Cluster balloons trans-Atlantic attempt fails - New York News

Cluster balloons trans-Atlantic attempt fails

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A balloonist who was trying to cross the Atlantic Ocean using hundreds of helium-filled balloons is headed 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.

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police said Trappe reported having trouble controlling the balloons before setting down safely south of York Harbour on Thursday evening. He'd started the adventure about 12 hours earlier when he departed from Caribou, Maine.

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

Trappe said on his website that he'd been working on the cluster balloon trans-Atlantic crossing for two years. The North Carolina native hoped to be the first person to do it using a cluster balloon system.

He sent out his first update at about 4:30 p.m. on Thursday saying he was traveling over 50 MPH at about 18,000 feet as he crossed over the Gulf of St. Lawrence.  Hours later, he landed.

Copyright 2013 MyFoxNY.com/The Associated Press

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