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Want to Copy Lego Launch? Not So Fast...

Weather balloons can pose danger to airplanes, officials advise
By Mark Russell,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 30, 2012 9:19 AM CST
Want to Copy Lego Launch? Not So Fast...
The launch of a Lego man into space by weather balloon has air safety experts worried that copycats could be dangerous to passing planes.   (H0RACIOCAMBEIRO)

(Newser) Lego men in space—like the one recently sent 14 miles above sea level by two Toronto teens—may be cool, but pilots have a warning for would-be copycats: Your weather balloon could endanger airplanes, reports the Toronto Star. Were a plane to fly into a large balloon, the damage could be the equivalent of hitting a bird. And if the balloon was sucked into an engine, things could get ugly, warned air safety experts.

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Unmanned balloon flights are not regulated in Canada, but transport officials ask that anyone planning on launching a balloon first notify authorities. “I think in the 25 years that I’ve been flying I’ve seen two weather balloons that passed on one side of the aircraft or the other,” said a pilot safety expert. (Read more Lego stories.)

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