The Crazy News Guy

Video: Up and away! Man goes skyward in lawn chair.

In 2007, Air travel, amazing story, American News, Humans, Life, Odd News, People, Places, stunt, Uncategorized, United States, USA on July 12, 2007 at 1:50 am

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He’s either crazy or knows how to live life to the fullest.

A 47-year-old man from Oregon, USA, has bravely taken to the skies in his own lawn chair in an act known as Cluster Ballooning– carrying a parachute, snacks and some water as ballast, reports CNN.

Last weekend, Kent Couch settled down in his lawn chair with some snacks — and a parachute. Attached to his lawn chair were 105 large helium balloons.

With instruments to measure his altitude and speed, a global positioning system device in his pocket, and about four plastic bags holding five gallons of water each to act as ballast — he could turn a spigot, release water and rise — Couch headed into the Oregon sky.

Nearly nine hours later, the 47-year-old gas station owner came back to earth in a farmer’s field near Union, short of Idaho but about 193 miles (310 kilometers) from home.

“When you’re a little kid and you’re holding a helium balloon, it has to cross your mind,” Couch told local journalists.

“When you’re laying in the grass on a summer day, and you see the clouds, you wish you could jump on them,” he said. “This is as close as you can come to jumping on them. It’s just like that.”

He took off at 6:06 a.m. Saturday after kissing his wife, Susan, goodbye and petting his Chihuahua, Isabella. As he made about 25 miles an hour, a three-car caravan filled with friends, family and the dog followed him from below.

Couch said he could hear cattle and children and even passed through clouds.

“It was beautiful — beautiful.”

Couch decided to stop when he was down to a gallon of water and just eight pounds of ballast. Concerned about the rugged terrain outside La Grande, including Hells Canyon, he decided it was time to land.

He popped enough balloons to set the craft down, although he suffered rope burns. But after he jumped out, the wind grabbed his chair, with his video recorder, and the remaining balloons and swept them away. He’s hoping to get them back some day.

See more from local TV news KTVZ.COM

Local news story “Balloon Man”.

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