National Balloon Classic Grounded for Wind

Balloons taking off from Des Moines (WHO-HD)

Balloons taking off from Des Moines (WHO-HD)

INDIANOLA, Iowa–The weather is causing some problems for the first weekend of the National Balloon Classic in Indianola.

“The one thing you can’t control is the weather and that’s what you have to accept in the sport of ballooning and you just have to deal with it,” says Hot Air Balloon Pilot Gary Haynes of Indianola.

When you’re flying hot air balloons the forecast is crucial.

“The FAA has a waiver of ten knots that we can fly in and the Federal Aviation Administration puts the limit on us on what we’re allowed to fly in right now it’s well above that,” says Race Director Bill Clemons.

Clemons says the event and night glow were both canceled because wind speeds were measuring nearly double FAA standards.

“We feel we can fly safely when it’s ten when it’s more than that it’s really hard to get the balloon to inflate,” says Cleamons.

For pilots it’s not the news they were hoping to hear.

“Traditionally the first week of August is the best ballooning weather that we get soft winds and beautiful skies the rest of the week I think will be that, tonight unfortunately is a little on the brisk side,” says Hot Air Balloon Pilot Gary Ruble.

Families at the event were able to catch some skydivers willing to brave the winds but the balloon show will have to wait.

Sunday’s Night Glow has been rescheduled for Friday at dusk.

You can catch the balloons flying in Indianola through Saturday at 6:30 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. every day.

More information on the National Balloon Classic and daily event can be found by clicking here.

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