Canadian 'balloonatic' fined for piloting a lawn chair

Canadian 'balloonatic' fined for piloting a lawn chair
PHOTO: StockUnlimited

A Canadian man was sanctioned Thursday for a stunt in which he flew high over Calgary in a lawn chair attached to 110 large helium balloons, local media said.

Daniel Boria, 27, whom prosecutor Matt Dalidowicz called a "balloonatic," was ordered by a judge to pay a Can$5,000 (S$5,377) fine.

Boria also agreed to donate Can$20,000 (US$14,800) to charity after pleading guilty to dangerous operation of an aircraft, public broadcaster CBC said.

He also had to hand over video of the July 5, 2015 voyage to the court to prevent him from using it for self-promotion.

The Calgary Herald newspaper quoted Dalidowicz as telling the Alberta provincial court that the flight, in which Boria reached an altitude of more than two kilometers, could have caused a collision with any of two dozen aircraft landing or departing from the city's airport that evening.

It would have caused "catastrophic damage" to a passenger jet, he said.

The court clerk could not immediately confirm the sentence.

The stunt was reminiscent of a flight in 1982 in California that has been imitated by others around the world and even spawned the extreme sport known as cluster ballooning.

Boria took off in his makeshift flying machine from a golf course with an oxygen tank, a radio and a parachute.

During the escapade, which was intended to promote his small cleaning business, two jetliners reportedly flew underneath him.

But air traffic controllers were never able to pinpoint his exact location with radar and lost sight of him in the clouds.

After bailing from his chair in a parachute in high winds that threw him off course, Boria was arrested by police who had been monitoring his movements across the prairie sky.

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