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***America One and Patriot Debut at Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta (ABNER'S BALLOONS!!!)***
US FLAG BALLOON ^ | 10/15/03 | Diotima

Posted on 10/15/2003 11:03:50 AM PDT by diotima

The Albuquerque International Ballon Fiesta was held October 4-12, 2003. The star attractions of the event, in my humble opinion, were the America One and Patriot special shape balloons, owned by freeperess Abner and her husband (and America One pilot) Victim of Circumstance.

Bob J and I flew to Albuquerque on Wednesday to attend the festival.

On Thursday morning we gleefully woke up at 3:30am (that is 2:30am Los Angeles time) to attend the mass assension of the special shape balloons. We drove to the field with abner, VOC, and their very dedicated crew (including FR's own Taxman, Crew Chief of Patriot.) Unfortunately, the wind was not working in our favor and the balloons did not fly. It takes at least an hour to prepare the balloons for inflation. The crew was amazing! Later that night, we returned for The Glow, which is where the balloons are lit up on the ground. It was an amazing site. I believe there was about 80 special shape balloons at the event.

The next morning, same time, we woke up and headed down to the field for the special shape assension. I wanted to fly in the balloon if the weather permitted. (Aside: I don't know why I wanted to fly in the balloon as I hate flying in planes...go figure.) As luck would have it, there was no wind and we got ready to roll! I flew in America One with Victim of Circumstance at the healm. We were up in the air for over an hour and a half! (What was going through my head: WOW this is amazing! I hope my hair doesn't catch on fire.)

The balloon landed softly off the field and people came out their houses to see the balloon and take pictures. The chase crew arrived with in a minute of our landing and packed up the balloon. Later that night we returned to the field for the evening glow.

We had such a fabulous time and I had a terrific experience. When the balloon season starts up again next year, I urge people to go and see abner and VOC's balloon as it showcases at events around the country. Looking at pictures does not do the balloons justice!!!

Many, many pictures can be found at
www.usflagballoon.com and
Dio's Pictures


TOPICS: Activism/Chapters
KEYWORDS: abner; americaone; balloons; flagballoon; patriot; usflagballoon
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1 posted on 10/15/2003 11:03:51 AM PDT by diotima
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To: All

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2 posted on 10/15/2003 11:04:57 AM PDT by Support Free Republic (Your support keeps Free Republic going strong!)
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To: abner; victim of circumstance; Bob J; Taxman; Interesting Times; Nick Danger; Seeking the truth; ...
Ping!
3 posted on 10/15/2003 11:05:15 AM PDT by diotima
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To: diotima; MSRiverdog; AbsoluteGrace; Registered
A great time had by all... We flew America One on Sunday morning also. I will be posting more photo pages as the day progresses. About 2000 photos to wade through to get the best ones.
4 posted on 10/15/2003 11:07:17 AM PDT by abner (In search of a witty tag line...)
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To: abner
I am kicking my butt for missing y'all when you were up here in Connecticut.

Keep up the beautiful work, those are awesome!
5 posted on 10/15/2003 11:14:49 AM PDT by Fierce Allegiance (Let's go Red Sox!)
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To: diotima
Here is the correctly spelled link for US Flag Balloon... Two ll's Dio... LOL! I do that all the time.
6 posted on 10/15/2003 11:18:28 AM PDT by abner (In search of a witty tag line...)
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To: abner
Sierra Vista Arizona has a festival of color each year around this time.

Are y'all headed this way?

If not, how 'bout next year?
7 posted on 10/15/2003 11:19:33 AM PDT by HiJinx (Go safely, go in strength, go in God's good Grace. Come home when the time is right. We'll be here.)
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To: diotima
What is the cubic feet in these balloons? They look huge.
8 posted on 10/15/2003 11:19:51 AM PDT by Sunshine Sister
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To: Sunshine Sister
America One is 124,000 and Patriot is about 140,000...
9 posted on 10/15/2003 11:21:24 AM PDT by abner (In search of a witty tag line...)
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To: abner
heheh. I'm still adjusting....
10 posted on 10/15/2003 11:21:27 AM PDT by diotima
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To: HiJinx
We send out brochures to the events. If they want us, they contact us.
11 posted on 10/15/2003 11:22:03 AM PDT by abner (In search of a witty tag line...)
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To: diotima; abner
I am so jealous!

Glad you had a great time!

