Pair lifts off in tandem lawn chair balloon flight

Associated Press
Oregon gas station owner Kent Couch and Iraqi adventurer Fareed Lafta lift off Saturday, July 14, 2012, from Couch's gas station in Bend, Ore., as they attempt to fly some 360 miles to Montana. The flight is a warm-up for a future flight planned in Iraq. (AP Photo/Jeff Barnard)

BEND, Ore. (AP) — An Oregon gas station owner and an Iraqi adventurer trying to fly from Central Oregon to Montana have been forced to abort their flight to Montana due to thunderstorms.

Kent Couch and Fareed Lafta took off Saturday morning from Couch's gas station in Bend, Ore.

Winds first took them about 30 miles north, then pushed them back south, before sending them east, the direction they wanted to go.

But about six hours into the flight, flight organizer Mark Knowles said thunderstorms were forcing them to land.

A website tracker showed them near the town of Prineville, about 30 miles northeast of their starting point.