Los Angeles, United States, Sep 2. (efe-epa).- Illusionist David Blaine flew Wednesday over the desert of Arizona at a height of more than 7,500 meters, holding on to a handful of 52 colored balloons inflated with helium.
Blaine, known for his risky acts and stunts on the street, exceeded his own expectations by flying above the 5,400 meters he set for himself when taking off and skimming a height of more than 7,500 meters that required him to wear an oxygen mask.
The 47-year-old illusionist’s challenge was to fly over New York City but, due to weather conditions and security issues, he had to change the location for the Arizona desert in an event broadcast on YouTube with a record audience for the platform.
“Wow! That was amazing,” he said upon landing.
To overcome the challenge, Blaine trained for a year and a half, during which time he passed a pilot’s license, a hot air balloon operator’s license and a parachute certification after overcoming 500 airplane jumps.
In addition to controlling his oxygen levels, the acrobat’s team had to monitor his body temperature at all times, since at that height, the outside can exceed –20C, they said.
During the ascent, which began after releasing his 9-year-old daughter’s hand, Blaine said from his radio that he was witnessing “the most incredible sight in the world.”
To land, the illusionist released the balloons and plunged into the void until a parachute opened at about 2,000 meters of altitude.
“That was great! Wow! You did it! You didn’t fall!” Her daughter said over the radio after seeing the landing on the ground.
Blaine said he always wanted to complete that challenge since he saw the short film “The Red Balloon,” a 1956 classic in which a boy flies over Paris holding on to some balloons, in the same way that the house in the Pixar film “Up” would replicate later.