Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta Day 4
Tuesday October 8, 2002
Page 3 - Competitions

10-8-02-7-12 As we were flying over the alternate launch field we almost bumped into Air-zona. And yes, we really were that close, I wasn't using a zoom lens!! She came up pretty fast underneath us, thankfully we had a great pilot and the Air-zona pilot seemed to know what he was doing as well! So no harm done, but it was pretty exciting for a few minutes!!

Looking North towards the main launch field.

Looking towards the field.

Looking behind us at the balloons coming in for their turn at the competitions.

Dolphin and Cavu. Looks like they're kissing doesn't it?

10-8-02-6-04 In this shot you can see part of one of the large "X" targets that the balloons aim for. The small white squares that you see are actually large playing cards. Each balloon pilot has several bean bags that they drop on the targets trying to get as close to the center as possible. The playing cards are part of a game of "Blackjack" sponsored by one of the local casinos. The idea, of course, is to get a bean bag on two cards that add up to "21". All the bean bags were printed with the balloon number in order to keep track of the scores. If you're interested in the rules and results please visit the fiesta website at The winners got some great prizes, including vehicles, motorcycles, jewelry, cash and trips to other balloon festivals. (no we didn't participate)

Balloons in the picture are (down low from left to right): Kiss-A Hoy and Bubbaloon. (In the sky from left to right): Archangel; Journal Pavilion; one of the Wells Fargo balloons; and Handcrafted Dream
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Click for names

In this shot you can see Air Bear right over one of the targets. We would have sworn that they hit the target dead on but apparently they didn't since their score was a lot lower than they expected.
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Check out the shadow. Pretty cool huh?
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I had to get a shot of the "filling station" set up for the balloon pilots to refill their propane tanks. They had quite the operation going, there were 48 separate places to fill up between the two trucks. Made for an interesting view from overhead.

Another shot of the group we were watching. Click on the picture for balloon names.

Another nice vertical shot showing a whole herd of balloons! As the competitions were drawing to a close and the fuel tanks were getting low it was getting to be time to land so Rick, our pilot, decided to find a nice, non-busy, spot on the field to land. (First time he landed on the field all week!!) Next page is shots taken after landing (I was a little too busy to worry about the camera for the next half hour or so!)
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