SP’s Aviation|March 2020
PILOTS OCCASIONALLY SEE AND REPORT SOME RATHER BIZARRE happenings of which some turn out to be true and others just illusions. But one of the strangest airborne reports was by the Captain of an airliner approaching Los Angeles International Airport on July 2, 1982. He radioed that he was passing a man in a chair at 16,000 feet holding a pistol in his hand. A sceptical controller duly acknowledged the report, obtained a radar fix and began tracking the peculiar object. When it finally came down safely to the Earth, the startled authorities discovered it was indeed a man sitting in an ordinary lawn chair who had reached that rarefied height purely with the help of a bank of helium-filled weather balloons. Meet Larry Walters, a 33-year-old Vietnam War veteran and a truck driver with no pilot or balloon training.
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