PDA

View Full Version : Potential "Darwin Award" Winner Plans 300 Mile Balloon/Lawn Chair Ride



chefcraig
07.03.08, 09:33 AM
This did not work out so spectacularly for the last guy that tried it (Larry Walters, or "Lawn Chair Larry"), who ended up killing himself afterward...http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Larry_Walters

Oregon lawn-chair pilot plans 300-mile flight

By JEFF BARNARD, Associated Press Writer

GRANTS PASS, Ore. - Like many Americans, Kent Couch plans to settle into a lawn chair during the Fourth of July weekend. Unlike everyone else, his feet will dangle high above the lawn.

Couch is set to launch himself skyward on Saturday aboard his lawn chair, which will be attached to 150 giant latex party balloons filled with helium. His goal: to fly more than 300 miles from his gas station in central Oregon to somewhere in Idaho, preferably Boise.

It will be his third attempt to fly by the seat of his pants to Idaho he doesn't wear a seat belt.

"The first time, nobody wanted to be involved at all," Couch told The Associated Press in a phone interview Wednesday. "They were thinking I was a lunatic, I mean a balloon-atic. My friends shunned me. But this time it's different. "

He now has a corporate sponsor, a team of volunteers and his wife Susan's blessing.

Couch, 48, was inspired to go up, up and away by the 1982 lawn-chair flight over Los Angeles by truck driver Larry Walters, whose adventure brought him a measure of fame, but also a $1,500 fine for violating air traffic rules.

Couch made his first ascent in 2006, floating for six hours before shooting out a few balloons with his pellet gun to descend. He apparently shot out too many balloons because he had to use his parachute to land. He never found the lawn chair.

Last year, he flew 193 miles before running low on helium and landing in a patch of sagebrush. A gust of wind blew away that chair. It was found in May by a ranchers checking the fence line on their eastern Oregon property.

Couch has appeared on ABC's "Good Morning America" and NBC's "Tonight Show with Jay Leno." He has enjoyed his time in the limelight, but said he isn't flying a lawn chair for fame and fortune.

Cluster ballooning is inherently risky, but the ride is generally carefree, he said.

"When you're up there, there's not much stress," he said. "There's a little stress on the way down. A few navigational issues you've got to deal with. But there's nothing, really, I can do but enjoy it."

With corporate sponsorship this year, he says he's much better equipped and hopes to cross the Wallowa Mountains in northeastern Oregon and make it to Idaho and beyond. He figures the rig costs about $6,000, mostly for helium.

The balloons are tied to a framework attached to a reclining lawn chair. He is using 15-gallon barrels as a water ballast, which he can drain to gain altitude.

"If I get up around 15,000 feet, I'll pop a couple balloons," Couch said. "If I get too low, I'll release some water. All the way you go it's like a seesaw, up and down, up and down. You can't feel yourself going up and down. You have to look at the altimeter."

Couch will have a finger clip to monitor the oxygen level in his blood and a tank of oxygen should he venture too high. He'll have a GPS tracking device attached to his chair and another in his pocket, allowing his location to be monitored on his Web site.

He'll bring duct tape and zip ties for emergency repairs, extra clothes and a blanket to ward off the cold at higher altitudes. He'll munch on beef jerky, boiled eggs and chocolate.

"You don't want to eat much," he said. "There's no bathrooms up there on that chair."

If all goes well this year, the lawn-chair pilot says he'd like to fly across the English Channel and even Australia.

"I don't mind them thinking I'm nuts," Couch said. "I've done my research and I feel plenty confident."


http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080703/ap_on_fe_st/flying_lawn_chair;_ylt=Au7737.pJM1WIoKwPuYBVYOs0NU E

seenbad
07.03.08, 09:53 AM
I only wish I had though of doing it first. This guys rad.:thumb:

VanHalenRules
07.03.08, 10:32 AM
I am typing on the internet.


:wtf:

loveevhsince79
07.03.08, 10:35 AM
I am typing on the internet.
im in comunitee centr.
Is this a info. box/ board ?

Do ye folks grow organics/homegrowncottons

I am not surte I have the rightt website, errrrr

Ya think??? :funny:

VanHalenRules
07.03.08, 10:46 AM
Ya think??? :funny:

Perhaps we are to believe thas this person is participating in the Amish teenage right of Rumspringa?

VanHalenRules
07.03.08, 10:56 AM
Not doubting you, but how is it that you found this website?

onefootoutthedoor
07.03.08, 11:00 AM
Whatever. He just found the internet but has already learned how to post a link to a picture? I'll call BS on this one.

