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lawrocket

Lawn Chair Larry

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Reading disturbing news about planes flying into dropzones to cause problems led to my recall of this gem of a true story! See the attached pictures...

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(1982, California) Larry Walters of Los Angeles is one of the few to contend for the Darwin Awards and live to tell the tale. "I have fulfilled my 20-year dream," said Walters, a former truck driver for a company that makes TV commercials. "I'm staying on the ground. I've proved the thing works."

Larry's boyhood dream was to fly. But fates conspired to keep him from his dream. He joined the Air Force, but his poor eyesight disqualified him from the job of pilot. After he was discharged from the military, he sat in his backyard watching jets fly overhead.

He hatched his weather balloon scheme while sitting outside in his "extremely comfortable" Sears lawnchair. He purchased 45 weather balloons from an Army-Navy surplus store, tied them to his tethered lawnchair dubbed the Inspiration I, and filled the 4' diameter balloons with helium. Then he strapped himself into his lawnchair with some sandwiches, Miller Lite, and a pellet gun. He figured he would pop a few of the many balloons when it was time to descend.

Larry's plan was to sever the anchor and lazily float up to a height of about 30 feet above his back yard, where he would enjoy a few hours of flight before coming back down. But things didn't work out quite as Larry planned.

When his friends cut the cord anchoring the lawnchair to his Jeep, he did not float lazily up to 30 feet. Instead, he streaked into the LA sky as if shot from a cannon, pulled by the lift of 42 helium balloons holding 33 cubic feet of helium each. He didn't level off at 100 feet, nor did he level off at 1000 feet. After climbing and climbing, he leveled off at 16,000 feet.

At that height he felt he couldn't risk shooting any of the balloons, lest he unbalance the load and really find himself in trouble. So he stayed there, drifting cold and frightened with his beer and sandwiches, for more than 14 hours. He crossed the primary approach corridor of LAX, where Trans World Airlines, United, and Delta Airlines pilots radioed in reports of a man in a lawn chair hanging under some balloons at 13,000 feet.

Eventually he gathered the nerve to shoot a few balloons, and slowly descended. The hanging tethers tangled and caught in a power line, blacking out a Long Beach neighborhood for 20 minutes. Larry climbed to safety, where he was arrested by waiting members of the LAPD. As he was led away in handcuffs, a reporter dispatched to cover the daring rescue asked him why he had done it. Larry replied nonchalantly, "A man can't just sit around."

The Federal Aviation Administration was not amused. Safety Inspector Neal Savoy said, "We know he broke some part of the Federal Aviation Act, and as soon as we decide which part it is, a charge will be filed."

Note: Larry commited suicide in 1993.


My wife is hotter than your wife.

larry.jpg

larry2.jpg

larry3.jpg

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Yup, Jimmy, he was a misunderstood genius.
This is known as cluster ballooning nowadays, and its growing in popularity....and yes, they have been jumped! B|

Attached are a couple of snaps from Simon Ward of Mike Howard over Bristol, UK....300 off 3 ft helium ballons.

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He who receives an idea from me, receives instruction himself without lessening mine; as he who lights his taper at mine, receives light without darkening me. Thomas Jefferson

sward 1.jpeg

sward2.jpeg

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This is known as cluster ballooning nowadays . . .



Just out of curiosity, if two people were to do that and also join the Mile-High Club during the flight . . .

. . . would that be a Cluster F*ck? ;)
quade -
The World's Most Boring Skydiver

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Every so often KTLA will do a show about old news stories. Lawn Chair Larry is always featured.



Hi G

MR Lawn Chair Larry will never be forgotten.:)
The balloon boy stunt is what it was and will be soon forgotten.

R.

Take that db cooper groupies
One Jump Wonder

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