Regards,

TS

12 posted on 10/15/2003 11:22:43 AM PDT by The Shrew (Radio Free Republic - The New NPR!)
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To: diotima
Me too. Another page of beautiful balloons! October 10th-Diotima's flight in America One!
13 posted on 10/15/2003 11:23:45 AM PDT by abner (In search of a witty tag line...)
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To: The Shrew
We missed you! Make it a priority for next year, for sure!
14 posted on 10/15/2003 11:23:50 AM PDT by diotima
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To: The Shrew
We are all very sad that you couldn't attend.
15 posted on 10/15/2003 11:24:17 AM PDT by abner (In search of a witty tag line...)
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To: AnnaZ; HangFire; Lady Jenn; gc4nra
Ping!
16 posted on 10/15/2003 11:28:00 AM PDT by diotima
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To: abner
MERCY! How many crew do you have to have to fly them?
17 posted on 10/15/2003 11:29:44 AM PDT by Sunshine Sister
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To: abner
Ok, Let me see what I can do to assist them in the invitation process...

Sierra Vista is the 'military town' outside of Ft. Huachuca (wah-CHOO-kuh), home of the Army's Military Intelligence School and 11th Signal Brigade...and 20-30 thousand active and retired patriotic military personnel. I'm sure we'd love a chance to support your appearance.

In addition, I have an idea for sponsorship support, if you're willing to try it. FReepmail inbound shortly.
18 posted on 10/15/2003 11:30:22 AM PDT by HiJinx (Go safely, go in strength, go in God's good Grace. Come home when the time is right. We'll be here.)
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To: Mr. Mojo
ping!
19 posted on 10/15/2003 11:31:27 AM PDT by NRA2BFree (OURSOURCE CONGRESS TO INDIA AND CUT THEIR PAY!)
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To: Sunshine Sister
For America One we need at least 12 and for Patriot we need at least 20.
20 posted on 10/15/2003 11:32:26 AM PDT by abner (In search of a witty tag line...)
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To: NRA2BFree
Thanks for the ping.

Sounds fun .....I can hardly wait for next year :)

21 posted on 10/15/2003 11:37:01 AM PDT by Mr. Mojo
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To: abner
We have a Firefly 7. Six handles, six people. I'm thinking with balloons like what you have, you must be looking at some huge insurance bills, annual bills and pop and the like for crew members etc and some major league big places to land! The thought boggles my mind!
22 posted on 10/15/2003 11:46:46 AM PDT by Sunshine Sister
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To: Sunshine Sister
Oh my! Someone who knows! LOL!

Someone once said, "Do what you love and the money will follow."

We are still waiting.... . . . .

But, we are still doing what we love.

Someone at Albuquerque said we were just in this for the money. I can tell you that is just not the case. We are in this for the country and for promoting the sport. I'm trying to figure out where the money is, cause it isn't coming our way. LOL!
23 posted on 10/15/2003 11:54:00 AM PDT by abner (In search of a witty tag line...)
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To: abner
Money in ballooning.........where? There is no money in ballooning except what you throw at your equipment. We fly for the love of the sport too.

Before they got grass at Albuquerque we would go only to spectate. Our balloon is pink, yellow and blue so it would get way to dirty. We would have to win the lottery to afford to get our truck that far away from home because it uses so much gas! Life is so hard isn't it?

24 posted on 10/15/2003 12:00:57 PM PDT by Sunshine Sister
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To: diotima; abner
I was in Albuquerque the first four days of the event. I haven*t missed a year since they began. I think It*s the most beautiful event in the world. :)

There*s one coming up in December in Gallup, NM. There*s really gorgeous scenery flying over the famous Red Rocks east of Gallup.

That*s where I got hurt. We got caught by ground winds when we came down, landed hard, got picked up by the wind, hit hard again and drug for a block before our chase crew could catch us. I got 3 cracked ribs, had two spinal surgeries and knee surgery as a result. Of course, ALL the men landed on me. LOL! All 115 pounds of me! :) The pilot walked up my back to keep from falling out of the balloon. LOL! I won*t fly again but I have been in chase crews since. It was my "virgin flight." Naturally. lol

Here*s the link to the Red Rock Balloon Rally!

Red Rock Balloon Rally

25 posted on 10/15/2003 12:04:27 PM PDT by NRA2BFree (OURSOURCE CONGRESS TO INDIA AND CUT THEIR PAY!)
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To: diotima; abner
WOW bump!
26 posted on 10/15/2003 12:06:30 PM PDT by Jen (Ain't skeered to use my 'real' screenname.)
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To: Mr. Mojo
Sounds fun .....I can hardly wait for next year :)

Me either! You will love it. :) It is so beautiful. I*ll go up again, if you do. lol :)

27 posted on 10/15/2003 12:07:52 PM PDT by NRA2BFree (OURSOURCE CONGRESS TO INDIA AND CUT THEIR PAY!)
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To: Sunshine Sister; victim of circumstance
VOC- please see SS's posts! LOL!

Our 1986 Chevy got 5.5 miles to the gallon both ways... To Abq and back to Philly... We can't afford a newer truck. All of our cash is in the balloons and fuel.

