Weather Forces Pilots To Scrap Flights On Last Day Of Balloon Classic

By  | 

The winds picked up Monday morning, making it too risky to launch hot air balloons on the final day of the 2014 Balloon Classic.

Organizers put up a "Red Flag," which means it's too dangerous for balloons to fly.

Several balloons were seen rising initially from Memorial Park in Colorado Springs before officials announced red flag conditions, causing flights to be cancelled.

Many families started showing up at the park at 5:30 a.m. and were disappointed when the event was cancelled around 7:30 a.m. While many families did leave the park, some stayed to climb into a balloon and play games.

11 News spoke to a family who arrived at the park around 5:30 a.m.

“We got up, they knew what they were going to see, they knew it was going to be the big balloons and they've never seen them before. They up and right into the car, it was pretty easy,” said Jamie Bartz.

The cancelled flights Monday followed the cancellation of the balloon glow Sunday night, also because of high winds.

Tamie Folley, a balloon pilot, said flying with windy conditions can be dangerous. She also said it's part of the sport.

“We tried to inflate and we weren't successful based on the wind. It is part of ballooning, where you just get accustomed to not flying,” said Folley.

The president of the Balloon Classic has said this could be the final year of the annual event due to conflicts with city leaders over event planning and application rules.