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105 Balloons Put Lawn Chair Pilot in Air
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Face Down @$$ UP
 
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Talking 105 Balloons Put Lawn Chair Pilot in Air - July 10, 2007, 01:55 PM



BEND, Ore. -
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.
Destination: Idaho.
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 from home.
"When you're a little kid and you're holding a helium balloon, it has to cross your mind," Couch told the Bend Bulletin.
"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."

Couch is the latest American to emulate Larry Walters _ who in 1982 rose three miles above Los Angeles in a lawn chair lifted by balloons. Walters had surprised an airline pilot, who radioed the control tower that he had just passed a guy in a lawn chair. Walters paid a $1,500 penalty for violating air traffic rules.
It was Couch's second flight.
In September, he got off the ground for six hours. Like Walters, he used a BB gun to pop the balloons, but he went into a rapid descent and eventually parachuted to safety.
This time, he was better prepared. The balloons had a new configuration, so it was easier to reach up and release a bit of helium instead of simply cutting off a balloon.
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 he said he even passed through clouds.
"It was beautiful _ beautiful," he told KTVZ-TV. He described the flight as mostly peaceful and serene, with occasional turbulence, like a hot-air balloon ride sitting down.
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.

Brandon Wilcox, owner of Professional Air, which charters and maintains planes at the Bend airport, said Thursday that Couch definitely did it. Wilcox said he flew a plane nearby while Couch traveled, and a passenger videotaped the flying lawn chair.
Whether Couch will take a third trip is up to his wife, and Susan Couch said she's thinking about saying no. But she said she was willing to go along with last weekend's trip.
"I know he'd be thinking about it more and more, it would always be on his mind," she said. "This way, at least he's fulfilled his dream."


"If brains were gas. You wouldnt have enough gas, to drive a piss-ants' motorcycle, half-way around a BB."
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Squid Rider 4 Life!!
 
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July 10, 2007, 01:58 PM

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Riding is like Sex. WEEE!
 
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July 10, 2007, 03:17 PM

I got balloons and a chair. Who's got Helium?


"Riding a race bike is an art - a thing that you do because you feel something inside."

"I don't like being famous - it is like a prison. And driving for Ferrari would make it far worse."

"I race to win. If I am on the bike or in a car it will always be the same."

"I'm Valentino Rossi. And I want to be a person, not an icon."

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B
It goes to 11.
 
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July 10, 2007, 03:20 PM

Hell, you're FULL of hot air.. who needs helium?


SV650s for SALE!!!
- 2007 SV650 Racebike-Superbike KWS/Thermosman suspension/Swenz bodywork/All GSXR Parts
- 2009 SV650 Streetbike Race blue with white stripe/No wrecks/fully faired with M4 full system

Shoot me a PM or talk to Nate (Nudist) if you're interested in purchase.
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Good Girl Gone Biker
 
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July 10, 2007, 03:28 PM

Not if you paid me $1000000000000000000000000000


Beatriz
BRG/W

QikEnuF: omg still talking. I regret my life.

yzfrone: and buell? ill chop my toes off and add it to my salad before I sit on one.

DarksideSW20: need varying degrees. beware of dog, beware of dangerous dog, beware of dog shooting bees out of its mouth...

NoVaGhost: Oops...bought a gixxer and the dumbassery set in quicker than i expected.... never made it home.


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Watch out kid! I'm in 1st
 
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July 10, 2007, 03:37 PM

Would need more then 105 ballons to lift my ass off the ground. Wonder how often he "watered the lawn" and what/who it landed on.


06 Kawi 650R Black
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PewPew
 
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July 10, 2007, 03:47 PM

interesting...


R.I.P. Eric "TheIrishGuy"

"Will you carry me down the aisle that final day
With your tears and cold hands shaking from the weight
When you lower me down beneath that sky of gray
Let the rain fall down and wash away your pain"


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Railin????
 
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July 10, 2007, 04:55 PM

This is almost like this Darwin honorable mention I heard about around 15 years ago:

http://darwinawards.com/stupid/stupid1998-11.html


-Apple
Quote:
Originally Posted by 8vgumby
Sorry, not all of us bobsledded out of our mother's crotch with a craftsmen tool set strapped to our foreheads.
RIP Eric Wynn (TheIrishGuy) I miss you brother!
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