Man to Pay $20K Fine After 'Unconscionably Stupid' Stunt

Daniel Boria doesn't regret his actions and says he has 'the greatest story to tell'
By Elizabeth Armstrong Moore,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 21, 2017 10:33 AM CDT

In July 2015, a young man in Canada decided it was time to promote his cleaning company and hatched a plan: Tie $10,000 worth of industrial-sized balloons (around 100 in all) to a lawn chair with an advertising banner hanging from it, take off, and then leap from the chair with a parachute strapped to his back, landing in the Calgary Stampede chuckwagon races. That's not exactly how it went. Daniel Boria was forced to bail early in bad weather and landed elsewhere—and was arrested for his trouble, reports the CBC. After pleading guilty to dangerous operation of an aircraft in December, he was on Friday sentenced to pay about $20,000, which includes a fine and a victim impact fee. Provincial court Judge Bruce Fraser called the stunt "unconscionably stupid," adding that "there is no precedent for so foolish an escapade."

Fraser said the lawn chair made it up to an estimated 14,000 feet, into the flight paths of commercial airplanes. ("I saw a WestJet flight go right below me," he says in this video, which notes he flew for about an hour and traveled at least 6 miles.) Boria has apologized for the danger he caused but insists he has no regrets, reports the Canadian Press. The Star noted in 2015 that he broke his ankle when he separated himself from his balloon contraption and crash-landed; the lawn chair ended up landing in a farmer's field. Outside court, Boria, now nicknamed "balloonatic," told reporters: "Why climb the highest mountain? Why 85 years ago fly the Atlantic? Why do the Oilers play the Flames? I chose to fly a chair; not because it is easy but because it is hard." (Read about another unconscionably stupid stunt.)

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