6-year-old takes off in family's experimental helium-balloon craft (well, not really)

rdowns

macrumors Penryn
Original poster
Jul 11, 2003
27,345
12,408
This is just unreal. Watching it on TV as we speak.

Link

FORT COLLINS. Colo. - Authorities were scouring the skies Thursday for a 6-year-old boy who unhooked his family's experimental balloon-powered aircraft and floated away from home.

The Larimer County Sheriff's Department said the boy's family had been building an experimental aircraft that had a large helium balloon attached to it at their home, KUSA-TV reported. The aircraft was approximately 20 feet by 5 feet and covered in tin foil, the station said.

On Thursday morning, according to the family and officials, the boy got onto the aircraft and detached the rope holding it in place.

Several people in the neighborhood said they saw the aircraft floating over their homes and some snapped pictures.

The Federal Aviation Administration told NBC News the craft was last spotted somewhere over Greeley, Colo., about 26 miles east of Fort Collins.

 

GoCubsGo

macrumors Nehalem
Feb 19, 2005
35,743
141
I saw that today as well. Technically this should get him intothe record books as well. :D
 

rdowns

macrumors Penryn
Original poster
Jul 11, 2003
27,345
12,408
MSNBC is running live video. This poor kid is flying in this friggin' balloon and has been as high as 10,000 feet. I don't think this will end well. THey have no way of recovering this balloon.
 

kymac

macrumors 6502a
Nov 4, 2006
678
0
portland
i cant even think of a way to possibly rescue this boy.. the only outcome i see is a very long fall with no realistic chance of ending well :(
 

velocityg4

macrumors 601
Dec 19, 2004
4,599
1,184
Georgia
i cant even think of a way to possibly rescue this boy.. the only outcome i see is a very long fall with no realistic chance of ending well :(
Get a stunt pilot to try to hook it from a slow flying biplane and drag it down is about the only thing I could imagine. Or hook it from a helicopter. Though either of these could shred the balloon if its skin is not very strong.

If they could get a Coast Guard chopper there and it can fly high enough they may be able to wench a rescuer down to the kid. If the winds are not too strong.
 

rasmasyean

macrumors 6502a
Jul 11, 2008
810
1
Holy crap? Do you see how fast that thing flies? That boy must be having a blast running away from the cops! :D
 

notjustjay

macrumors 603
Sep 19, 2003
6,040
111
Canada, eh?
There's just so many things wrong with this!

I know when I was a kid, my dad never let me anywhere near our experimental helium balloon craft...

:rolleyes:
 

ZachsMacDaddy

macrumors 6502
Dec 24, 2007
432
25
Maryland
I hope it descends slowly. But at that speed, the landing is going to be very very rough and the thing has a thin plywood base that is not attached well according to the dad.

legally the dad is gonna be in some trouble I assume. Lost of $ tied up now in chasing this thing down.

I really really hope he lands safely and makes it home. I just keep thinking about my own 5 year old and it's hard to imagine what the boy must be going through.
 

rdowns

macrumors Penryn
Original poster
Jul 11, 2003
27,345
12,408
The National Guard is launching a helicopter. If they have a plan, they are not sharing it with the media.
 

fireshot91

macrumors 601
Jul 31, 2008
4,719
0
Northern VA
How is he breathing in there?

I mean, if it's all helium, or mostly helium, and, as far as I can tell, there's no basket, where is the kid?
 

rasmasyean

macrumors 6502a
Jul 11, 2008
810
1
Bad piece of engineering. Unstable on decent sequence. It looks like it's rolling him all arround.
 

ZachsMacDaddy

macrumors 6502
Dec 24, 2007
432
25
Maryland
There's a basket, but it's practically closed off. At least that's how the description was earlier, but now they are questioning it again.

The MSNBC live feed just discussed that. They say that it's unknown whether the helium is sealed enough. If not, he may breathe in too much gas and would suffocate.

He's dropping about 2000ft per hour now.
 

IntheNet

macrumors regular
Oct 6, 2009
190
0
FORT COLLINS. Colo. - Authorities were scouring the skies Thursday for a 6-year-old boy who unhooked his family's experimental balloon-powered aircraft and floated away from home.
I have a hard time believing this is real... isn't this sort of the script for that Disney movie "Up"?
 

Mousse

macrumors 68020
Apr 7, 2008
2,047
2,673
Flea Bottom, King's Landing
This poor kid is flying in this friggin' balloon and has been as high as 10,000 feet. I don't think this will end well. THey have no way of recovering this balloon.
Holy S***! I'd had to say it, but the poor kid is probably gone.:(:(:( That high, the air would be pretty thin and really, really cold.
 

bartelby

macrumors Core
Jun 16, 2004
19,794
4
Holy S***! I'd had to say it, but the poor kid is probably gone.:(:(:( That high, the air would be pretty thin and really, really cold.
Reading the article is says it has the potential to go to 10,000ft. The BBC news says it MAY have gone as high as 7,000ft.

Still, it only takes a fall of 6 feet to kill you, and I've no idea about oxygen at 7,000 feet.
 

Mexbearpig

macrumors 65816
Dec 26, 2008
1,139
1
Here
How is he breathing in there?

I mean, if it's all helium, or mostly helium, and, as far as I can tell, there's no basket, where is the kid?
Exactly.
And a Baloon expert said it would be listing up and down more if he was in there. I think he might not be in there

Edit: CNN has updated-The boy doesnt seem to be in there. Whew