First Balloon Flight
Ballunar Liftoff Festival
August 1999

I crewed for the Uniroyal Team the whole weekend.
No, I had never flown on or even been around hot air balloons much.
Quite a different view from this angle.
A lot of work ... and ... a lot of fun.

Holding the throat open
during inflation -
cool air goes in first
then you burn the hot air
to make the balloon lift.

Lines inside the tire
maintain the structure
of the special shape balloon
(flat walls in this case).

Deflating ...
still much work to do.
Must milk all the air
out through the top,
roll it up, then
fit it into a small bag.

Loading the packed
envelope into the van.
This balloon weighs
almost four times a
traditional balloon.

First Flight Balloonist's Prayer
Upon completion of your first flight, there is a special ceremony.
It involves a wonderful story about the first ballonists, champagne,
being on your knees, and bending over to drink the champagne without the aid of your hands.
Yea, you may remember that part from college!

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Susan N. Freeman
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