Balloon man ready for Robben Island run

2013-04-03 11:12
Cape Town - A man intends to fly from Robben Island to Cape Town this month using helium-filled balloons.

Matt Silver-Vallance would be attached to 200 party balloons, measuring around one-and-a-half metres in diameter, his spokeswoman Sarah Gurney said.

He was currently awaiting ideal weather conditions for the flight. Gurney said the flight would take place before April 27. The SA Civil Aviation Authority had approved the flight and was happy with the safety precautions in place.

After taking off from the island, he would ascend to a maximum altitude of 182 metres. The trip time would depend on wind direction and speed. The distance between the island and mainland ranged between 9km and 14km.

Gurney said Matt-Valance would wear a wetsuit and life jacket as a precaution and have a powered paraglider follow him to update air traffic and navigation services. There would be support teams on the ground.

The so-called Robben Island Balloon Run was intended to raise money for the building of the Nelson Mandela Children's hospital in
Johannesburg, a 200-bed specialist paediatric academic and tertiary referral hospital.

"After four years of planning, the time is almost here," Silver-Vallance said.

"I can't wait to take to the skies to raise funds for the Nelson Mandela Children's Hospital, which, in the end, is the most important part of the whole event."

- SAPA
Read more on:    travel south africa

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