NEWS

Jonathan Trappe, Balloonist, Fails Atlantic Ocean Crossing, Touches Down In Newfoundland

09/13/2013 10:17 EDT | Updated 11/13/2013 05:12 EST
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RALEIGH, NC - APRIL 10: EXCLUSIVE. Jonathan Trappe at sunset as he attempts of the world's first day/night cluster balloon flight in addition to attempting to break known endurance records on April 10, 2010 in Raleigh, North Carolina. Taking off at 5.35pm on Saturday 10th April from Raleigh Executive Jet Port in North Carolina, cluster balloonist Jonathan Trappe begins his attempt of the world's first day/night cluster balloon flight in addition to attempting to break known endurance records. Flying 8,000 feet up for nearly 14 hours, Jonathan landed at 7.10am on Sunday 11th April having completed both feats. Braving the freezing temperatures, Jonathan flew for 109 miles during his adventure. Constantly monitored from below by his team, led by his girlfriend, Jonathan has been cluster ballooning for only four years. (Photo by Jonathan Trappe/ Barcroft USA / Getty Images)

CORNER BROOK, N.L. -- An American balloonist has abandoned his attempt to cross the Atlantic Ocean in a boat suspended by almost 400 balloons after experiencing technical problems over Newfoundland.

Police say Jonathan Trappe touched down Thursday at about 8 p.m. just south of York Harbour in western Newfoundland.

Cpl. Steve Henley said police received a call from the Joint Rescue Co-ordination Centre in Halifax indicating that Trappe was having trouble controlling the helium-filled balloons.

Henley said Trappe is safe and was not hurt when he landed in the woods, where he planned to camp for the night.

The adventurer set out Thursday from Caribou, Maine, hoping to be the first person to make the crossing in the device that looks similar to one featured in the children's movie "Up."

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An online post on his site confirms that Trappe had to abandon the attempt just 12 hours after he lifted off.

"The Atlantic Ocean has been crossed many times, and in many ways, but never quite like this," the North Carolina native said on his website before his departure.

Trappe is no stranger to cluster balloons.

He's used them to lift a faux house, as in the Disney-Pixar movie. In 2010, he crossed the English Channel using a cluster of balloons. For his transatlantic crossing, the basket in which he was riding was actually a lifeboat that could have been used if he ditched in the ocean.

Trappe said he'd worked on the transatlantic crossing for two years.

By Thursday evening, he was well on his way, headed toward Newfoundland. But a couple of hours later, he posted that he'd landed. "This doesn't look like France," he posted on Facebook.

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