Pat and I were at the launch site a little before 6:30 AM (yes AM!), but the balloons weren’t ready to launch. The pilots were looking at maps to try to figure out what to do. The usual launch site was at the west end of an open area, but today the winds were blowing east to west; contrary to the usual prevailing winds. After much discussion they decided to move the launch site about a quarter of a mile to the east, confident they had enough room to clear the trees. These pictures tell the story of the effort and teamwork needed to get a balloon off of the ground with hot air. Today they decided to use propane instead of politicians.
The Balloon is Pulled out of the Basket
A large fan – powered by a gas-powered generator – begins to fill the balloon with air. The fan to the right will be positioned once the balloon is fully laid out.
Balloons in various states of filling. The balloons in the back have switched to propane to heat up the air in the balloon.
The beginning of the switch to propane to heat up the captured air,