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Canadian fined nearly $20,000 for lawn chair balloon flight

UPI News Service, 03/20/2017 

A Canadian man was fined nearly $20,000 by an Alberta court for using more than 100 helium balloons to take a lawn chair flight over Calgary.

Provincial court Judge Bruce Fraser heard Daniel Boria, 27, who pleaded guilty in December to dangerous operation of an aircraft, strapped more than 100 balloons to a lawn chair in July 2015 and flew 2-1/2 miles over Calgary.

Prosecutors said Boria's flight interfered with the flights of commercial aircraft and put hundreds of people in danger.

Fraser said in Friday's sentencing that Boria's flight was "dumb and dangerous" as well as "unconscionably stupid."

"There was nothing fantastic, fun or exhilarating about it," Fraser said. "There is no precedent for so foolish an escapade."

Fraser approved a plea agreement to have Boria pay a $3,750 fine and make a $15,000 donation to charity.

Boria, whose stunt was meant to promote his cleaning company, was unrepentant outside of court.

"Why climb the highest mountain?" he told CBC News. "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. Because that goal served to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills."

"[They] didn't charge the Wright brothers," Boria said. "It's pretty hard to take it seriously when you guys are asking me these questions based on me flying a lawn chair."

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