VanHalenRules
07.03.08, 11:03 AM
Whatever. He just found the internet but has already learned how to post a link to a picture? I'll call BS on this one.

Perhaps Bill Curtis is helping him out?
8U2NOhQlQR4

onefootoutthedoor
07.03.08, 11:05 AM
I never thought of that.;)

chefcraig
07.03.08, 11:06 AM
Back to thread's initial thrust...

http://img58.imageshack.us/img58/4145/alawnhl9.jpg (http://imageshack.us)

http://img90.imageshack.us/img90/1533/balloonyb0.png (http://imageshack.us)

loveevhsince79
07.03.08, 11:09 AM
Actually, that's quite beautiful. It's almost like a child's fantasy come true, like the Curious George book when George floats away on the balloons.

VanHalenRules
07.03.08, 11:12 AM
Back to thread's initial thrust...

http://img58.imageshack.us/img58/4145/alawnhl9.jpg (http://imageshack.us)

http://img90.imageshack.us/img90/1533/balloonyb0.png (http://imageshack.us)


Not this Linker!:scared: I get scared climbing to ladder to clean off the pine needles off the valley on our roof.;)

seenbad
07.03.08, 11:18 AM
Yah, well. My english roomate took me cruisin' and boozin'. Tommarow we go to Disney.How the English live lives so rushed and "hectic" he helps us assocate. I like the dutch van halen brothers for so many years...

Er is weenich ad.this is my english roomate who filled in my registration information. His nameis Clay Walker.I will show pictures soon as charged up and new 'roomate works it in good.


Well bro, it's great to have you here but you're posting in a discussion about a lawn chair with balloons tied to it. This isn't a meet and greet discussion.

Go here (click on the blue letters ---> ) http://www.vhlinks.com/vbforums/new-to-the-board-introduce-yourself-here-t39956.html

Thanks.

Filthy 150
07.03.08, 11:27 AM
Back to thread's initial thrust...

http://img58.imageshack.us/img58/4145/alawnhl9.jpg (http://imageshack.us)

http://img90.imageshack.us/img90/1533/balloonyb0.png (http://imageshack.us)



That's awesome!

I wonder where 'someone' would find balloons like that.




And I really wonder what the hell is up with the tools that have 'just showed up' lately.

loveevhsince79
07.03.08, 11:30 AM
And I really wonder what the hell is up with the tools that have 'just showed up' lately.

I guess we're just lucky that way. :D

VanHalenRules
07.03.08, 11:34 AM
And I really wonder what the hell is up with the tools that have 'just showed up' lately.


Good Lord, what did I do now?;) :D

ZeoBandit
07.03.08, 01:14 PM
He needs a rocket on that thing so he can go faster. Then he will be a true Darwin award nominee!

VanHalenRules
07.03.08, 01:22 PM
He needs a rocket on that thing so he can go faster. Then he will be a true Darwin award nominee!

Couple of JATO bottles would work well.:headbang:

Daisy Hill
07.03.08, 02:24 PM
"There's a little stress on the way down" LOL! well, yeah, I'd assume so! :scared:

I've tried Paragliding from a boat, and it's so peaceful, but this guy's going to cross mountains? He's going to need some extra balloons to get enough lift for those big balls he's got.

Perhaps we finally have the answer to failing airlines, rising air fare costs and all those pesky screeners at the airport... it's a do it yourself solution.

voivod
07.05.08, 06:36 PM
His last attempt...

http://www.vhlinks.com/vbforums/man-flies-193-miles-while-sitting-in-lawnchair-p806873.html

timmac
07.07.08, 08:08 AM
Well, looks like he made it....

http://www.usatoday.com/news/offbeat/2008-07-05-lawn-chair_N.htm

http://i.usatoday.net/news/_photos/2008/07/05/lawn-chairx.jpg
CAMBRIDGE, Idaho (AP) Using his trusty BB gun to help him return to Earth, a 48-year-old gas station owner flew a lawn chair rigged with helium-filled balloons more than 200 miles across the Oregon desert Saturday, landing in a field in Idaho.

LLFHS
07.07.08, 12:17 PM
I don't care who ya are......that's balls.

ZeoBandit
07.07.08, 01:15 PM
Now, how many copy cats are going to try this?

LLFHS
07.07.08, 02:35 PM
Now, how many copy cats are going to try this?

I can think of some co-workers I wish would try.

onefootoutthedoor
07.07.08, 02:36 PM
LOL!:funny:

mistere
07.08.08, 12:30 AM
I dunno. I knew he was nuts when he said "preferably, Boise". :wtf: