Bend's "Balloon Man," Kent Couch, and Iraqi daredevil Capt. Fareed Lafta said Thursday they plan to attempt a new world record for the longest two-man cluster balloon flight next month in the skies over the Northwest.
Their flight is planned to begin in Bend on the morning of Saturday July 14th and, if all goes well, won't end until the following day.
When asked about the motivation behind this flight, Couch said, ?We are going to set another world record. You have to know, it is so peaceful, it doesn?t take much to get me back up there!?
Flight preparations will begin around 7 a.m. and the public is welcome to come watch them take off. Fareed and Kent planto launch from Couch's Stop and Go Mini Mart in Bend around 10 a.m.
The flight is scheduled to go overnight, landing somewhere in southern Montana.
?If the winds are strong and endurance is up, we could end up in Fargo, North Dakota, but that is unlikely.? Couch said.
The two men met as Couch began planning a special balloon flight over Baghdad. Event coordinator mark Knowles said that journey is still in the planning and funding stages. "We hope to know more about the Iraq flight before this flight takes place," he said.
Couch's flight in 2008 set the world record for the longest cluster balloon flight at 235 miles. He did that in a little over nine hours, with about 250 balloons. Fareed and Kent will use over 350 helium balloons for their flight and are looking to cross two or three states.
To learn more visit Couch's website at http://www.couchballoons.com.
Captain Fareed Lafta is a pilot, ship captain, skydiver, diplomat, and adventurer from Iraq. He currently lives in Dubai and will arrive in the U.S. for the flight in the next several weeks. He has made over 1,000 skydives and is always looking for new adventure. He graduated from the University of Baghdad in 2004 and has been traveling the world and sharing his passion for the future of Iraq. You can follow Fareed on his facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/fareed.lafta
Couch Balloons was started in 2007 when Kent?s hobby drew national attention. He needed a way to share his adventures with everyone and http://www.couchballoons.com became is the hub of Kent?s activities.
Couch has appeared on Good Morning America, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Caught on Camera, and several other national television shows. He has been written about in Ripley?s Believe it or not! And hundreds of publications around the world. He is an interesting character and has been interviewed on radio and television news over 150 times. You can also find Kent?s balloon adventures on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/CouchBalloons