"The planned task would be to raise Mattie, 44 lbs, using balloons. The "B-Team" consisting of the build team (Scottie/Kari/Tory) handled the task."
"Experiment 1: How much weight do 10 party balloons raise? A: 100 grams: 46 balloons for 1lb. This means that they would need ~2000 balloons to raise mattie."
Average weight of a 6 year old is 40-50 pounds.
Looking at the size of the balloon relitive to a person on the ground - there doesn't seem to be enough volume to even LIFT a kid off the ground.
Update 1 - Average Volume for a Balloon is 1.84 Liters2 - That would mean approx 3600 Liters of helium. Update 2 - Look at the image here3 - and the virtual volume needed to lift that person - there is NO way that weather balloon is big enough to sustain flight with a boy in it. Update 3 - CNN is reporting that they *MAY* have been enough Helium to carry 100 pounds - without dimentions it's hard to say. But also looking at the way the balloon was floating (from what I could see) didn't look like anyone was in there.