It’s a bird! It's a plane! It's a ... guy in a lawn chair? (+video)(Read article summary)
A Canadian man is facing criminal mischief charges after floating over Calgary in a chair supported by about 100 helium balloons.
A Canadian man has found himself in trouble with police after he attached more than 100 helium balloons to a lawn chair and floated into the skies over Calgary, Alberta.
Daniel Boria launched himself into the air on Sunday evening as a publicity stunt to promote his company, All Clean Natural. He intended to travel over his hometown and ultimately land in the Calgary Stampede, an annual rodeo and exhibition being held near his city, Today reports.
"I'd estimate I was going up about 500 to 1,000 feet in a minute," Mr. Boria told CNN. "I was looking down on the city and watching 747s and planes approaching the local airport," he said.
Boria, who says he is a skydiver, missed his landing zone and injured himself when he hit the ground.
"He had no control device on the balloons and was really just traveling by the grace of the wind," Derek Mojaher, Boria's business partner, told ABC News.
Upon landing, police arrested him and charged him with one count of mischief causing danger to life. He has since been released.
While the incident is chilling, it isn't the first cluster ballooning drama. In 1982, Lawrence Walters, also known as Lawn Chair Larry, pulled a similar stunt in San Pedro, California. Mr. Walters became a sensation when he tied 42 weather balloons to a lawn chair and took a 45-minute ride aloft to 16,000 feet. Adrift and out of control, he got cold, shot some balloons out and crashed into a power line. He was fined $1,500 by the Federal Aviation Administration.
Walters was lucky. In 2008, a Catholic priest in Brazil disappeared in a cluster ballooning accident after taking off in a chair attached to 1,000 balloons. According to reports, Adelir Antônio de Carli was able to reach an altitude of 20,000 feet before losing contact with authorities. Pieces of balloon were later reported floating in the Atlantic Ocean off the Brazilian coast. Father Carli, an experienced skydiver, undertook the exercise to raise money for a spiritual rest area for truck drivers in the Parana port city of Paranagua.