World

Man takes to the sky on lawn chair tied to 110 giant helium balloons

A Canadian man tied 110 giant helium-filled balloons to a lawn chair, strapped a parachute on his back and set sail over Calgary city in the province of Alberta.

Daniel Booria, 26, had intended to steer his flying lawn chair over the Calgary Stampede, the city's annual rodeo and festival that attracts over a million visitors, and parachute onto the grounds.

But he was blown off course and jumped on a field nearly 2km west of his intended destination.

His antics on Sunday evening (July 5) were meant as a publicity stunt to advertise his company, All Clean Natural, which sells cleaning products.

Booria sprained his ankle while landing and was met by police officers who arrested him. He has been charged with one count of mischief causing danger to life.

But the man does not regret his actions one bit.

"It was the most fun thing I've ever done," he told the Calgary Sun newspaper.

He told CBC: "At one point I was looking up at the balloons, they were popping, the chair was shaking and I was looking down at my feet dangling through the clouds at a 747 flight taking off and a few landing.

"It was incredible. It was the most surreal experience you can ever imagine. I was just by myself on a C$20 lawn chair up in the sky above the clouds."

 

 

 

Booria told CNN he originally wanted to rent a plane or helicopter to fly over the Calgary Stampede, but was turned down as there was a no-fly zone policy over the event.

Inspired by the Disney film Up, he decided to create his own aerial device instead.

He paid C$20 (S$21) for the lawn chair, C$13 for each of the 110 balloons and C$80 for each balloon to be filled with helium.

That puts the cost at more than C$10,000.

Said Booria: "You can spend the same marketing dollars on a billboard or a commercial or you can fly a balloon up in the air and jump out. It just seems like more fun, right?" 

How high did it go?

Officials with the Calgary International Airport said the flying chair reached at least about 8,000 to 10,000 feet (2,440m to 3,050m), reported Global News.

The abandoned chair was later found about 65km south of the city.

Police said the charge of mischief was in relation to the chair, which could have hit someone when it fell from the sky after the balloons popped, reported CBC.

Inspector Kyle Grant said: "When you are taking people's safety into account, especially when you are talking about the Stampede – hundreds of thousands of people who are on the grounds in a given day – that's not something that any justice will take lightly at all."

Sources: Global News, CBC, CNN, Reuters, Gizmodo

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