Greetings from Angola, IN, home of the 6th Annual Angola Balloons Aloft Show. Over 30 balloons are scheduled to fly and glow both today and tomorrow, with a laser light show afterwards.
It takes a little work to get a hot air balloon flying, first you use a fan to fill the envelope, warm up the air inside, tip if up, once the passengers climb inside you are ready to take off.
The dark side of the force was represented by Darth Vader. Luckily for us, Yoda was also in attendance.
Here you can see two different types of envelopes, the one on the right will go up and down quicker, but uses a little more propane than the one above the round barn. The teardrop shape is used more in competition.
Every pilot had to skim the lake, because they all take pride in their altitude control. They go to different altitudes to look for wind that is blowing in the direction they wish to go. If the wind doesn't cooperate, they look for alternative landing sites. Phil said using a GPS feels like cheating, because he started with a paper map and a china pencil.
When the burner isn't firing, you silently move along because you are moving at wind speed, and the pilots talk to each other without a radio when they are close together.
This is the balloon Scott rode in. For pilot Phil Clinger this was his first flight with his new toy, and everyone in the other balloons either yelled or radioed him about how good it looked in sky above Steuben County.
A real World War II veteran is attending the show, courtesy of the Yankee Air Museum. It flew in the European Theater, mainly over Sicily and northern Italy, including the Brenner Pass.
The Yankee Warrior in flight. It took 16 years to restore this plane to flying condition. It will be giving rides all weekend.
Here the B-25 D is taking off, giving a WW II veteran an remembrance ride.
Event like this just don't happen, they require sponsorship, and Parkview Health and all the other sponsors that make this event possible. Rob Meyer, from Parkview Health LaGrange, talks about his first hot air balloon ride:
Our thanks to the organizers of Angola Ballooons Aloft, Rob of Parkview Health, and Phil Clinger