Cluster balloonist Kent Couch, sitting in a lawn chair, ascends past Mount Bachelor to his cruising altitude at the start of his attempt of a flight to Idaho, near Bend, Ore., in this July 7, 2007 file photo. (Pete Erickson, The Bulletin/AP Photo)
By Alyssa Newcomb, ABC News
An Oregon gas station owner and his Iraqi co-pilot lifted off into flight today on two lawn chairs tethered to 350 balloons.
Kent Couch and Fareed Lafta said they hope to clear at least 400 miles, which would mean a landing somewhere near southwestern Montana Sunday morning.
Eight hundred pounds of ballast, in the form of barrels of red Kool-Aid, are on board with the men. They're also equipped with a GPS, a satellite phone and parachutes.
"It seems simple -- you know, just putting some balloons on a lawn chair and taking off, but it gets a little more complicated than that," Couch said.
When it comes time to land, Couch and Lafta will use a Red Ryder BB rifle to shoot out enough balloons to help them have a smooth landing.
Track the flight here
The pair also plan to embark on another flight together in the fall, this time in Iraq.
"The ultimate goal is to do this in Iraq and do a fundraiser to raise awareness for the orphans in Iraq," Couch said. "There's over three and a half million of them over there that are just, you know, victims of their civil war."
In 2008, Couch gained national attention when he floated 235 miles from Oregon to Idaho in a solo flight in his balloon-carried lawn chair.
"It's just an awesome thing to be able to go up, float just like a cloud would, and just float along the earth, no noise whatsoever," he said. "If you're going 50 miles an hour, you're going as the wind goes, so you don't have any wind on your face, it's just, it's just like you're paralyzed up there in the sky, just floating along. It's an amazing feeling."