(January 10, 2017) Stuart Reynolds brings a timely 2017 challenge…
Thirty-five years ago the media outlets in the United States carried a most unique story about a 33-year-old man called Larry Walters. Perhaps approaching an early mid-life crisis, Larry decided he wanted a new perspective on life where he lived.
He came up with an ingenious plan – he purchased 42 weather balloons which he inflated, having friends attach them to his securely anchored lawn chair.
Along with some refreshments for the journey he also took a pellet gun, so he could shoot each balloon as he would make his descent. Walters thought the balloons would only take him a few hundred feet in the air – the reality was that they launched him some 15,000 feet and into the flight traffic pattern for the nearby Los Angeles International Airport!
Realising his dilemma, he frantically started to shoot the balloons, but in his panic dropped his gun. After two hours of ‘flight’ it finally took an Air Force helicopter to bring him down.
When the ‘Lawn Chair Pilot’ (as he became known as) was safely back on terra firma and charged by the police, he faced the music of the news reporters. He was asked, ‘Were you scared?’ His response was, ‘Yes, I was, but wonderfully so!’
When asked ‘Why did you do it?’ he replied ‘Because you can’t just sit there.’