A Calgary man tied 110 helium balloons to a lawn chair and took off to draw attention to his cleaning products company, a stunt that pulled in massive media coverage.
Daniel Boria had originally planned to jump out of the lawn chair and land into the Calgary Stampede, but went wayward because of the winds and ended up touching ground in an industrial field. Other than spraining his ankle, he didn’t sustain any grievous injuries.
As reported by CBC News, Boria said, “It was the most surreal experience you can ever imagine. I was just by myself on a $20 lawn chair up in the sky above the clouds.”
However, the police criticized Boria for the stunt.
“I don’t think any publicity stunt is worth your life, nor obviously the life or property of somebody else,” Insp. Kyle Grant said.
Boria was arrested by the police in Calgary on one count of mischief causing danger to life after he landed.
Boria told the Toronto Star, “I was sitting in a lawn chair looking down through the clouds at 747 airplanes and looking up to a cluster of helium balloons. I rose to a certain altitude and the winds got pretty intense. I was somersaulting out the chair and it felt like minus 30. I watched below as the stampede and my dream drifted away.”
Grant added that the chair hadn’t landed on earth.
He said, “At this point, we have no reports of anybody finding anything or anybody being injured, but it’s a big concern for us, and I don’t think it’s something he took into account.”
The stunt was reminiscent of the movie “Up,” in which an old man ties his house to several balloons and flies his house away.
According to Boria’s initial plan, which he devised two months ago, he intended to pay a plane or helicopter service to fly him over the Calgary Stampede. However, his request was denied as there was a no fly zone over the grounds of the Stampede; prompting him to formulate a plan which he ultimately executed.
Overall, Boria paid $10,000 for the stunt. The wheelchair cost him $19.99, each balloon $13, and filling them up with balloons cost $80 each, according to CNN.
He finally took off Sunday evening.
“I’d estimate I was going up about 500 to 1,000 feet in a minute,” he said. “I was looking down on the city and watching 747s and planes approaching the local airport.”
He sustained a few cuts as a result.
He said, “A guy was driving by and was going to give me a ride.” However, afterwards “a police officer arrived and put two and two together and put me in custody.”
People who caught a sight of Boria in his lawn chair posted their thoughts on Twitter.
— Tom Warne (@tomwarne) July 6, 2015
— Calgary Herald (@calgaryherald) July 6, 2015
Boria has been released on bail.
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