I understand. I have to say that the reaction of the crowds and the individuals that love the balloons makes it all worthwhile.

Do you have any pics of your balloon? I would love to see them.

28 posted on 10/15/2003 12:11:47 PM PDT by abner (In search of a witty tag line...)
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To: NRA2BFree; diotima
Wow! That is a bummer! Good thing Dio didn't hear about your experience before her first flight! If we go next year we will go for the whole 9 days. I think we missed out on a lot of fun.

We talked about going to fly Red Rock on Monday after Fiesta but were too busy wrapping things up before we left yesterday.
29 posted on 10/15/2003 12:14:50 PM PDT by abner (In search of a witty tag line...)
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To: NRA2BFree; abner
OOOO, good thing I didn't hear about that. I was not really worried about the flight because I KNEW that VOC was such a great pilot.
30 posted on 10/15/2003 12:19:55 PM PDT by diotima
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To: NRA2BFree
Oh man, your maiden flight wasn't much fun was it? I'm sorry that you won't at least try one more time for a fun flight. After all, when you crew you don't always see hard landings do you? If you do then by all means stay the heck out!
31 posted on 10/15/2003 12:21:37 PM PDT by Sunshine Sister
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To: abner
I'm not sure show old our Chevy is, but it's close to yours in age. We do get better mileage than you do. A whopping 8 MPG.

I have pictures, but I'd have to send one to you. I have no idea how to post pictures here.

32 posted on 10/15/2003 12:24:14 PM PDT by Sunshine Sister
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To: Sunshine Sister; diotima
The only landing I have ever had that I would consider 'hard' would be the one I had on Saturday and that wasn't. We lightly bounced 3 times. SS is right, if you see too many 'hard' landings you don't fly with that person. LOL!
33 posted on 10/15/2003 12:26:34 PM PDT by abner (In search of a witty tag line...)
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To: Sunshine Sister
Don't worry about it. We will just have to fly together sometime! Here is the link for my flight on Saturday morning! Yep, I flew at Albuquerque. Strictly a passenger.... October 11th flight

I think I just have October 12th left to post. We flew America One and it was the best day for photos. . . .

34 posted on 10/15/2003 12:34:39 PM PDT by abner (In search of a witty tag line...)
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To: diotima
I hope my hair doesn't catch on fire.
LOL

Sounds like a good time, wish we could have made it, maybe next year!

35 posted on 10/15/2003 12:36:03 PM PDT by HangFire (Keep it simple and things won't get complicated.)
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To: abner; diotima
Wow! That is a bummer! Good thing Dio didn't hear about your experience before her first flight! If we go next year we will go for the whole 9 days. I think we missed out on a lot of fun.

We talked about going to fly Red Rock on Monday after Fiesta but were too busy wrapping things up before we left yesterday.

Yeah, it was not fun. The pilot was showing me how the winds blew different directions and speeds at different altitudes and didn't realize that the other balloons had landed. There were balloons and chase crews all over the ground so our chase crew couldn't get through the traffic to catch us.

The reason he was showing me wind currents is because he had to talk me into going up to begin with. He had told me how safe they were and wanted to show me. lol Yup, it was real safe. :) You should have seen the look on his face when we were all out of the balloon. He really felt bad. I got my "initiation" before I left though. I wanted to grab that bottle and drink it for the pain, instead of having it poured on my head. lol

You guys should try Red Rock Balloon Rally next year. It's really growing and a fun time for all. :)

36 posted on 10/15/2003 12:41:28 PM PDT by NRA2BFree (OURSOURCE CONGRESS TO INDIA AND CUT THEIR PAY!)
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To: abner
The first time I went to Albuquerque I got to fly with a pilot from Oklahoma who almost landed on Mr. Ed's grave! I never dreamed I would be asked to crew and then get a flight!
37 posted on 10/15/2003 12:44:28 PM PDT by Sunshine Sister
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To: diotima; abner
OOOO, good thing I didn't hear about that. I was not really worried about the flight because I KNEW that VOC was such a great pilot.

He had never had an accident before this one. Things like that just happen sometimes. I heard there were about 5 hard landings in Albuquerque this year too. I'm glad you were not one of them and that you had a good flight. :)

38 posted on 10/15/2003 12:50:32 PM PDT by NRA2BFree (OURSOURCE CONGRESS TO INDIA AND CUT THEIR PAY!)
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To: abner; diotima
Looks like SO much fun. While driving to town the other day, just as I hit the edge of town saw nine balloons lifting off...I was thrilled with just nine ordinary balloons....can't imagine the thrill of so many and so varied....
39 posted on 10/15/2003 1:00:05 PM PDT by hoosiermama (I lost my mind years ago; But I'm just now missing it!)
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To: Sunshine Sister
Mr. Ed? Wow! He is famous...

