Parachutes and pyrotechnics: The making of Team Fastrax’s Balloon Fiesta show

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta is obviously known as the place to see hundreds of hot air balloons take to the sky at once, but over the last couple of years, a new staple has been added to the show – Fastrax skydiving.

“It starts out months in advance, with the planning and ordering and preparing the pyrotechnic systems,” said Matt Harvey, the director of operations for Team Fastrax.

The skydivers even do walk throughs on the ground so there is no confusion of where everyone wil be in the sky.

“You have the planning for the weather, you have to figure out the jumps, the parachutes, the attachments, the smoke, the pyrotechnics,” Harvey said. “There are the safety aspects – landing where we are supposed to land, but also putting on an amazing performance for the spectators.”

Once the plan is clear, the team is ready for takeoff. It’s a short flight over to Balloon Fiesta Park, and then it’s time to jump.

Soon after they touch down, they are repacking their parachutes and getting ready to go back up for the pyro show – strapping 25 pounds of fireworks to each leg.

Click on the video above for the full story – Spencer Schacht shares a behind the scenes look, from takeoff to touch down.