Oregon lawn chair balloonist plans Baghdad flight

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BEND, Ore. (AP) -- An Oregon gas station owner who made headlines when he floated to Idaho in 2008 in a lawn chair supported by more than 150 helium-filled party balloons is planning another airborne adventure -- in Baghdad.

Kent Couch of Bend and his wife, Susan, left early Thursday for Dubai. There, he will team up with Iraqi daredevil Fareed Lafta, who wants to fly with Couch in a double-lawn-chair balloon Nov. 15 at a youth conference in the Green Zone.

Couch tells The Associated Press his biggest fear is floating into neighboring Iran. But he hopes to have favorable winds that will allow a flight of more than 400 miles at an elevation of 25,000 feet, using oxygen masks.

Couch became a global celebrity three years ago when he flew his specially rigged lawn chair supported by helium balloons more than 200 miles cross the Oregon desert, to a farm field in Idaho.

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Information from: KTVZ-TV, http://www.ktvz.com/