By Tara Rippin • 03 September 2020 • 11:38
Illusionist David Blaine has flown over Arizona desert aided by 52 balloons filled with helium.
AT an altitude of more than 7,500 metres, the 47-year-old surpassed his own goal of 5,400 metres during his latest stunt, wearing an oxygen mask.
The celebrity illusionist had intended to fly over New York City, but security concerns and weather conditions forced him to change location in a challenge which has been shared on YouTube.
The lives streamed stunt has broken YouTube records for most-watched original live events, with more than 770,000 viewers.
In preparation, Blaine spent the last 18 months gaining a pilot’s licence, a hot air balloon licence and carried out 500 aeroplane jumps to gain a parachute certification.
And it wasn’t just oxygen levels the daredevil had to overcome on Wednesday, September 2, as he soared across the desert, there was also -20 degrees Celsius temperatures to contend with.
But despite the conditions, and the obvious risk, Blaine declared he was witnessing “the most incredible sight in the world.”
To make his way back to the ground and safety, Blaine let go of the balloons and made a rapid descent until a parachute opened at 2,000 metres.
“Wow, that was awesome,” he yelled into his radio as he landed.
Blaine said the challenge was inspired by the 1956 classic short film, The Red Balloon, which shows a child fly over Paris holding onto balloons.
The theme was replicated by Pixar in the hit Up.
It has been eight years since the illusionist completed a public stunt when he endured 72 hours on a pillar surrounded by one million volts of electricity.
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Tara Rippin is a reporter for Spain’s largest English-speaking newspaper, Euro Weekly News, and is responsible for the Costa Blanca region.
She has been in journalism for more than 20 years, having worked for local newspapers in the Midlands, UK, before relocating to Spain in 1990.
Since arriving, the mother-of-one has made her home on the Costa Blanca, while spending 18 months at the EWN head office in Fuengirola on the Costa del Sol.
She loves being part of a community that has a wonderful expat and Spanish mix, and strives to bring the latest and most relevant news to EWN’s loyal and valued readers.
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