Lawn Chair Pilot

I have always wanted to fly. I guess my love of birds points to this. Many nights I have dreams of soaring among the mountain tops, light and free of my body, catching a current just like an eagle does. My biggest dream as a child was strapping a jet pack on my back and just taking off.

So when I saw this story, I responded with awe. Others I showed it to viewed it with the idea that the fellow is crazy, but I was simply impressed.

It turns out that 47-year-old Kent Couch strapped 105 helium balloons to a lawn chair a couple of Saturdays ago and took off from his home in Bend, Oregon. He drifted east for 9 hours, using bags of water as ballast. His family and pets followed him from below in a car. After he traveled 193 miles, he used a BB gun to pop the number of balloons needed to make a soft landing.

He climbed at about 800 feet per minute,  to a cruising altitude that averaged 11,000 feet (the mountain range seen here is The Three Sisters).

“When you’re lying 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.”

photo by Pete Erickson/The Bulletin



Filed under Life, News

8 responses to “Lawn Chair Pilot

  1. Les

    Have you seen that film “Danny Deckchair”
    Its a great movie…youd love it

  2. Yes, I agree with Les: it’s a great movie and put me in mind of it too! 🙂

  3. A bit crazy but this story definitely has an awe factor too!

  4. Cool, but I would never do it!

  5. We have Danny Deckchair (thanks Dweezel for remembering the name for me), I will loan it to you Sonja when I see ya on Friday, you must watch it!!!
    And Three Sisters is an amazing sight from any angle, but his had to be spectacular if a bit scarry coming down. My last camping trip was there and I remember walking across the sands near the lakes nearby and suddenly realizing there were little frogs in the sand beneath my feet (they would not get hurt, simply sink into the sand) it was really cool, and we sat in our truck and watch as the rain came across the lake and passed over our truck and then went over us and disappeared… amazing! Thank you for sharing this story, it brought back a very favorite memory!

  6. Oh, that’s great, I hope you enjoy the movie Sonja!

    That sure sounds like a lovely holiday that Candace described. Oregon is a beautiful place. Though I prefer seeing it from the ground! 🙂

  7. Sonja (jackalope) says:
    I shall definitely see this movie. I had actually never heard of it. Candace told me that the guy who stars in it is the same guy who played Hugh Grant’s roommate in “Notting Hill” (the tall blond guy who wore a “marblebag” for much of the film).

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