Balloonist flies safely in chair from Sanford to Wilson

Staff writerApril 11, 2010 

Local balloon pilot Jonathan Trappe landed safely this morning after an overnight flight of about 70 miles from the Sanford-Lee County Regional Airport.

Trappe, who sat in a chair while about 40 giant helium-filled balloons took him aloft, flew mostly at altitudes between 3,000 feet and 4,000 feet, said Paul Wilder, spokesman for the Wings of Carolina Flying Club. Trappe did go as high as 7,000 feet, Wilder said.

He landed south of Wilson, near Fremont, shortly after 7 a.m., Wilder said.

The flight was part of an event for the club and also served as a test flight for Trappe, who plans a cluster-balloon crossing of the English Channel in May or June, Wilder said.

In 2008, Trappe made a daytime flight from Franklin County to an area near Rocky Mount. Last year, he spent a few months on a tour promoting the Pixar movie “Up,” about a man who attaches balloons to his house and flies to South America.

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