Lawnchair Larry

Photo Of The Day

Lawnchair Larry: Larry Walters is barely visible as his helium balloon-rigged aluminum lawnchair drifts skyward after tether lines broke during what was supposed to be a short flight, on July 2, 1982. The flight turned into a 45-minute venture during which Walters was spotted by pilots of TWA and Delta jetliners at an altitude of 16,000 feet.

Lawnchair Larry: Larry Walters is barely visible as his helium balloon-rigged aluminium lawnchair drifts skyward after tether lines broke during what was supposed to be a short flight, on July 2, 1982. The flight turned into a 45-minute venture during which Walters was spotted by pilots of TWA and Delta jetliners at an altitude of 16,000 feet.

LawnChair Larry

You have to love the heart and spirit of true free-thinkers. Instead of ?I can?t,? they are the ones who always consider the ?why not??

That was the mindset of Larry Walters, a North Hollywood, Calif., trucker who, in 1982 at age 33, captured the attention of people who dare to dream big. But being a true pioneer has its price: He also captured the attention of law enforcement and the Federal Aviation Administration.

Born Lawrence Richard Walters in April of 1949, Larry had always dreamed of flying.? At the age of 13, on a visit to an Army-Navy surplus store, he saw several empty weather balloons hanging from the store’s ceiling, and thought that it would be an interesting way to attain flight.? But a more practical way, learning to fly an airplane, was much more reasonable.? Nevertheless, the method was filed away in Walters’ subconscious.

When he came of age, he enlisted in the United States Air Force, with the hope of finally learning to fly.? However, it was discovered that he had poor eyesight – killing his flight career before it could even begin.

After leaving the Air Force, Walters began to hatch his plan.? It called for him to attach a couple of helium-filled weather balloons to a lawn chair, then cut away an anchor, and float above his backyard at a height of about 30 feet for a couple of? hours.? The flight would end when he would use a pellet gun to pop the balloons, one after another, to gently return to the earth below.

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