Snap Shots

As you know, balloon navigation can be problematic. You are pretty much limited to go where the wind takes you. As it happens,
wind direction can vary by altitude – depending upon season, geography and weather. Hot-air balloons can, therefore,
change direction by changing altitude – either by releasing air from the envelope or by running the burners to add more hot air
to the balloon. Favorable layers of wind directions is often present during the fall in Albuquerque. However, vicissitudes in the wind
can present challenges and downdrafts, such as occur due to land shapes near my neighborhood, can trap even experienced pilots.

Bob's balloon dropped into the neighborhood on Thursday, October 7, 2010. I don't think Bob was exactly planning this maneuver,
but he did a masterful job of lightly placing the gondola on my neighbor's driveway and the balloon envelope on the lawn
without breaking any limbs - trees or human! Bob's Balloons out of Orlando, Florida comes to the balloon fiesta most
years and the folks who were riding with him sure sounded like they had a great time.

Here is a sequence of photos of the last stages of their adventure featuring the activity on the ground. I was on my
roof taking balloon pictures when they came down, so I scrambled down the ladder and walked over with my camera.
Everyone was very nice, including the neighbors with their unexpected visitors.

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Bob Lands in My Neighborhood - October 7, 2010

balloons over house
Floating by without a care in the world.

balloon with big gondola
"Great view of these houses, but..."

hot air balloon
"... say, Bob, aren't we getting a little low?"

hot air balloon
"Over there, over there!"

hot air balloon
"Yikes! Hold on!!" I love the irony of the "Dead End" sign, too.

hot air balloon
Grounded. Top view of the balloon envelope showing the vent.

balloon on the ground
Looks bigger on the ground.

balloon on the ground
Bob unhooks from the gondola as the homeowner, standing in his driveway, looks on.

balloon on the ground
Lashing the balloon envelope to a tree just in case.

balloon on the ground
The sun shining through the balloon.

balloon on the ground
"Pull here to hold the vent open."

balloon on the ground
Looking inside from the bottom opening.

balloon on the ground
Holding the top vent open.

balloon on the ground
Rapidly deflating now.

chase vehicle
The chase vehicle arrives.

balloon on the ground
Deflated and ready to pack.

balloon on the ground
"All of this is supposed to fit in this little bag?"

balloon on the ground
"It almost fits."

balloon on the ground
"Now it fits!"

balloon on the ground
Put it in the trailer and break out the champagne... this is where the photographer makes his graceful exit.


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All photographs © Bosque Bill and may not be used for any purpose without prior written permission.