Kent Couch

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Kent Couch is an American cluster balloonist who drew international interest for his flights across the state of Oregon.

Cluster balloon flights[edit]

First flight[edit]

Couch's first flight was in September 2006. The flight was cut short and he used his parachute to land safely on the ground below. The flight preparation and ground crew were filmed and edited by Sky Pinnick of Rage Films in Bend, Oregon.

Second flight[edit]

Couch, a 47-year-old gas station owner, first flew 193 miles (311 km) in July 2007 riding a lawnchair elevated by 105 large helium balloons. Using amateur instruments to measure altitude and speed, a GPS device to track his location, and 5 gallons (19 litres) of water for ballast, he controlled his descent by releasing water. The flight began in Bend, Oregon and ended in Union, short of Couch's goal of reaching Idaho.

Couch's flight resembled a flight by Larry Walters, who, in 1982, sat in a lawnchair that unexpectedly rose 3 miles (5 km) off the ground after he cut the rope tethering the chair to the ground.[1]

Third flight[edit]

Couch began another flight at dawn on Saturday, July 5, 2008. That afternoon he successfully crossed the desert border, landing near Cambridge, Idaho.[2][3][4]

Statistics:[citation needed]

Launch time: 6:44 am (PDT)
Top speed: 49 mph (79 km/h)
Average speed: 26 mph (42 km/h)
Highest altitude reached: 16,625 feet (unofficial world record)
Touchdown: 3:56 pm (PDT)
Total time: 9 hours, 12 minutes
Total miles: 240

See also[edit]


External links[edit]