Saturday, July 5, 2008

(Caption: "Kent Couch leaves his gas station in Bend, Ore., on Saturday, July 5, 2008, riding a lawn chair rigged with more than 150 giant party balloons in an attempt to fly to Idaho. He is equipped with a BB gun and a blowgun for popping balloons if he gets too high and three 15-gallon barrels of cherry Kool-Aid for ballast to release if he gets too low.")

BEND, Ore. (AP) - A man has taken flight in a lawn chair hoisted by more than 150 large helium-filled party balloons in a bid to ride the wind from the central Oregon town of Bend all the way to Idaho.

Kent Couch was wearing a parachute Saturday morning as he kissed his wife and kids goodbye, patted his dog and took off at sunrise from his gas station.

This is Couch's third lawn chair flight in as many years.

He hopes to do better than last year, when he flew 193 miles before running low on helium and had to land in the sagebrush of northeastern Oregon.