I believe that Kent Couch should receive honorary membership in CoT.
"In preparing for his second long-distance lawn-chair balloon flight, Bend gas station owner Kent Couch said he didn't even bother to put a seat belt on the contraption this time, "because I didn't think I'd need one."
"But when he encountered unexpected turbulence over Anthony Lakes Saturday afternoon, out of radio contact with his family at the time, "hanging onto the topes and everything I've got ... probably at that point in my mind I said, ‘Do you really know what you're doing here? Should you be here?'"
"For some reason, I thought these accept turbulence, go with the wind," Couch said, but learned othewise.
"Couch did have a parachute once again, however - and while he didn't need one when he came down late Saturday afternoon in a Northeast Oregon field, he jumped from the chair as it briefly set down, then took off again, heading off to the east with much of his gear, including a digital video camera, still aboard, flying high.
"The owner of Bend's Stop and Go Mini-Mart at 27th Street and Highway 20 had a large group of spectators and well-wishers on hand when he lifted off shortly after 6 a.m. Saturday, suspended below more than 100 multi-colored, oversized helium balloons.
"His landing came almost nine hours later and almost 200 miles to the northeast, west of North Powder and south of La Grande, after a scenic flight that averaged 11,000 feet in elevation.
"Coincidentally, Couch grew up in La Grande, and at one point was heading in a direction that could have landed him in his parents' backyard, much to their surprise."