Balloon week: Organizers prep airport, keep eye on the weather
A successful hot air balloon flight comes from knowing what you can and cannot control. The same can be said for the annual national event that lifts off at dawn Monday.
Simply put, the U.S. National Championships and the Great Texas Balloon Race are at the mercy of the weather. Too much wind can prevent a morning’s contests, like it did for two days this past year. So can low clouds.
And rain can affect more than the pilots, as it did in 2007 when the mushy grounds at East Texas Regional Airport prevented the whole thing from happening.
“The weather was so nice last week,” Larry Aldridge said Thursday.
The captain of an army that will finish transforming the airport grounds into a festival site today, Aldridge knows he can’t control the weather. But he can control whether or not the host site is ready for the 77 pilots expected this week.
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