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Try for world record helium-balloon flight takes off (VIDEO)

Kent Couch, Fareed Lafta attempt to set world record for longest two-man cluster balloon flight.
Kent couch balloonEnlarge
Kent Couch and Iraqi adventurer Fareed Lafta lifted off today in Bend, Ore., in an attempt to set the world record for longest two-man cluster balloon flight. (Screengrab)

These guys are full of hot air.

Kent Couch and Iraqi adventurer Fareed Lafta lifted off today in Bend, Ore., in an attempt to set the world record for longest two-man cluster balloon flight. 

They filled 350 party balloons with helium, attached them to a pair of lawn chairs and lifted high into the air, hoping to reach the Guinness World Record.

He hopes to fly 500 miles into Montana, Reuters said

“It’s a preflight for our trip to Iraq to bring more awareness to the orphans,” Couch told Reuters beforehand.

After Couches many other solo flights, Lafta contacted him and asked if they could collaborate on a project to help Iraqi war orphans.

“A lot of people have contacted me over the years about flying, but Fareed was by far the most sincere,” Couch told Reuters. “I went to the orphanages with him and saw the children there. And Fareed also has lots of skydiving experience. Now I’ll have someone to share my inflight experiences with."

They have parachutes in case of emergency; solo flights can reach 14,000 feet.

More from GlobalPost: Gary Connery sets record for skydive without parachute (VIDEO)

Couch has made roughly four other flights beginning in 2006, when he traveled about 99 miles before the balloons started popping, The Associated Press said.

He doubled his distance a year later and, in 2008, crossed into Idaho before using his BB gun to shoot enough balloons to land safely.

To make the entire endeavor more exciting, he started racing in 2010.

John Fries’s lawn chair traveled nearly 73 miles after seven hours, while Couch didn’t quite make 70 miles.

The AP said Guinness has yet to recognize any of Couch’s efforts.

Jonathan Trappe set the current record at 13 hours, 36 minutes, 57 seconds over North Carolina two years ago.

Kent Couch Balloon Flight from FATHOM on Vimeo.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatches/globalpost-blogs/weird-wide-web/try-world-record-helium-balloon-flight-takes-video

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