A welcome green flag. Clear blue skies. And hundreds of brightly colored balloons lifting off for a morning of hot air adventure.
It was a picture-perfect morning for flying at Balloon Fiesta Park on Tuesday as pilots taking part in dawn patrol and the scheduled mass ascension launched into calm conditions.
The America’s Challenge Gas Balloon Race started Monday night after being delayed for two days. A satellite tracker on balloonfiesta.com showed that by 10:30 p.m. Tuesday, the distance-race balloons were in Iowa, South Dakota and Nebraska. A team from France piloted by Vincent Leys and Eric Decellieres was in first place and had traveled 742 miles.