Video Of The Week — British Adventurer Soars In The Skies Using Helium Balloons


Tom Morgan flies over South Africa strapped to a lawn chair (Photo Credit: Richard Brandon Cox)

On October 20, British adventurer Tom Morgan soared over South Africa seated in a camp chair strapped to 100 helium balloons. During the two-hour flight, the balloonist covered 16 miles and reached heights of up to 8,000 feet. Though the daredevil later called the experience “unbelievably cool,” he did admit feeling “somewhere between terrified and elated” during the flight.

Morgan, the founder of the League of Adventurists, a British group whose mission is to make the world “less boring,” says the flight was initially supposed to take off from Botswana. However, after intense gusts of winds shredded the balloons three times, the team decided to attempt it from the outskirts of Johannesburg. Given that they only had enough helium left for one more try, Morgan was happy he was finally able to complete the flight without any mishaps.

Photo Credit: Richard Brandon Cox/The Adventurists)

The adventurer says though the helium flight appears similar to Carl Fredricksen’s house flight in Pixar’s “Up,” his inspiration came from an article on a 1905 gas balloon race. Morgan and his League of Adventurists now hope to add cluster balloon racing to their list of exciting events, which double as fundraisers.

Though Morgan is the first to think of introducing helium balloon-powered flights as a sport, he is not the first person to attempt the dangerous feat. US adventurer Jonathan Trappe has completed numerous such flights, including one across the English Channel. In 2010, Oregon aviator Kent Couch even took a friend along on an attached chair. A year later, National Geographic reenacted the scene from "Up" by using helium balloons to fly a small house, complete with two brave residents, across North America’s Mojave Desert.

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  • cherryblossom28
    cherryblossom28Friday, August 14, 2020 at 5:39 am
    It looks scary.It needs great courage to do that.
    • teen_girl
      teen_girlSaturday, May 9, 2020 at 5:18 pm
      OMG I want to do that. but it might be scary. :?)
      • glowinq_stxrs
        glowinq_stxrsFriday, April 24, 2020 at 5:25 pm
        Sometimes I could become afraid of heights especially when that British adventurer did a daredevil 😬
        • puppyperson
          puppypersonThursday, April 23, 2020 at 11:31 am
          I would be terrified
        • baseball14
          baseball14Tuesday, April 14, 2020 at 7:37 pm
          I would kinda be scared like what if the balloon pops you would fall from a big height.
          • mxctrebleclef
            mxctrebleclefSunday, July 26, 2020 at 12:04 pm
            100 balloons would have to pop. If one balloon pops you would be okay.
          • zu0113
            zu0113Saturday, April 4, 2020 at 4:39 pm
            That is so freaking cool. Like if you would be terrifyed
            • glowinq_stxrs
              glowinq_stxrsFriday, April 24, 2020 at 5:25 pm
              I wouldn’t as long as I don’t panic if I were that person
            • ap3x129
              ap3x129Thursday, February 6, 2020 at 11:58 am
              did he see UP? if he did then wow.
              • meata
                meataFriday, March 27, 2020 at 8:18 am
                I think so
              • bubbers22
                bubbers22Monday, November 18, 2019 at 4:15 pm
                Maybe in the future, they will be able to make it so this is safe, and it would be a regular amusement park ride like a roller coaster. I'm, not a wimp when it comes to scary rides, so I would be down. However, on the other hand, what does this guy think he is doing?? That is so dangerous. Also, who thinks of these things?
                • ghost_dk_diemx
                  ghost_dk_diemxWednesday, November 6, 2019 at 9:24 pm
                  Humans aren't smart all the time I mean that could have been unsafe but it's also unique and a good way to have fun while experimenting. I would do that if I could do it with another person cause I'm not a big fan of doing things alone but I encourage every one to be unique and try new things! ( I've also been learning about balloons air the atmosphere and even helium in my class.
                  • X>Nm cr2Wednesday, October 23, 2019 at 11:27 am
                    that is cool