EXHIB-IT! sponsored Check Ride Balloon, piloted by Ryan Lowenstein at the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta from October 4-12, 2014. This is our third year sponsoring a balloon for this great event.
The first day of balloon fiesta started off with 3-5 mph launch winds and we were first wave in the mass ascension. We had a 45 minute flight and landed near Costco at Renaissance Blvd. with a stand up beautiful landing back into the loving arms of Mother Earth. Our passengers were guests of mine from College Station, TX – Scott and Ben Schams and they were first time balloon passengers. We had the traditional after flight champagne ceremony and celebrated their first time flight.
The Saturday night balloon glow was cancelled due to high winds, as was early Sunday morning flights. The winds aloft exceeded 30 mph winds 800 feet and above the ground level. We decided to do a static balloon display for the spectators and were on the local TV news station. We are at Launch Site F1 and the Arabella Special Shape Balloon (Creamland Dairies) is located at H1, which makes it fun for us with the media and photographers with the added visibility.
Sunday night we participated in the balloon glow with about 300 other balloons and lit up the park. It was spectacular to see in person and the attendance at the event made it even more fun. The visitors walked around and collected balloon pins and cards and the night ended with a fireworks display for all.
Monday’s flight was a competition day flight so we had to fly from off field and locate a spot for the winds to help us travel to the marked “X” spots on the fiesta field. We took off in Corrales near Corrales Road and Target Road at an open small field. The takeoff was slow and steady and the higher up winds took us to the East. We got to the field and descended but not enough to make it low enough to compete and make the target. We flew over the field with our banner displayed proud on the balloon and landed just south of the Old Fiesta Field next to the Western Assurance Building off Paseo del Norte Road. Passengers were my daughter-in-law Reoyne Cook and grandson Malachi. They too enjoyed their first time ever flight and said how quiet it is up in the balloon high up above the ground! What a beautiful view for all.
The flight days thus far have been wonderful and the passengers all had standup soft landings. We are excited to continue in the Balloon Fiesta and hope for days like this ahead through the end of Fiesta this year.
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