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Author Topic: Ultimate Couch Potato -- Couch Flies Chair  (Read 6785 times)

JimH

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Ultimate Couch Potato -- Couch Flies Chair
« on: July 10, 2007, 04:51:13 pm »

Man Named Couch -- Flies Chair -- with Balloons

No kidding...
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BEND, Ore. - Last weekend, Kent Couch settled down in his lawn chair with some snacks and a parachute. Attached to his lawn chair were 105 large helium balloons.
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KingSparta

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Re: OT -- Ultimate Couch Potato
« Reply #1 on: July 10, 2007, 06:11:11 pm »

As litigation attorneys sometimes state, "if it is not in writing, it never happened."

in this case I can't find any pictures of this, would be neat to see.
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JimH

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Re: OT -- Ultimate Couch Potato
« Reply #2 on: July 10, 2007, 06:22:46 pm »

It was just on the evening news so pictures should be available somewhere now.
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DarkPenguin

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Re: OT -- Ultimate Couch Potato
« Reply #3 on: July 10, 2007, 10:45:37 pm »

I thought that was your new plane.
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JimH

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Re: OT -- Ultimate Couch Potato
« Reply #4 on: July 11, 2007, 03:40:55 pm »

I found a few pictures.

And an article about a pilot who saw the balloons at 39,000 feet near Detroit.  Couch lost his grip on the chair when he landed and the "craft" took off without him.

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marko

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Re: OT -- Ultimate Couch Potato
« Reply #5 on: July 11, 2007, 04:00:37 pm »

strikes me as being both insane and grossly irresponsible.

and how did he get back down? cut a few balloons loose 'till he began to drop?

11,000 feet up? What's it like at that height? Does it not get a bit cold up there?

JimH

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Re: OT -- Ultimate Couch Potato
« Reply #6 on: July 11, 2007, 04:05:58 pm »

strikes me as being both insane and grossly irresponsible.
Right, but there are a lot of other things that are just as bad, but so much fun that people can't help themselves.

You lose 4 degrees F or 2 degrees C for each thousand feet.  If it was 80F at Bend (3400 feet elevation), at 13,000 feet it should be around 40F or 4C.

He was able to climb by dropping ballast (mostly water) and descend by releasing helium.
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marko

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Re: OT -- Ultimate Couch Potato
« Reply #7 on: July 11, 2007, 04:26:28 pm »

Taking on crazy stunts are fine with me, so long as the only risk involved is to the performer.

Quote
Right, but there are a lot of other things that are just as bad, but so much fun that people can't help themselves.
like a one-night stand with a beautiful stranger and no contraceptives perhaps?
hmm, risky, but not illegal...
how about driving 250 miles in 165 minutes? Now that was mental, but what a buzz!!

how about you?

-marko.


DarkPenguin

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Re: OT -- Ultimate Couch Potato
« Reply #8 on: July 11, 2007, 05:05:03 pm »

He flew over eastern oregon and idaho.  Who was he going to hurt?
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marko

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Re: OT -- Ultimate Couch Potato
« Reply #9 on: July 11, 2007, 05:12:50 pm »

I had to resort to google as "eastern oregon and idaho" doesn't mean a lot to me...

if this is typical, http://www.valelawyers.com/hiking/hiking.html , then point taken :)

looks great out there.

KingSparta

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Re: OT -- Ultimate Couch Potato
« Reply #10 on: July 11, 2007, 06:05:07 pm »

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11,000 feet up? What's it like at that height?

Getting A Bit Thin Air, But i think your safe at that altitude. i think about 14,000 feet or so is where you may need Oxygen. Jim may remember that better than me however.

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grossly irresponsible

Well

That was a reinforced lawn chair.

he had a Parachute so I think he was safe as long as he was high enough for his chute to open up. I think they said on his first attempt he used his chute because he "popped" too many balloons to get back down.

I am a X-Paratrooper, so i don't find it as insane as some of the things i did in my life, but i don't think i would take the lawn chair out for a spin around the mountain.

Everybody now

She'll be coming round the mountain when she comes
She'll be coming round the mountain when she comes
She'll be coming round the mountain, she'll be coming round the mountain,
She'll be coming round the mountain when she comes
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JimH

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Re: OT -- Ultimate Couch Potato
« Reply #11 on: July 11, 2007, 06:25:11 pm »

LOL, thanks!

