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Canada Idle

Court Fines Canadian $26,500 For 'Unconscionably Stupid' Balloon-Chair Flight (www.cbc.ca) 101

In 2015, 27-year-old Daniel Boria tied over 100 helium balloons to a lawn chair and floated 2.5 miles above Calgary, "getting in the way of commercial aircraft and putting hundreds of lives at risk," reports the CBC. An anonymous reader quotes their report: Boria was ordered to pay $26,500 [USD $18,822] in fines when he was sentenced Friday, after pleading guilty in December to dangerous operation of an aircraft for the 2015 stunt... In handing down the sentence provincial court Judge Bruce Fraser called Boria's stunt "dumb and dangerous" and "unconscionably stupid. There was nothing fantastic, fun or exhilarating about it... There is no precedent for so foolish an escapade"...

On July 5, 2015, Boria tied $13,000 worth of industrial-sized balloons to a Canadian Tire lawn chair and took to the skies to promote his cleaning company, with the plan to parachute into the Calgary Stampede chuckwagon races. Uncooperative weather forced him to bail early, and winds pushed his landing to Ogden Road, where he was arrested by police who had been monitoring Boria since he was spotted above the Stampede grounds... During the time he was in the air, 24 airplanes took off and landed in Calgary.

The judge agreed that $20,000 of the fine should be donated to a charity of Boria's choice, and later Boria "said the stunt was worthwhile and he has no regrets."
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Court Fines Canadian $26,500 For 'Unconscionably Stupid' Balloon-Chair Flight

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  • A person can take some off the shelf balloons, affix a solid object, and potentially endanger aircraft.

    I know what comes next: In the interests of national security, the government shall ban all balloons without a license!

    This isn't the US, so they'll at least be polite about it, and not shoot anyone for carrying a balloon of mass destruction.

    • Since we're about to run out of helium, banning balloons might well mitigate the problem. A good first step.

    • If you let them get away with that the next thing will be socialized medicine with death panels and mandatory gay marriage. And if you let them get away with that you won't be allowed to take nail clippers on a plane.

      Revolt now, before it's too late!

    • by vtcodger ( 957785 ) on Saturday March 18, 2017 @06:30PM (#54067259)

      Apparently neither the judge nor the CBC has ever heard of Larry Walters balloon assisted lawnchair flight in 1982. Nor of his several imitators. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org]. Walters was fined $4000(US) -- reduced to $1500 on appeal -- for operating an aircraft within an airport traffic area "without establishing and maintaining two-way communications with the control tower." According to Wikipedia "A charge of operating a "civil aircraft for which there is not currently in effect an airworthiness certificate" was dropped, as it was not applicable to his class of aircraft."

      • by beckett ( 27524 )
        Lawnchair larry did his most notable work in California. this judge presides over a Canadian Court under Candian Law and has to rule on Canadian jurisprudence, and not American folklore.

        Hence the statement it's 'unprecedented", as in there has likely been no comparable case before a Canadian court.
    • Except this has been done before in the past. In the United States, no less.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org]

      But since life is just one big meme nowadays and every event must be able to be copy-pastad into the same sentence, please proceed with giving us more of your alternative consp^H^H^H^H^H forecasts.
    • by SirSlud ( 67381 )

      Didn't happen before, won't happen now. So basically, this is a dumb often repeated joke that proves the opposite of the point it's meant to make.

    • by amiga3D ( 567632 )

      Simplest to just outlaw the private use of helium or hydrogen gas.

      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Yes, let's outlaw hydrogen, especially when combined with that dangerous oxidizer, oxygen. Dihydrogen monoxide kills thousands of people every year!

        Captcha; pre-empt.

    • Helium balloons also have another use the government would not like: you can take a few of them and inhale the gas and die. It's a quick, cheap, effective and painless suicide method.

      We all know how much the government really hates people making their own choice to end things. It is surprising helium balloons aren't already banned.

      Well, when MY life reaches the "game over man, game over!" stage, I have money saved to buy some of these balloons and celebrate myself exiting this existence. Happy Birthday

      • by dbIII ( 701233 )
        Save a few bucks and use the industrial helium that has oil, water and who knows what else is in there. You don't want to do a Donald Duck voice trick with that stuff.
      • No, you can't. The balloon gas you buy in stores is often helium diluted with air to reduce cost, and even if you breathed helium from balloons you'd just pass out - once you are unconscious you can't hold any more balloons. You'd need a mask.

        If you want a painless suicide, there's an easier way. Welding stores sell tanks of pure nitrogen - it's used in some forms of arc welding to prevent the very hot metal from reacting with atmospheric oxygen. Just take a tank of that, improvise a way to hook up an oxyge

  • Next time do it with drones so you can get a live video feed with 50 angles and control the movement.

  • Plenty of precedent! (Score:5, Informative)

    by chrylis ( 262281 ) on Saturday March 18, 2017 @05:54PM (#54067143)

    Odd that the judge calls this "unprecedented", when there have been multiple similar instances, and Lawn Chair Larry [wikipedia.org] was internationally infamous.

    • Not just that:

      "dumb and dangerous" and "unconscionably stupid.

      Well, he's there in her courtroom.

      There was nothing fantastic, fun or exhilarating about it...

      That sounds like a normative claim. I betcha he had lots of fun and excitement.

      There is no precedent for so foolish an escapade"...

