Man crosses English Channel using helium balloons

London, May 28 (IANS) An American man created history Friday by becoming the first to cross the English Channel using only helium-filled balloons.

Jonathan Trappe, 36, set off from Kent Gliding Club in Challock, near Ashford in Kent, and took about three hours to float across the English Channel to Dunkirk, France.

Trappe, who is a trained pilot, cut away a few balloons to descend, and eventually landed in a cabbage field.

‘Wasn’t it everybody’s dream? I mean, didn’t you have this dream – grabbing onto a bunch of toy balloons and floating off? Now we’ve done it. Not only have we done it, we’ve done it over the English Channel,’ Trappe was quoted as saying by Sky News.

Describing his trip, Trappe said: ‘Right over the white cliffs of Dover in complete silence. It was tremendously peaceful, tremendously beautiful. It was just an exceptionally quiet, peaceful experience.’

There was, however, the risk of dying if he came down into the water or even hit power lines during his descent over France.

‘There are risks and we work to reduce the risks so we can have a safe and fun flight. Because, really, it’s only about dreams and enjoying an adventure and that’s only enjoyable when it is safe,’ Trappe said.