Truck Driver Takes to Skies in Lawn Chair
From The New York Times 3 July 1982
LONG BEACH, Calif, July 2 (AP) A truck driver with 45 weather balloons rigged to a lawn chair took a 45-minute ride aloft to 16,000 feet today before he got cold, shot some balloons out and crashed into a power line, the police said.
"I know it sounds strange, but it's true," Lieut. Rod Mickelson said after he stopped laughing. "The guy just filled up the balloons with helium, strapped on a parachute, grabbed a BB gun and took off."
The man was identified as Larry Walters, 33 years old, of North Hollywood. He was not injured.
The Federal Aviation Administration was not amused. A regional safety inspector, Neal Savoy, said the flying lawn chair was spotted by Trans World Airlines and Delta Airlines jetliner pilots at 16,000 feet above sea level.
"We know he broke some part of the Federal Aviation Act, and as soon as we decide which part it is, some type of charge will be filed," Mr. Savoy said. "If he had a pilot's license, we'd suspend that. But he doesn't."