BEND, Ore. (AP) — Lawn-chair balloonist Kent Couch has boarded a plane for the start of a journey that he hopes will end in Iraq with a safe launch and landing beneath a huge cluster of party balloons.
Couch made headlines worldwide in 2008 when he flew a specially rigged lawn chair supported by more than 150 helium-filled party balloons from the parking lot of his Bend gas station to an Idaho field. The trip spanned 235 miles.
Couch says Iraqi daredevil Fareed Lafta invited him to Baghdad for a Nov. 15 flight at a youth conference in the Green Zone.
Couch said he plans to rig 300 balloons to lift the two of them sitting in a pair of lawn chairs for an overnight flight of 400 miles at 25,000 feet, which will require oxygen masks.
Spokesman Mark Knowles told The Associated Press that Couch and his wife, Susan, left early Thursday for Dubai.
Couch said his biggest fear is floating into neighboring Iran. If that happens, he says they will just go up and come right back down.
Copyright 2011 The Associated Press