Lawn Chair Pilot To Be Tracked Using Latest GPS Technology

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Kent Couch of Bend, Oregon has enlisted the assistance of real time GPS tracking to help keep tabs on himself and his helium balloon suspended lawn chair during his next flight planned later this summer. GPS technology used by law enforcement to track offenders will help Kent and his ground team know his exact location at all times.

Kent Couch, pilot of the famous flying lawn chair has enlisted the help of real time GPS tracking provided by so that his July 2008 flight can be tracked all over the world. During his previous flight from the parking lot of his Bend, Oregon Stop and Go Mini Mart Kent knew exactly where he was with an onboard GPS but his ground crew had to rely on old fashioned word of mouth. owner Jon Marshall has agreed to sponsor a real time GPS device normally used by law enforcement to provide tracking to Kent and his crew in real time. In addition to the real time tracking device the flying lawn chair will be equipped with a Super TrackStick, a device slightly larger than a pack of gum that will provide NASA like flight statistics such as altitude, speed, heading, and temperature. "When Mark Knolls, a friend of Kent's, inquired about a possible solution I knew we could make this a reality. It's nice to see someone reaching for their dreams and I love a good challenge!" says Jon Marshall, owner of

Using the maps from Google Earth, the real time GPS tracker will transmit data to a server that will be able to display a live track of Kent's flight path. The team is hoping to integrate the live map into the website so that anyone interested will have the ability to watch as the balloon transverses Oregon airspace.

When Kent parachuted to safety at the end of his first flight his chair and video equipment floated on without him. If it were not for the kindness and alertness of a couple of ranchers 13 miles away who discovered the craft on their fence line several months later, the video would have been lost forever. "We're trying to provide a solution where Kent and his team will be able to pinpoint the exact location of the balloon chair during and immediately after the flight for an instant recovery effort. As long as there is cell phone service in the area our tracker will call home." says Marshall.

Using GPRS technology familiar to text messaging crowds, the GPS tracker will send updated position reports to a central server. Ground teams will need an internet connection to log in and locate Kent throughout his journey. More information on GPS tracking can be located at

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