Air Ballooning

In 1982, a 33 year old Californian truck driver, Larry Walters, had a dream - he wanted to soar aloft and view the world from the comfort of his lawn chair. To this end, he went down to the local army surplus store and bought 45 six foot weather balloons. He then attached them to his chair and filled them with helium.

A half dozen of his friends held the chair down by its tethers and allowed Larry to slowly rise upward. He had only planned to rise to about 100 feet, but the tethers broke.

Larry went flying upward into the atmosphere. But, he was well equipped for such emergencies. He had a parachute, a CB radio, and a ball bearing gun with him. It wasn't long before Larry was on the CB yelling for help. He just happened to fly into the middle of the air traffic pattern for the Los Angeles International Airport, and TWA and Delta pilots spotted him at an elevation of 16,000 feet. Weighing up the situation, he started shooting out the weather balloons with his BB gun, but accidentally dropped the gun overboard.

Eventually, the chair drifted back down to Earth. His only control was the gallon jugs of water that he attached to the side of his 'aircraft' for ballast. On his way down however, the ropes became entangled in power lines, causing a 20 minute blackout in the Long Beach area. Larry's chair hung at five feet off the ground, so he jumped out safely.

But his nightmare was far from over. He got to appear on the Tonight Show and Late Night with David Letterman, but that didn't compare with the problems that the U.S. government were about to create in Larry's life.

The problem was, Larry didn't fly in a government-approved aircraft, and had therefore broken the law. The Federal Aviation Administration was not amused, and threatened him with fines in excess of $10,000, which were reduced after a long battle to $1500.

But the battle had apparently been too much for Larry, who holds the unofficial altitude record for clustered flight, to handle, and he committed suicide in 1993. No note was ever found.

Jokes by Category > True Stories jokes

Next Joke