Thursday, August 6, 2009
Balloon Rally Part 3 - Good landing
There are 4 possible balloon launches at the Pittsfield, NH Balloon Rally. Friday evening it rained. No launch. Saturday morning was a great flight. See blog post 8/4/09. Saturday evening was also good.
The last scheduled flight, Sunday morning, poses a special problem. Mornings are usually damp and dewy. The fact that the weather has been very rainy lately just added to the dampness. Plus fields are not mowed yet. One thing balloon pilots do not want to do is put a wet balloon away. Mold, you know. That would mean that in the next few days, if not sooner, they would have to lay the balloon out and dry it off.
That said, our pilot looked for a nice dry place to land on Sunday morning. One of the great things about the Pittsfield Balloon Rally is the cooperation of the local Police Department. One year our pilot accidentally dropped his two-way phone in the grass getting out of the balloon. That meant he lost contact with the chase vehicle. Word spread, however and the police found them and the chase vehicle and everyone got together - all was well.
Several times the best landing place is right on Rt 28 bypass, a fairly busy local road. When a balloon gets in that situation, the Pittsfield Police will stop traffic so the balloon can land safely. This requires lots of help from the crew so that traffic is not stopped for very long. That was our balloon pilot's choice on Sunday morning this year.
As part of the crew, my daughter and I were parked along side the road and saw many people waiting in their cars. Many were very concerned seeing a balloon and lots of blue flashing lights. We assured them that things were fine and that the balloon landed in the road on purpose.
Gets a little exciting but very safe - just watch out for the electric wires. We have a very competent pilot!
The rush is on to wrap things up quickly as the concerned people can suddenly get impatient.
With everything wrapped up, it is back to the field for the Champagne Breakfast of scrambled eggs, bacon and yes, champagne.
One of the traditions is to "welcome" new pilots with bottles champagne.
Everyone is a good sport and all have a lot of fun, even the wet ones.
So, that was the Pittsfield Hot Air Balloon Rally for 2009. I hope you enjoyed the "tour".
Tomorrow, I'll have the last balloon pictures of one of the biggest balloons, the Energizer Hot Hare Balloon. He was such fun to watch.
I'll be back to jewelry themes Monday.
www.bevsjewelry.com and www.bevsjewelry.1000markets.com