California Balloon Invitational Kicks Off With Media Flight/Festival

KRCG Reporter Teresa Snow hops into the hot air balloon before it takes off during the California Balloon Invitational Media Flight held Friday, July 15, at Windmill Ridge.

KRCG Reporter Teresa Snow hops into the hot air balloon before it takes off during the California Balloon Invitational Media Flight held Friday, July 15, at Windmill Ridge. Photo by John Inman.

Television reporters Teresa Snow from KRCG, and Sam Kubota, KOMU, took to the air over California Friday, July 15, as part of the media flight which officially kicked off the California Balloon Invitational Festivities. Jim Wolters and Herb Heriford were the pilots for the media flight. Several local residents came out for the flight to see the process of filling the hot air balloons with fans before using the hot air jet to soar above the sky around Moniteau County.

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KRCG Reporter Teresa Snow swoops off to fly over California.

Ernie Timbrook Jr, organizer for the event, said the flights went smoothly as the winds were calm and were in the perfect direction to fly over the city. The pilots flew the reporters over the heart of the city before touching down right outside of the California Golf Course.

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Balloon pilot Herb Heriford fires up the propane jet engine to finish off filling the hot air balloon before it takes off during the media flight.

Snow said the flight was perfect with a great takeoff, smooth flight and while bouncy, a good landing. She said having gone up previously 15 years ago helped her focus on filming and interviewing the pilot without worrying about anything else.

"It was nice and I could just take the pictures," Snow said. "It was kind of a hazy day but when we were over the city we could see it clearly with the haziness being out in the distance. We saw the cemetery, town and shot over the golf course."

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A view of the many craft and food vendors at the fair along with the entertainment stage sponsored by Burgers' Smokehouse and Mike Kehoe Ford.

Snow added while flying over children and golfers waved at them. Another interesting thing was the sounds of dogs barking. Snow theorized it could have had something to do with the propane jet making a sound the dogs responded to.

The flight seemed to go by quickly for Snow as she was busy shooting film, interviewing Wolters, who was her pilot, and also taking some quick shots with her cell phone. While interviewing Wolters, Snow found out he has been flying for over 30 years and she said he was a great pilot.

For more of this story check out the July 20 issue of the California Democrat.

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