A man who strapped 120 helium balloons to a lawn chair and soared above the Calgary Stampede grounds has been handed a $6,500 fine.
In Calgary court Friday, Judge Bruce Fraser called Daniel Boria’s publicity stunt “unconscionably stupid.”
The 27-year-old pleaded guilty in December to dangerous operation of an aircraft in July 2015. Floating into Calgary airspace was part of a publicity stunt for his cleaning company and earned him the nickname “balloonatic.”
Boria tied industrial-sized balloons to the lawn chair as part of a plan to parachute over the Stampede chuckwagon races, but high winds forced him to bail early.
— Tom Warne (@tomwarne) July 6, 2015
Judge Bruce Fraser agreed to accept a joint recommendation that Boria be fined $5,000 and make a $20,000 donation to the Veterans’ Foodbank.
Even though he apologized, outside court Boria says he’s still proud of his stunt and has no regrets. He thinks the whole thing was overblown and says he’ll have a great story to tell people for the rest of his life.
WATCH: Raw video shows Daniel Boria floating into the sky on a homemade balloon aircraft on Sunday, July 5, 2015.
Boria was arrested by police who had been monitoring him since he was spotted soaring above the grounds.
The Crown told court in December that Boria risked the lives of passengers on incoming and departing airline flights by taking his homemade aircraft up to 2,100 metres.
“In a scenario where an aircraft travelling at 300 km/h makes contact with an uncontrollable object weighing 150 to 200 pounds, the results would be catastrophic damage to the airframe, engine and-or control surfaces,” said prosecutor Matt Dalidowicz.
“Of greatest concern would be that the cockpit windshields may be compromised and one or both flight crew members become incapacitated. This scenario could result in the loss of the aircraft and the lives of those on board.”
During Boria’s 20 minutes in the air, 24 airplanes took off and landed in Calgary.
Boria said afterwards that he planned it so that only his own safety would be at risk. He called the flight the most exhilarating experience he could ever imagine.
WATCH: Report from July 6, 2016 – Daniel Boria, 26, is the man behind abizarre balloon chair stunt. Even though he spent the night in jail, he says it was the most fun he’s ever had. Heather Yourex reports.
Story by Bill Graveland, The Canadian Press