Action Hero Profile: Larry "Lawn Chair Larry" Walters

Larry Walters, nicknamed “Lawn chair Larry,” is known as the man who took flight on a lawn chair on July 2, 1982. His tools for flight consisted of a lawn chair and 45 helium-filled weather balloons. With these tools, the lawn chair pilot soared through the sky, floating all the way from San Pedro, California into the controlled airspace that is close to the Los Angeles International Airport. Larry had dreamed of flying ever since he was a child, but because of his bad eyesight, he couldn’t do anything like join the U.S Air Force and become a pilot.
This aerial adventure started out as a thought from Larry at age 13 and then became a carried out plan twenty years later. On that fateful day, he started out with the idea that he could attach a bunch of helium-filled weather balloons to a lawn chair and float about 30 feet above his backyard for a few hours. When he was ready to come down, he would use a pellet gun to pop the balloons and float gently down to the ground. But things didn’t fly the way he thought they would.
He soared up to an altitude of about 15,000 feet. He had brought his pellet gun, a CB radio, sandwiches, cold beer, and a camera on his journey. At first, he didn’t shoot any of the balloons because he feared that he might unbalance the load, causing him to fall off and plummet to his death. But, after 45 minutes of nonstop flight, Larry shot a couple of the balloons so he could begin to descend. In the process of doing so, he accidentally dropped his pellet gun overboard.
From the power line, he was able to climb down to the ground. When he reached the ground he was immediately arrested by the Long Beach Police Department and was fined $4,000 for violation under U.S Federal Aviation Regulations. But none of that mattered to him; all he wanted to do was fly, and he got to do it.