David Blaine Flies Over Arizona Desert Using Helium Balloons [Photos]
Magician David Blaine flew over the desert of Page, Arizona on Wednesday with the help of helium-filled balloons – and he livestreamed the whole thing.
Blaine, 47, called the stunt “Ascension” and said it was built out of his desire to do something special for his 9-year-old daughter, Dessa, who he introduced to the world earlier this year in an ABC special.
Reaching heights of nearly 25,000 feet was no easy task. The magician used helium-filled latex balloons, which were modified to allow Blaine to deflate or pop them remotely. He also flew with a balloon made of fiberglass, containing oxygen and a parachute inside.
Blaine live-streamed the entire event in partnership with YouTube Originals and included clips of training and preparation as part of the stream.
“This is the most that I have ever prepared for any performance to date,” Blaine told his Instagram followers Aug. 18. To put his words in perspective, some of the magician’s past stunts have included spending a week underground, standing on top of a 100-feet-high pillar for 35 hours, and fasting for 44 days inside a glass box. For this stunt, Blaine had to get a pro skydiver rating, learn to read the wind, and get a hot air balloon pilot certification.
Blaine began the livestream at 9 a.m. ET, and, after receiving one last kiss from his daughter, left the ground at 11 a.m. ET. The magician put on his parachute 9,200 feet up. He then started using the oxygen supply on his apparatus at 21,000 feet, and finally started releasing some balloons when he could see his landing sight, at 24,900 feet.
He landed a few minutes before noon, exclaiming, “Wow! That was awesome!” and telling his daughter, “This is all for you!”