Ah, to float away. David Blaine realized that dream Wednesday by rigging up to balloons and floating nearly 25,000 feet over Arizona—until he cut the cord, USA Today reports. The 47-year-old magician drifted for nearly an hour in a livestreamed broadcast called "Ascension," which began with him learning how to skydive, fly balloons, and handle cooler temperatures. "This is the most that I have ever prepared for any performance to date," he said in a video shared on Instagram. But even that didn't spare his nerves before takeoff: "This is where it gets real," he said, calling himself "the worst person with directions." He soon had hundreds of thousands of viewers watching him float over the city of Page in his helium-balloon rig.
The complex contraption had to receive FAA approval and included a couple dozen weather balloons, including one made of fiberglass. Blaine talked to his 9-year-old daughter Dessa during the flight, saying, "Wow, it's so beautiful. It feels like I'm floating." Blaine was too far off-course to reach his preordained landing zone, but he detached himself anyway and landed safely with the help of a parachute he'd put on during the flight. "Wow!" he exclaimed, "that was awesome!" and told Dessa, "I love you. This is all for you!" It was Blaine's first big live stunt since "Electrified: One Million Volts Always On" in 2012. He has also buried himself in a water tank for seven days, fasted for 44 days in a box, and stood on a 100-foot pillar for 35 hours, per the Arizona Republic. (Read more David Blaine stories.)