Balloon Fiesta pilots relish smooth landings and excellent weather

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M – Almost every Balloon Fiesta event went off without a hitch, and pilots from all over got a chance to fly their balloons. 

For Mike Hickey and Jason Carpenter, there is nothing like a nice ride up in the sky followed by a smooth landing. 

“We’ve had great landings all week. Great weather, great landings,” said Hickey. 

“It’s been wonderful, the weather has been great we had one day where the wind was a little bit too hot, but other than that it’s been great flying weather,” said Carpenter. 

Balloons drifted south Saturday morning due to some wind, but the Making Memories balloon landed safely in The Pit parking lot. 

“It was really good, we had a lot of wind lower and so once we got into more dense population it made it a little bit more challenging to land, but we found a nice spot here in the parking lot and, great landing, smooth landing,” Carpenter said.  

Carpenter started working towards his pilot license this year. He says it was his friend Hickey that made him want to fly. 

“He was local and a friend of mine crewed with him, and we went out when he was doing a balloon event, and we’ve just been helping him ever since,” said Carpenter.  

After more than 10 years of coming to Balloon Fiesta, the magic of it all hasn’t worn off. 

“It’s just the experience of a lifetime. Every time you have a new experience, you meet new people, you have a lot of fun and enjoyment,” said Hickey.  

“Mass Ascension, just even being on the field if you aren’t flying during it, it’s just insane,”  said Carpenter.