BREAKING NEWS Full U.S. Senate will vote on Judge Amy Coney's Supreme Court confirmation on Monday Full Story
BREAKING NEWS Extreme fire weather concerns for Northern California Sunday and Monday Full Story
BREAKING NEWS Point Fire is burning in Cottonwood on Gas Point Road Full Story
BREAKING NEWS Cal OES positions extra firefighting resources in Tehama and Colusa counties Full Story
BREAKING NEWS Latest from PG&E on potential PSPS power outages, possibly starting Sunday morning Full Story
SEVERE WX : Freeze Warning View Alerts

Mysterious jetpack man is not the only person to take flight in unconventional ways

During the last few months a man in the jetpack has been spotted...

Posted: Oct 18, 2020 11:35 AM
Updated: Oct 18, 2020 10:00 PM

During the last few months a man in the jetpack has been spotted flying over Los Angeles International Airport several times, but the unidentified man is not the only one to lift off in an unconventional way.

Oddly enough, there are at least four men who have used a type of balloon to soar above the ground, and all of them became famous in their own way.

Larry Walters

The most famous case takes us back to 1982.

A 33-year-old military veteran, Larry Walters, got the idea to float from Los Angeles to the Mojave Desert in a Sears and Roebuck lawn chair adorned with weather balloons -- 45, to be exact.

He took off on June 2 and became an instant legend.

He ended up drifting over LAX at 16,000 feet and was spotted by pilots flying into the airport.

According to a 2015 New York Times article, this is one of the reported conversations to air traffic control:

'This is TWA 231, level at sixteen thousand feet. We have a man in a chair attached to balloons in our ten o'clock position, range five miles.'

Walters planned to descend by popping some of the balloons with an air gun, but it was lost shortly into his flight.

He ended up descending safely after hitting a few power lines.

Walters died in 2010, but he gave his chair to a child near where he landed, and it was donated to the Smithsonian in 2019.

Kevin Walsh

Another aviation enthusiast was inspired to take flight after Walters proved successful.

'We wanted to do something fun and uplifting for the first day of 1984,' Kevin Walsh told CNN.

So the 24-year-old, adorned with a parachute and 57 balloons, took to the sky from Minuteman Airport, west of Boston, Massachusetts.

He was attached by two thousand-pound ropes that he ended up having to cut with a razor blade because he left his knives on the ground.

'I estimate I made it 9,000 feet...I stayed at about 6,000 feet, and when I got down to 3,000 I disengaged and parachuted away,' Walsh said.

His team took several safety precautions before the flight, including letting planes and other aircraft know that there would be parachute activity in the area.

The team also attached foil to the balloons so that Walsh would show up on radar. Walsh said he ended up being a big as the Statue of Liberty on the radar screens.

Walsh was fined $4,000 by the Federal Aviation Administration for flying too close to Boston's Logan Airport airspace.

'It was the adventure of a lifetime,' he said.

Daniel Boria

In 2015, Daniel Boria was trying to get attention for his cleaning business when he tied more than 100 helium balloons to a lawn chair and soared through the sky over Calgary, Canada.

Equipped with an oxygen tank and a parachute, he spent about $10,000 to pull off the stunt.

Soon after he took flight, he opened a parachute and returned to the ground, where Calgary police arrested him and charged him with one count of mischief causing danger to life.

'I'd estimate I was going up about 500 to 1,000 feet in a minute,' he told CNN at the time. 'I was looking down on the city and watching 747s and planes approaching the local airport.'

David Blaine

In September, David Blaine decided to try his hand at unconventional flight.

The famous illusionist floated over the Arizona desert by holding onto about 50 helium balloons.

'Every single stunt that I've ever done is about endurance and pushing past what I thought would be possible,' Blaine said in a video before the performance. 'I can't imagine that many people would dream of doing it.'

The performance took about an hour from lift off to landing, and the event was live streamed on YouTube.

Though his initial goal was to reach an altitude of about 18,000 feet, he ended up floating to 24,900 feet -- or about 4.7 miles -- before skydiving and parachuting back to the ground.

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 903684

Reported Deaths: 17343
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Los Angeles2989376989
Riverside657571279
San Bernardino623531072
Orange583261444
San Diego54314868
Kern33775416
Fresno30590436
Sacramento25264484
Santa Clara24014388
Alameda23215460
San Joaquin21630489
Contra Costa18523241
Stanislaus17572396
Tulare17495286
Ventura14192164
Imperial12700336
San Francisco12069140
Monterey1132189
San Mateo11075159
Santa Barbara9760120
Merced9465155
Sonoma9163134
Kings821883
Solano728674
Marin7057128
Madera498174
San Luis Obispo414132
Placer408857
Yolo316658
Butte305952
Santa Cruz277125
Napa194215
Shasta184630
Sutter183712
San Benito143615
El Dorado13154
Yuba129310
Mendocino112421
Tehama8628
Lassen7661
Lake68915
Glenn6573
Nevada6088
Humboldt5629
Colusa5506
Calaveras34218
Amador32416
Tuolumne2684
Inyo22715
Siskiyou1930
Del Norte1781
Mono1782
Mariposa782
Plumas680
Modoc290
Trinity260
Sierra60
Alpine30
Unassigned00
Chico
Few Clouds
63° wxIcon
Hi: 71° Lo: 41°
Feels Like: 63°
Oroville
Clear
64° wxIcon
Hi: 73° Lo: 44°
Feels Like: 64°
Paradise
Few Clouds
63° wxIcon
Hi: 65° Lo: 41°
Feels Like: 63°
Chester
Clear
33° wxIcon
Hi: 47° Lo: 25°
Feels Like: 24°
Red Bluff
Clear
62° wxIcon
Hi: 68° Lo: 48°
Feels Like: 62°
Willows
Few Clouds
63° wxIcon
Hi: 67° Lo: 47°
Feels Like: 63°
Fire danger will be extreme Sunday-Monday as the biggest dry wind event of the season takes shape. A widespread freeze in the Sierra-Cascades as low as single-digit values possible Sunday night. Mild & sunny weather after Tuesday.
KHSL Severe
KHSL Radar
KHSL Temperatures

Community Events