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

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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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Reading Comprehension (10 questions)

  1. What did Tom Morgan do on October 20?
  2. How long was the flight and how high did it go?

Critical Thinking Challenge

What would scare or excite you the most about a helium balloon flight?


Vocabulary in Context

On October 20, British adventurer Tom Morgan soared over South Africa seated in a camp chair strapped to 100 helium balloons. 

In the above sentence, the word strapped most likely...

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  • Doge_Playz_MCFriday, November 17, 2017 at 10:04 am
    Thats crazy
    • nickd
      nickdFriday, November 17, 2017 at 8:55 am
      awesome mind blown
      • mikyah
        mikyahFriday, November 17, 2017 at 8:54 am
        • ghrhyu6ytFriday, November 17, 2017 at 6:06 am
          Its like UP, with less ballons and a person instead of house XD
          • fredmason
            fredmasonFriday, November 17, 2017 at 9:00 am
            where did he land?
          • maddiFriday, November 17, 2017 at 5:25 am
            love it
            • maddiFriday, November 17, 2017 at 5:25 am
              love it
              • Maggie T Friday, November 17, 2017 at 4:36 am
                You are write Lauren that was sooo cool.
                • animegirl543
                  animegirl543Thursday, November 16, 2017 at 8:35 pm
                  I WANTED TO FLY........ BUT THEN I REALIZED I HAVE NO WINGS............SAD~~~
                  • 360noscopeThursday, November 16, 2017 at 6:46 pm
                    How does he land ??
                    • LaurenThursday, November 16, 2017 at 5:44 pm
                      I want to do it it is awsome