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Quiz about Lawn Chair Pilot Larry Walters July 1982
Quiz about Lawn Chair Pilot Larry Walters July 1982

"Lawn Chair Pilot" Larry Walters: July 1982 Quiz


Drifting 16,000 feet above Long Beach is our shivering but intrepid hero in his lawn chair, fulfilling a lifelong dream. He achieved momentary celebrity, yet came to a tragic end. How did he get here? What's with the lawn chair?

A multiple-choice quiz by uglybird. Estimated time: 4 mins.
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Author
uglybird
Time
4 mins
Type
Multiple Choice
Quiz #
168,435
Updated
Dec 27 23
# Qns
10
Difficulty
Average
Avg Score
7 / 10
Plays
1500
Awards
Top 5% quiz!
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Question 1 of 10
1. Imagine being the Delta or TWA pilot that, on July 2, 1982, spotted Larry Walters on his lawn chair, floating along at an altitude of 16,000 feet. Helium filled weather balloons held him aloft (42 or 45 depending on the account).


Question 2 of 10
2. The flight had begun in his back yard. Our valiant aviation pioneer seated in a Sears lawn chair, lifted off when the cords anchoring it to the bumper of a jeep were severed. On release did the chair drift lazily up into the Southern California sky?


Question 3 of 10
3. Apparently Mr. Walters knew that his bold adventure entailed risk. Which of the following precautions did he NOT take? Hint


Question 4 of 10
4. The TWA pilot who reported the presence of a man in a lawn chair at 16,000 feet indicated that the lawn chair pilot had a gun. For what purpose was the BB gun (or pellet gun in some accounts) intended? Hint


Question 5 of 10
5. Larry was in radio contact during the flight.


Question 6 of 10
6. His audacity and courage amply demonstrated, but becoming numb with cold, Larry began his descent. Having dispatched too many balloons his descent became too rapid. What did he jettison in order to slow his descent? Hint


Question 7 of 10
7. Although ultimately uninjured, our now desperately plummeting hero was unable to avoid a crash that left him dangling five feet above the ground. From what was he hanging? Hint


Question 8 of 10
8. The New York times quoted Neal Savoy, an FAA regional safety inspector, as saying, " "We know he broke some part of the Federal Aviation Act, and as soon as we decide which part it is, some type of charge will be filed."


Question 9 of 10
9. Which of the following occurred as a result of the flight? Hint


Question 10 of 10
10. Tragically, Larry Walters ultimately committed suicide in 1993, eleven years after his flight.



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Quiz Answer Key and Fun Facts
1. Imagine being the Delta or TWA pilot that, on July 2, 1982, spotted Larry Walters on his lawn chair, floating along at an altitude of 16,000 feet. Helium filled weather balloons held him aloft (42 or 45 depending on the account).

Answer: True

The Associated Press/New York Times Story indicates 45 balloons, but the LA Times reported 42.
2. The flight had begun in his back yard. Our valiant aviation pioneer seated in a Sears lawn chair, lifted off when the cords anchoring it to the bumper of a jeep were severed. On release did the chair drift lazily up into the Southern California sky?

Answer: No

In fact, Larry was quoted by a CB operator as telling him the chair "shot up like an elevator to 16,000 feet" at about 1,000 feet per minute. His ascent was so fast he lost his glasses.
3. Apparently Mr. Walters knew that his bold adventure entailed risk. Which of the following precautions did he NOT take?

Answer: He carried oxygen for high altitude.

According to various accounts he was also carrying soda, sandwiches and beer. A picture of Larry in his chair on the markbarry.com website seems to show the bottom end of a soda bottle protruding. I am personally disinclined to credit the accounts of beer, preferring to believe that our brave pilot was cold sober during his adventure.
4. The TWA pilot who reported the presence of a man in a lawn chair at 16,000 feet indicated that the lawn chair pilot had a gun. For what purpose was the BB gun (or pellet gun in some accounts) intended?

Answer: Larry intended to shoot the balloons for his eventual descent.

He shot at least 7 balloons. I'm surprised the FAA did not include "unauthorized use of a weapon during flight" in their charges.
5. Larry was in radio contact during the flight.

Answer: True

In a recorded CB conversation while in flight Larry indicated that his craft had 35 balloons left.
6. His audacity and courage amply demonstrated, but becoming numb with cold, Larry began his descent. Having dispatched too many balloons his descent became too rapid. What did he jettison in order to slow his descent?

Answer: Plastic bottles, filled with water and tied to the lawn chair.

One can only speculate on where the bottles/water landed. There were no reports of casualties or property damage.
7. Although ultimately uninjured, our now desperately plummeting hero was unable to avoid a crash that left him dangling five feet above the ground. From what was he hanging?

Answer: Power lines.

A small area of Long Beach lost power as a result.
8. The New York times quoted Neal Savoy, an FAA regional safety inspector, as saying, " "We know he broke some part of the Federal Aviation Act, and as soon as we decide which part it is, some type of charge will be filed."

Answer: True

Mr. Savoy went on to indicate that they would revoke Larry's pilots license if only he had one! Among the charges ultimately filed against Larry was "civil aircraft for which there is not currently in effect an airworthiness certificate".
9. Which of the following occurred as a result of the flight?

Answer: All of these.

Larry also received the top prize from the Bonehead Club of Dallas, ("an exclusive group of grown men dedicated to carrying out harmless exercises of foolishness," according to the Dallas Fire Rescue website.)
10. Tragically, Larry Walters ultimately committed suicide in 1993, eleven years after his flight.

Answer: True

At age 13 Larry Walters dreamed of being lifted up into the blue by a weather balloon. In the process of fulfilling his childhood fantasy he achieved celebrity status, intriguing and entertaining millions.
Source: Author uglybird

This quiz was reviewed by FunTrivia editor gtho4 before going online.
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