Tom Morgan is from Bristol, England. Very recently, he flew 8,000 feet in the air with the help of a simple camping chair and the helium-filled balloons. The BBC reported that Morgan referred to the experience as “magical.”
First, Morgan tried to complete his daring adventure in Botswana, but the weather simply wasn’t working in his favor.
The problem was finding a good weather window and it was difficult to protect the balloons as they kept bursting.”
After a few tries in Botswana, Morgan and his team moved to South Africa, specifically their base slightly north of Johannesburg. They had just sufficient helium for another attempt, and it was a success.
Now that the initial flight with helium balloons was a success, Tom has high hopes for the future.
He would love to create a three-day race involving the racer strapped to a chair and flying with help from helium balloons.
It’s going to be a three-day, long distance, floating adventure under party balloons on a chair… probably the silliest air race
Apparently, the voice of reason, Buddy, insisted that they do “full-on planning” for anything else in the future, something he also said before Tom did the full test in South Africa. Tom takes a joking tone with his agreement:
“This IS full on planning. Lots of support systems, like what we’re going to be sitting on, what kind of sandwiches do we need.”
During the planning phase, the Adventurists had plenty to figure out.
Before doing a race, Tom says they would have even more to organize.
“We actually do have to figure out how you go to the toilet from 20,000 feet strapped into the chair. What happens if all the balloons burst?”
For the test run, Tom chose Botswana because of its location. There is plenty of open space, and because it is in the middle of a continent, there shouldn’t have been too many issues related to the air.
One of their team members, Mr. Kester, an aerial guru, explained just how different this experience was from others:
When you’re developing things, you normally spend some time working stuff out. Whereas at the moment, it feels very much like we’re going to turn up in Botswana, with a load of balloons, and give it a go.”
While Kester may have had a point about planning to some extent, the team did spend two days before their initial test inflating 100 balloons with helium.
The experience of flying through the air in a chair with helium balloons was unique for Tom.
According to BBC News, Tom felt “somewhere between terrified and elated.”
After he reached the height they wanted:“I had to keep my cool and start gradually cutting the balloons.”
The event manager Matthew Dickens, admitted to CBS:
“We weren’t even sure Tom would come back alive. We didn’t think he was going to manage it. But yeah, he got there in the end.”