Have lawn chair, shotgun, and 90 balloons, will travel
Have you ever wondered how far you could go if you weren’t held back by pesky little things like gravity and common sense? The answer is far. Of course you’ll probably die on the way, but that’s just details.
A daredevil named Erik Roner recently decided to take a page out of the Pixar film Up, according to Sploid. If you haven’t seen the movie, you should do so as soon as possible. Just be sure to bring some tissues with you. The story follows an old man who decides to escape his life and travel the world, after losing his wife. He fills his house up with balloons and simply floats away.
Roner went a little lower key. Rather than filling a house, he bought 50 tanks of helium, 90 balloons, and a lawn chair. You can probably figure out the rest. If you’re wondering what ingenious method Roner used to descend once he reached incredible heights, well… he sort of took his life into his own hands.
The ascent reached a height of 8,000 feet, according to the video. To descend, Roner does something that borders on insanity. He begins to shoot the balloons. With a shotgun. Once the lawn chair inevitably breaks away, Roner then kicks free and parachutes down – while still holding the shotgun. What could possibly go wrong?
This isn’t the first time someone has used balloons to float away, far from it. There have been a few recorded flights, the first of which dates back to 1982, when Larry Walters said what the hell and gave it a go. Walters hit an altitude of 15,000 feet as he floated over Los Angeles, and into LAX airspace. He used a pellet gun to descend, but dropped it along the way. He eventually drifted down into power lines, knocking out the power throughout a Long Beach, CA neighborhood. Walters climbed down, and was cheerfully greeted by an assembled group of police.
Walters was arrested, but no one was sure exactly what to charge him with. After what was probably a fun little session at the DA’s office, he was fined $4,000 for violating Federal Aviation Regulations. He appealed that, and had the amount reduced to $1,500.
Roner’s stunt was regulated and monitored, and it was as safe as a guy with a shotgun floating 8,000 feet straight up on a lawn chair covered in balloons can be. The whole thing was sponsored by Rockstar, which is also fairly telling.
Rockstar’s rival Red Bull recently and famously sponsored a high tech aerial skydive from the upper stratosphere. Test subject Felix Baumgartner wore a suit made for space travel, composed of cutting edge materials. On the way down he broke the sound barrier. It was a technological feat.
Rockstar, on the other hand, sent a guy up in a lawn chair with a shotgun.
Anyway, check out the video below, and do not try this at home! And if you do, don’t forget to film it.