The Sport Behind Ballooning - KWES NewsWest 9 / Midland, Odessa, Big Spring, TX: newswest9.com |

The Sport Behind Ballooning

Audrey Castoreno
NewsWest 9

ALPINE- Balloon enthusiasts are up with the rising sun. Alpine, the perfect backdrop for taking flight at the annual Big Bend Balloon Bash. 

"It's a fun place to fly," Pilot, Darryl Fear, said.

However, there's a lot of work to be done before taking flight.

"Yes, there's a lot more to it. People look at what they see on TV," Fear said.

It takes a whole flight crew to get the balloon off the ground.

"Most people don't realize that it's a registered aircraft," Fear said.

The crew helps to connect the burners to the basket, followed by hooking the envelope or more commonly known as the balloon. Then cold air must be blown in the balloon before the burner is used to get it off the ground. Once in the air, it's a smooth ride.

"It's unique because it's the first form of aviation," Fear said.

It's also the only form of flight where you can get a 360 degree view. A scenic view of the mountainous region that Alpine has to offer.

But the team effort isn't over just yet.

"After we start flying and get off the ground, our crew has to follow us, " Fear said.

That's because, "the wind takes us where the wind takes us," Fear said.

Once back on the ground, it's time to clean up and store away till the next flight. A flight that pilots say is definitely a bucket list-must do.

"It's a once in a lifetime experience. If you get the chance to do it, I recommend you do it," Fear said.

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