We were surprised that we could fly whoever we wanted. It was pretty cool. We can't take paying passengers in America One or Patriot because they are considered experimental. Usually the events want us to take sponsors or other VIP's.
40 posted on 10/15/2003 1:07:37 PM PDT by abner (In search of a witty tag line...)
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To: Sunshine Sister
Oh man, your maiden flight wasn't much fun was it? I'm sorry that you won't at least try one more time for a fun flight. After all, when you crew you don't always see hard landings do you? If you do then by all means stay the heck out!

No, not much fun at all. I didn't want to go because I don't like to fly and I was holding fast to staying on the ground. When my friend gave in and hopped into the basket I could have choked him. lol I felt like an idiot standing there alone so I just hopped into the basket and away we went. :)

I might go again one day. I was talked into it once when I didn't want to go, so I could probably be talked into it again. :) I know everyone has so much fun, and it really was quite a rush. Until we hit. lol :) Once we were up in the air, I wasn't afraid. Floating was really an awesome feeling. :)

41 posted on 10/15/2003 1:08:56 PM PDT by NRA2BFree (OURSOURCE CONGRESS TO INDIA AND CUT THEIR PAY!)
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To: NRA2BFree
I heard there were about 5 hard landings in Albuquerque this year too. I'm glad you were not one of them and that you had a good flight. :)

Yes, two special shapes were among them. Oggy the dinosaur was destroyed and Sunny Boy had a mishap but was flying the next day.

The wind picked up horribly that day. We also had a tear in the flag, but we were able to have it repaired that day.

42 posted on 10/15/2003 1:10:23 PM PDT by abner (In search of a witty tag line...)
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To: NRA2BFree
Flying is awesome indeed. We do manage to have lots of fun. The crew has as much fun as the people who fly. It's a rush either way!
43 posted on 10/15/2003 1:15:34 PM PDT by Sunshine Sister
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To: abner
Yes, two special shapes were among them. Oggy the dinosaur was destroyed and Sunny Boy had a mishap but was flying the next day.

The wind picked up horribly that day. We also had a tear in the flag, but we were able to have it repaired that day.

Oh man, that's too bad. I really love the special shapes. They're my favorites. :)

It had been raining in NM for a couple of days before the festival started and the storms were bringing a lot of wind. Over the years there have been a few people killed in Albuquerque ballooning accidents. I believe they were wind related accidents. I'm glad you guys didn't get hurt and got the Flag fixed. :)

44 posted on 10/15/2003 1:19:03 PM PDT by NRA2BFree (OURSOURCE CONGRESS TO INDIA AND CUT THEIR PAY!)
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To: NRA2BFree
Yes, the flag was fixed by a company called AirCo. They were very nice people.

I hate to see any injuries at all related to the sport. They usually get blown way out of proportion by the media.

45 posted on 10/15/2003 1:23:24 PM PDT by abner (In search of a witty tag line...)
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To: All
All of my pages are up now. For the index go to : Index page and click on the pages for all of the photos. I took over 2000 pics this last weekend, and these are a fraction of the best. Now I'm going to start looking at about 13 hours of video!
46 posted on 10/15/2003 1:25:36 PM PDT by abner (In search of a witty tag line...)
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To: Sunshine Sister
Flying is awesome indeed. We do manage to have lots of fun. The crew has as much fun as the people who fly. It's a rush either way!

We've had lots of fun at the "tent" parties with the balloonists and crews. lol What a bunch of neat people they are. :)

47 posted on 10/15/2003 1:27:23 PM PDT by NRA2BFree (OURSOURCE CONGRESS TO INDIA AND CUT THEIR PAY!)
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To: dixie sass
I won't, but Diotima was kind enough to put one up...
48 posted on 10/15/2003 1:31:51 PM PDT by abner (In search of a witty tag line...)
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To: NRA2BFree
When we are having fun we are a great group to be around. Crazy really. Balloonists are a special breed.
49 posted on 10/15/2003 1:37:25 PM PDT by Sunshine Sister
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To: abner
I hate to see any injuries at all related to the sport. They usually get blown way out of proportion by the media.

Yes, the media thrives on hype. When there are that many balloons flying over a period of years, injuries are going to happen. One year a balloon caught on fire and burned up in the air. The news media caught it on tape and they showed the people falling from the balloon for several days on each news program. It was really sad. I think the media was wrong to do it because it was horrifying to watch.

50 posted on 10/15/2003 1:44:57 PM PDT by NRA2BFree (OURSOURCE CONGRESS TO INDIA AND CUT THEIR PAY!)
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