Latest on Jonathan Trappe’s courageous attempt
Fair play to Jonathan Trappe (39) for giving it a go to cross the Atlantic by cluster balloon. After just short of 13 hours of flight that took him to 21,000 feet and 65 knots he took the bold decision to abandon the attempt and landed on the Western shore of Newfoundland. Updating the earlier report it seems he experienced problems controlling the cluster. From stuff posted on his website it was reported that he thought he would die as his vessel plummeted to the ground – “Honestly, I did not know if I would survive that landing!”
His first message was “…Situation stable. Have 60 litres of water 38 left. Gatorade 60,000 cal food…. Have shelter and exposure gear.” Trappe said he is now starting to break down the aircraft and was ‘possibly’ going to stay there the night. He then plans to pack a ‘go bag’ of essential supplies and film from his 12-hour trip but his next course of action has not been decided.
He messaged his followers on Facebook saying he had landed at an ‘alternate location’ and was safe and well. He was forced to make an early landing in Newfoundland, Canada, due to a technical issue. The habitat is home to both black bears and wolves.
There were commiserations around the world – including a message from Virgin boss and fellow balloonist, Richard Branson. He tweeted: “Commiserations to Jonathan Trappe, who has abandoned his UP-style cluster balloon crossing. I know how you must feel!”
Following the crash landing, Kevin Knapp, based at the command centre, said: “I can confirm that Jonathan was forced to abandon the planned flight at around 18.30 EST.”
“Thankfully he is safe and well and currently making preparations to get home.” And went on to say that, “While disappointing that he had to cut his quest across the Atlantic short, I know Jonathan thanks everyone for their support and encouragement. Despite fears Atlantic weather systems would be the greatest obstacle to achieving his dream crossing, the landing was blamed on a technical problem relating to the balloons.”
Latest news is that he has now been recovered by helicopter but the area is remote and news somewhat sporadic. Whatever, we wish him well and now look forward to his next attempt.