A Man Flew in a Chair on 45 Balloons But Got Arrested

… They cut the cord and seconds later, the man sitting on a lawn chair tied to a balloon cluster was soaring up among the clouds. This sounds like some kind of Up-style fairytale, but, believe it or not, this story actually happened for real in 1982!

Once upon a time, in 1949 to be more precise, a boy named Larry Walters was born in Los Angeles, California. He dreamed of the sky, but his dream to be a US Air Force pilot was not destined to come true because of his poor eyesight. So Larry became a truck driver and lived like any other person in San Pedro. But his love for the sky and his dream to fly didn’t go away though. Larry remembered an idea that occurred to him when he was 13. Back then, he first saw weather balloons hanging off the ceiling at a military store…

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TIMESTAMPS:
Preparations for the flight 1:15
How many balloons he needed 1:56
Things are getting out of control 2:43
How he caused a massive power outage 4:00
Why Larry was arrested 4:24
Larry and pop culture 5:04
Cluster ballooning 6:46
The longest duration flight by helium balloons 8:33

#ClusterBallooning #LarryWalters #brightside

Music by Epidemic Sound

SUMMARY:
– To figure out how many balloons he’d need for the experiment, he had to have done some calculations.
– To lift a person weighing 175 pounds, you’d need a whopping 5,700 balloons! But if you get 10-foot army surplus store balloons instead, you’d only need like 8 of those to fly.
– Larry was true to his dream, and went for weather balloons instead. Together with his then-girlfriend, he bought 45 weather balloons and helium tanks.
– So, “Lawnchair Larry”, as he was nicknamed later, strapped on a parachute, commanded his friends to cut the cord tied to his Jeep, and soared into the sky.
– The wind was blowing strong in his face, and the speed he was moving wasn’t ideal for stopping.
– Things were getting out of control: Larry was way higher, moving way faster, and going way further than he planned.
– The balloons that got tangled on the power lines in Long Beach caused a massive power outage that lasted 20 minutes.
– Long Beach authorities arrested him, but soon let him go with a fine of $4,000.
– After his beautiful flight, “Lawnchair Larry” appeared on the Tonight Show and Late Night With David Letterman.
– To top it all off, there was even an episode of SpongeBob SquarePants “The Sponge Who Could Fly” inspired by the story.
– Larry Walters might not have become the most successful motivational speaker, but he sure motivated quite a few people to follow his example.
– He inspired a whole extreme sport named cluster ballooning. Its fans strap themselves in a harness and attach themselves to rubber balloons filled with helium to fly.
– The Guinness Book of World Records currently features the longest duration flight by helium balloons that lasted 13 hours, 36 minutes, and 57 seconds.

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