On July 2nd 1982 Larry Walters, a 33-year old American truck driver, reached the point where he’d simply had enough of just sitting around! – So this is what he did: He rigged 42 six-foot weather balloons to an aluminium garden chair and took to the skies for the ride of his life! Walters filled the balloons with helium, strapped on a parachute, grabbed his camera and a pellet-gun and ‘took off’. He was airborne for all of 45 minutes and climbed to at least 16,000 feet before eventually the cold got to him, so he shot some of the balloons with his pellet gun and finally came back down to earth, with a bump!
Larry Walters didn’t have any equipment with him to calculate his altitude but we know for certain that he climbed to at least 16,000 feet. – How? – Because astonished jetliner pilots from both Delta Airlines and Trans World Airlines independently reported seeing a flying garden chair with a man in it, waving to them!
Walters became an overnight celebrity but it wasn’t all fun and frolics: He was also fined for his reckless act! When he was asked by the judge why he had done it, he replied, “It was something that I just had to do, and I just couldn’t sit around any longer.”