Lawn Chair Balloon Flight Cut Short Due To Thunderstorms

Kent Couch and Fareed Lafta started their lawn chair balloon flight from Central Oregon yesterday afternoon, but were forced to call the adventure off well short of their Montana destination.

Thunderstorms in the area forced Couch and Lafta to end their journey six hours into the trip.

According to MSNBC, the lawn chair flight ended near the town of Prineville, about 30 miles northeast of their starting location. Strong winds sent the adventurous duo 40 miles north, then south, then east, before they finally touched down.

Couch, a veteran lawn chair flight pilot, said that he hoped his journey would inspire other people to get out of their chairs… Rather, get their chairs off the ground. Couch said:

“The interesting thing is, anybody can do this. They don’t have to sit on the couch thinking, ‘I should have done it.’ They can do it.”

Flight spokesman Mark Knowles said that Couch and Lafta were both disappointed about the shortened trip.

Knowles told CNN.

“They’re a little rattled… We are glad that they are safe. Kent is very disappointed they did not get what he set out for.”

But the trip isn’t exactly over. According to the Huffington Post, the craft took off again once Couch and Lafta abandoned ship… I mean, abandoned lawn chair aircraft. The balloons took the chairs back up and the craft is currently floating somewhere over Oregon.

Couch may have only made it about 30 miles during this trip but the veteran balloonist has quite a few miles under his belt. In 2006, Couch managed to travel 99 miles. In 2007, he flew 193 miles before his balloons started to run out of helium.

Here’s a video about Couch and Lafta’s lawn chair balloon flight.