Lawn Chair Balloon Pilots Fly For The Future of Iraq
In 2012, US citizen Kent Couch and Iraqi pilot Captain Fareed Abdul-Zahra al Saadi planned to launch a cluster balloon craft to raise awareness of the plight of Iraqi orphans. He planned to attempt to break multiple cluster balloon flying records on this flight. Cluster ballooning is an unique type of ballooning where the pilot is attached to a cluster of large helium-inflated party balloons.
Couch had planned to launch on November 15th, 2011, but upon arrival the situation of Iraqi orphans was brought to his team’s attention. Capt. Fareed has been working tirelessly to use the ballooning adventure to bring global attention to this problem. Many international dignitaries have taken notice and have officially expressed interest in being a part of the day of celebration. One of these dignitaries is Prince Albert of Monaco. He had agreed to send aid that would provide gifts for the many children that would be present on the day of the balloon launch.
To accommodate the many organizations that expressed desire to take part in the project, both pilots agreed to postpone the launch until further notice. Capt Fareed will travel to the US to further plan the launch and to also help promote the cause of the orphans.
Couch will return to Iraq to launch with Capt Fareed from the Baghdad Stadium before thousands of Iraqi youth and orphans. It is the hope of the two cluster balloon pilots to bring joy and encouragement to the children through this day of celebration. By bringing attention to the over three million orphans of Iraq Capt. Fareed and Couch desire that global NGOs will take notice and partner with the people of Iraq to help care for these children.