      Oh, c'mon - now she's just trying to damage Canada's hard-won reputation. They practically invented "here, hold my beer"! It's as if she doesn't know any actual Canadians.

      • Not to mention the fact that there have been several precedents for this. They even Mythbustered it once.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      Yeah, it seems like the judge was a bit ignorant of some of the facts.

      But, this guy should be in jail. He put the lives of others at risk. He says he has no regrets. That isn't just stupid, it is criminally negligent. He should be in jail.

      • by mysidia ( 191772 )

        But, this guy should be in jail. He put the lives of others at risk. He says he has no regrets.

        What do you mean? Everybody who drives a car puts the lives of others at risk, the moment they start up their car
        and drive onto the public street with other cars.

        Don't see very many of them in jail.

        So how is this guy and a Lawnchair putting other peoples' lives at any higher risk?

        • by Megol ( 3135005 )

          But, this guy should be in jail. He put the lives of others at risk. He says he has no regrets.

          What do you mean? Everybody who drives a car puts the lives of others at risk, the moment they start up their car
          and drive onto the public street with other cars.

          That's why there's something called a drivers license.

          Don't see very many of them in jail.

          If you go driving without a license or with one but ignoring safety for you and/or others then you are likely to get put in jail.

          So how is this guy and a Lawnchair putting other peoples' lives at any higher risk?

          First: by not having any way to control the flight path - that's the main one, Second: by not informing pilots that he could fly into their path, Third: by not having a license to pilot an aircraft, Fourth: by moving into a dimension (up) where there, unlike ground vehicles, there is only a few dangers (birds) and unlike birds

          • If you go driving without a license or with one but ignoring safety for you and/or others then you are likely to get put in jail.

            The likelihood of getting caught is pretty low provided you don't do something to attract attention, and the car you're driving is properly registered so it doesn't trigger a red flag when checked. And driving without a license is a fine [justia.com], not jail, unless the revocation was because of drunk driving or another offence. Judges aren't going to throw people in jail for such minor offenses - that costs money. Fines make money.

          • by mysidia ( 191772 )

            That's why there's something called a drivers license.

            The driver's license doesn't change the risk. The primary purpose of a driver's license is to make sure the local government can identify its citizens. Also, you can be a pedestrian and step into the street without a driver's license, which puts other drivers' at just as much risk as a guy in a lawnchair puts other people in the air at risk.

            If you go driving without a license or with one but ignoring safety for you and/or others then you are li

        • Well, there's a difference between a system where all the players a) are trained, b) are licensed, c) are insured, and d) are aware that they're assuming risk, and a system where some yahoo goes for a flight, in direct contravention of laws and custom, in a contrivance that is specifically uncontrollable and a hazard to navigation and safety, with the express intent of causing a disturbance.
    • by dbIII ( 701233 )
      I get the idea that it's being used as a legal term, so the other one outside Canada where there are different aviation regulations didn't apply.
    • This. Judge doesn't know about past cases: minor deficiency in trivia knowledge. Boria's lawyer lets the judge get away with it: Professional incompetence.

    • by beckett ( 27524 )
      Lawnchair Larry happened in California. This is a Canadian court that rules on Canadian jurisprudence.
  • by 50000BTU_barbecue ( 588132 ) on Saturday March 18, 2017 @06:05PM (#54067181) Journal

    I wonder if a forced donation such as this one is still tax-deductible? Seems to me he'll get some tax break from this?

    • by beckett ( 27524 ) on Saturday March 18, 2017 @06:22PM (#54067235) Homepage Journal
      if he gets a donation receipt from the charities, he will be able to claim a tax credit. He chose to split his donation to the veteran's food bank, and the Canadian Legion Poppy fund, also a veteran's organisation.
      • by Mal-2 ( 675116 )

        He will get receipts, or how would he prove to the court that he paid?

      • He should have donated to the "Amateur Aviators of Canada" charity.
  • One Too Many (Score:4, Insightful)

    by turkeydance ( 1266624 ) on Saturday March 18, 2017 @06:08PM (#54067193)
  • Ever how you slice it, it's advertising expense.

    With a few exceptions, the new normal seems to be there is no such thing as bad press... if you're getting your name out there, it's better than not being talked about.

  • Is this just a thinly veiled slashvertisment for Canadian Tire lawn chairs?

  • Next step is obvious. http://imgur.com/a/QmoPg [imgur.com]
  • by Applehu Akbar ( 2968043 ) on Saturday March 18, 2017 @07:51PM (#54067469)

    "...took to the skies to promote his cleaning company, with the plan to parachute into the Calgary Stampede chuckwagon races."

    'As God is my witness, I thought turkeys could fly!'

  • plan to parachute into the Calgary Stampede chuckwagon races

    The chuckwagon race is the prairie equivalent of the chariot races in Ben Hur. Punishing and occasionally lethal. There is a reason why they call it a Stampede.

  • I read this as "Court Fines Canadian $26,500 For 'Unconscionably Stupid' Balloon-Chair Fight".

    I was disappointed :(
     

    • I did the same thing. I had this awesome mental image of two neighbors playing some insanely stupid mix of tanks and mario kart's battle mode. Lawn darts being the weapon of choice.

  • He should have made him serve jail time. Wasting all that helium, which we can never get back. Just for wasting all that helium, he should be beaten good.

  • > There was nothing fantastic, fun or exhilarating about it...

    How would he know? Has he ever tried it? Does he fall asleep on roller coasters, too?

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