She'll be driving six wide horses when she comes, ooh yeah.
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JimH

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Re: OT -- Ultimate Couch Potato
« Reply #12 on: July 11, 2007, 06:35:13 pm »

Getting A Bit Thin Air, But i think your safe at that altitude. i think about 14,000 feet or so is where you may need Oxygen. Jim may remember that better than me however.
No.  I had to look.

By FAA regulation, after 30 minutes above 10,000 feet or anytime above 12,000 feet, oxygen is required. 

Last week, in Colorado, we were at 11,700 without oxygen, but we weren't moving very fast.  I know that people in good health can climb the 14,000 peaks, and I believe that Everest (29,000?) has been climbed without oxygen.
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KingSparta

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Re: OT -- Ultimate Couch Potato
« Reply #13 on: July 11, 2007, 07:10:25 pm »

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Last week, in Colorado, we were at 11,700 without oxygen

Did you walk up Pikes peak again?

>> I know that people in good health can climb the 14,000 peaks
I can run down the street to the second stop sign without oxygen, at the 3rd stop sign my eyes start glazing over.

We are at about 100 Feet above sea level here.
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JimH

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Re: OT -- Ultimate Couch Potato
« Reply #14 on: July 11, 2007, 08:04:58 pm »

Did you walk up Pikes peak again?
This time, we just looked at it.  Long's Peak, 14,234.
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JONCAT

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Re: OT -- Ultimate Couch Potato
« Reply #15 on: July 12, 2007, 09:19:21 am »



http://www.clusterballoon.org/

The Maine flight comes off as pretty organized & responsible; he's got a chute and the landing looks rather innocuous.

DC
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marko

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Re: OT -- Ultimate Couch Potato
« Reply #16 on: July 12, 2007, 11:33:51 am »

it was the thought of an airplane loaded with people getting involved that prompted the feeling of irresponsibility, after reading:

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"To have an impact traveling at about 500 miles an hour with that mass of balloons, it can get tangled with flight controls, with the tail, and cause the aircraft to go out of control. Or the aircraft's structural integrity could be compromised," Manopla said in an on-camera interview at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport on Wednesday morning.

The pilot said he dispatched information about his sighting to the air traffic controllers in the Midwest region he was flying in at the time.

Officials with the Federal Aviation Administration confirm, balloons made of latex or thick plastics do have the capability of withstanding conditions at that level of the atmosphere, and can pose dangers to commercial aviation
Perhaps it was just unfortunate that he was not able to secure the chair after landing. Does anyone know if he tried to warn of the fact that there was a mass of balloons+garden chair floating around out there somewhere?
While I'm far too boring to ever attempt anything like that, I have to admit that the pictures are quite amazing. The views are wonderful and it must be oh so beautifully quiet up there... I'm almost envious!!

KingSparta

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Re: OT -- Ultimate Couch Potato
« Reply #17 on: July 12, 2007, 01:13:17 pm »

He was squawking Mode A/3, Code 7700/Emergency and Mode C., and his Beacon lights were on.
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marko

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Re: OT -- Ultimate Couch Potato
« Reply #18 on: July 12, 2007, 02:51:15 pm »

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He was squawking Mode A/3, Code 7700/Emergency and Mode C., and his Beacon lights were on.

quite an educational thread this is turning into :)

  4.4 Transponder Alerting

If unable to establish communication immediately with an ATC unit, a pilot wishing to alert ATC to an emergency situation should adjust the transponder to reply on Mode A/3, Code 7700. Thereafter, communication with ATC should be established as soon as possible.

In the event of a communication failure, the transponder should be adjusted to reply on Mode A/3, Code 7600, to alert ATC to the situation. This action does not relieve the pilot of the requirement to comply with CAR 602.137, Two-way Radiocommunication Failure in IFR Flight.

In the event of unlawful interference (hijack), the transponder should be adjusted to reply to Mode A/3, Code 7500, to alert ATC to the situation (see RAC 1.9.8).
 
