ballast, in the form of Kool-Aid in 40 gallon barrels.   This wasn’t Couch’s first flight – he’s logged a total of at least four flights, including the one last Saturday.  They have some even bigger plans for their craft in the near future, including flying across several continents!

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