DES MOINES, Iowa – The ‘Flight Over Des Moines’ is postponed until Tuesday due to weather.
The National Balloon Classic flies over downtown Des Moines the week leading up to the nine-day event.
According to Pilot Joel Worthington, winds are a major factor when determining if it is safe to go up.
“The wind on the surface is sometimes much different than the winds aloft. Couple hundred feet up it could be going much faster and in a different direction than the wind on the surface,” Worthington said.
Worthington said there need to be calm winds in order to have a safe landing.
The National Balloon Classic in Indianola works with the National Weather Service to determine if it is safe to fly. They also use a small helium balloon to see what the wind is life.
“The balloon, you are just riding the wind. The only control we have is up and down. You can’t steer side-to-side unless there is wind direction that changes as we go up and down, which is common. You have to judge how high off the ground, which direction the wind is moving in order to decide where to go and how to maneuver,” Worthington said.
Worthington said some years pilots have flown 17 times in the nine-day event, while other years they have only been able to get up six times.
Pilots fly under 1,200 feet for the ‘Flight of Des Moines.’
The National Balloon Classic begins Friday. For a full schedule, click here.