  4.5 Radar Alerting Manoeuvres

RAC 1.5.7 describes the radar assistance that is available through Canadian Forces facilities; however, when lost or in distress and unable to make radio contact, a pilot should attempt to alert all available radar systems as follows:

a) squawk transponder code 7700 (emergency code);

b) monitor emergency frequencies;

c) fly two triangular patterns as depicted, resume course and repeat at five-minute intervals.


http://www.tc.gc.ca/CivilAviation/publications/tp14371/SAR/4-0.htm

KingSparta

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Re: OT -- Ultimate Couch Potato
« Reply #19 on: July 12, 2007, 04:33:08 pm »

Our Helicopters in the army were also equipped with a portable Auto responder if the copter went down, and the G-Force would set it off. Recovery would tune to that frequency and triangulate on the craft.

Each vest had a strobe, and some survival items.

Out of everything I did in the army Jumping and flying was the best.

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glynor

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Re: OT -- Ultimate Couch Potato
« Reply #20 on: July 12, 2007, 04:42:18 pm »

I know that people in good health can climb the 14,000 peaks, and I believe that Everest (29,000?) has been climbed without oxygen.

Everest has certainly been climbed oxygen-supplement free.  Typically, any expedition above 8,000 meters (26,200-odd feet) bottled oxygen is used.  However, Reinhold Messner (with Peter Habeler) was the first to ascend Everest without using any supplemental oxygen at all, in 1978.  He then did it again, on the more-difficult Tibetan route and completely alone, two years later (he's also climbed many of the others of the 14 8,000 meter plus mountains in the world without oxygen).  It has subsequently been done many times.

If you're interested, National Geographic did a really cool article on him a few months ago, which is worth checking out.  He seems like something of an ass, but an accomplished one.
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JimH

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Re: OT -- Ultimate Couch Potato
« Reply #21 on: July 12, 2007, 04:45:39 pm »

something of an ass, but an accomplished one
That wouldn't be too bad a tombstone.
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glynor

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Re: OT -- Ultimate Couch Potato
« Reply #22 on: July 12, 2007, 06:27:38 pm »

That wouldn't be too bad a tombstone.

One could certainly do worse.  ;D
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JimH

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Re: OT -- Ultimate Couch Potato
« Reply #23 on: July 05, 2008, 02:46:18 pm »

Couch is off again in his chair.  He's trying to fly from Central Oregon to Idaho.

His wife says he's crazy.
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KingSparta

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Re: OT -- Ultimate Couch Potato
« Reply #24 on: July 05, 2008, 03:17:54 pm »

I Heard About Him The Other Day On The Radio.
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glynor

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Re: OT -- Ultimate Couch Potato
« Reply #25 on: July 05, 2008, 11:07:03 pm »

It makes it even better that the guy's name is Couch.  Truth is often stranger than fiction!

And this clip, buried at the tail end of the AP story, is fantastic as well: "estimated the rig cost about $6,000, mostly for helium. Costs were defrayed by corporate sponsors."

Corporate sponsors?   ;D

(Isn't you Jim, is it?)
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JimH

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Re: OT -- Ultimate Couch Potato
« Reply #26 on: July 06, 2008, 12:18:25 am »

It makes it even better that the guy's name is Couch.  Truth is often stranger than fiction!

And this clip, buried at the tail end of the AP story, is fantastic as well: "estimated the rig cost about $6,000, mostly for helium. Costs were defrayed by corporate sponsors."

Corporate sponsors?   ;D

(Isn't you Jim, is it?)
I wish it was.  Maybe next year.
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JimH

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Re: OT -- Ultimate Couch Potato
« Reply #27 on: July 06, 2008, 08:09:49 am »

He made it.  He landed in Idaho.
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JimH

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Re: OT -- Ultimate Couch Potato
« Reply #28 on: July 14, 2012, 06:13:25 pm »

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KingSparta

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Re: OT -- Ultimate Couch Potato
« Reply #29 on: July 14, 2012, 06:27:29 pm »

> " for a future flight planned in Iraq"

someone there may shoot him down.
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JimH

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Re: OT -- Ultimate Couch Potato
« Reply #30 on: July 15, 2012, 06:26:32 am »

The winds and weather were against them.  They gave up early.  They're back on the ground now.

http://news.yahoo.com/lawn-chair-balloon-duo-abort-mission-land-early-173949908--abc-news-topstories.html
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JimH

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Re: Ultimate Couch Potato -- Couch Flies Chair
« Reply #31 on: July 17, 2012, 12:40:33 pm »

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