Man flies 190 odd miles with baloons and a garden chair!

Discussion in 'The Intelligence Cell' started by londonirish, Jul 11, 2007.

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  1. TOP MAN!!! Its been done before, but what a geezer IMHO

    See HERE

    or below without pics

  2. I really thought this was one of those urban legend type deals of the kind you read in the Darwin Awards! What a lunatic!! :D
  3. old_fat_and_hairy

    old_fat_and_hairy LE Book Reviewer Reviews Editor

    So, it was a chair and a couch
  4. TheIronDuke

    TheIronDuke LE Book Reviewer

    I read about the original nutter on the Darwins. It was reported (untrue sadly) that a 747 pilot en route to LAX radioed in to report an armed man flying a deck chair at 16,000 feet and carrying a six pack.

    The true tale from Wiki...

    The story goes that Walters had always dreamed of flying but was unable to become a pilot in the United States Air Force due to bad eyesight. He first came up with the idea of using weather balloons to fly at age 13, when seeing them hanging from the ceiling of an Army Navy surplus store. His original plan was to attach a couple of helium-filled weather balloons to his lawnchair, then cut the anchor and float above his backyard at a height of about 30 feet for a few hours, finally using a pellet gun to pop the balloons one after another to float gently to the ground again.

    Preparation and launch

    Walters and his girlfriend, Carol Van Deusen, purchased 45 four-foot weather balloons and helium tanks at California Toy Time Balloons. To avoid suspicion, they used a forged requisition from his employer, FilmFair Studios, saying the balloons were for a television commercial shoot. Walters then attached the balloons to his lawnchair, filled them with helium, donned a parachute, and strapped himself to the chair with a pellet gun (with which he intended to shoot the balloons to lower himself), a CB radio, sandwiches, soft drinks, and a camera. After that, things did not work out as he had planned. When his friends cut the cord that had tied his lawnchair to his Jeep, Walters' lawnchair, which was planned to rise 100 feet above the ground, quickly rose to a height of about 16,000 feet (3 miles); he did not dare shoot any balloons, fearing that he might unbalance the load. He drifted over Long Beach and crossed the primary approach corridor of Long Beach airport.

    After spending about 45 minutes in the sky, though, he came to the conclusion that he would have to shoot a few balloons after all; doing so caused him to descend slowly again, until the balloon's dangling cables got caught in a power line, causing a blackout in a Long Beach neighborhood for 20 minutes, but also allowing Walters to climb down to the ground again.

    Arrest and notoriety

    He was immediately arrested by waiting members of the LAPD; when asked by a reporter why he had done it, Walters replied "a man can't just sit around." He was later fined US$4,000 by the Federal Aviation Administration for violations of the Federal Aviation Act, including operating a "civil aircraft for which there is not currently in effect an airworthiness certificate" and operating an aircraft within an airport traffic area "without establishing and maintaining two-way communications with the control tower." Walters appealed, and the fine was reduced to US$1,500.[1]

    Walters also received the top prize from the Bonehead Club of Dallas for his adventure, as well as invitations to The Tonight Show and Late Night with David Letterman and an honorable mention in 1982's Darwin Awards. His lawn-chair balloon was also featured in an episode of Mythbusters.
  5. Biped

    Biped LE Book Reviewer

    Good man!
  6. There are another set of awards, IIRC, the Dodo award, for doing something so silly it will make you extinct.

    IIRC there was a chap in Arkansas or somewhere, who strapped a commercial/industrial solid fuel rocket to the roof of his Corvette Stingray in the 70s I believe. The problem with this type of rocket is that you cannot stop it or regulate the power.

    He took the machine up to about 100mph or more, on a desserted desert highway, and then lit the touch paper....

    The 'Vette took off, spiralling madly like a bullet, and embedded itself, about a hundred feet up, in one of those big cliff things you see in cowboy movies....
  7. "...violations of the Federal Aviation Act, including operating a "civil aircraft for which there is not currently in effect an airworthiness certificate" "

    Quality! :D Well done that man!
  8. So let me get this straight a guy called "Walter" wanted to be a pilot.. but had no qualifications/training so nearly killed himself trying to show his girlfriend he could actually fly?
    Was he LOF too?
  9. I would have liked to have been a fly on the wall when he arrived at the FAA and showed them the "aircraft" he wanted checked for airworthiness. Good drills on taking a chute though, almost makes Darwin Award a non-starter. Presumably he packed it himself?? :twisted: