Weather Complicates Competition at Balloon Classic

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INDIANOLA, Iowa -- For the third day in a row, weather hampered fans from watching hot air balloons compete at the National Balloon Classic in Indianola.

“The weather has not been what we’d hoped for so far,” said Al Appenzeller, pilot. “Maybe the fog will lift off, then we can lift off later morning.”

The weather must have been listening because just before 9 a.m. Wednesday the fog cleared and crews were able to take off.

Fog was the issue Wednesday but weather delays and cancellations have been a common theme at this year’s event. Severe weather forced the canceling of both rounds of early competition on Monday and Tuesday. Weather hasn’t been ideal but that’s not enough to deflate the spirit of the crews at the classic.

“The morale has been pretty positive,” said Brad Temeyer, Assistant Race Director, National Balloon Classic.

Temeyer goes onto say that the safety of the pilots is the priority and they have been tighter on flights because of Federal Aviation Administration regulations in regards to competition. Safety rules are commonly much tighter than recreational flights.

"We are still trying to hope to get a couple more flights in. The good news is that this event is a long running one. It runs for over a week. Given that, that is the case hopefully we'll get enough opportunities to get a good quality event in,” said Temeyer.

Wind over 10 mph will cause a delay in take offs and visibility must be at least clear for at least three miles.

Temeyer said while it’s unfortunate that morning flights have been cancelled, it looks good for evening flights. The classic runs until this Saturday.


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