Man using cluster balloons fails to cross the ocean

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Associated Press

Posted on September 13, 2013 at 11:30 AM

Updated Friday, Sep 13 at 11:33 AM

YORK HARBOR, Newfoundland (AP) — Jonathan Trappe isn't flying to Europe after all -- at least, not this time.

He took off from Maine yesterday in a yellow lifeboat attached to hundreds of helium-filled balloons, hoping to become the first to cross the Atlantic that way. But by evening, he was having trouble controlling the balloons, and he landed in the Canadian province of Newfoundland. He touched down safely and required no medical attention. And he told local officials he would be hiking out of the remote area where he landed, and would make arrangements to remove his equipment.

After he landed, he posted on Facebook, "This doesn't look like France."

Trappe has used cluster balloons before -- lifting a make-believe house with them to emulate the character in the animated Disney-Pixar movie "Up." And in 2010, he crossed the English Channel that way.

He was riding in a lifeboat this time, in case he ditched in the ocean.

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APPHOTO BX801: In this photo provided by Mark McBreairty, a balloon cluster carrying Jonathan Trappe lifts off from Caribou, Maine, Thursday, Sept. 12, 2013. Unlike a conventional hot-air balloon, Trappe lifted off Thursday using hundreds of helium-filled balloons clustered together. Trappe hopes to be the first person to successfully complete a trans-Atlantic flight using the balloon cluster. (AP Photo/Mark McBreairty) (12 Sep 2013)

<<APPHOTO BX801 (09/12/13)££

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