The pilots, event organizers and crew are very careful in handling the balloon operations, its not easy to prepare and set up the balloon because they are big, light-weight and powered by hot air from a blazing jet flame engine and also cold weather . The organizers are very strict for the weather, if the weather is good, they will allow the balloons to fly, but if its windy or rainy, expect a suspension and cancellation of flight for that day.
But on the 1st day of the festival, we witness for the 1st time a minor accident in one of the balloons. The sun flower hot air balloon was damaged from a grass fire on ground. I suspect that the grass fire came from the jet flame that losses its burst control when strong wind blew it to the ground. The grass burned quickly and it reached the center hole and rope of the balloon.
The chase crew tried to eliminate the grass fire while waiting for the fire truck. After some 20 seconds, the anti-fire team arrived. Fire was out after 15 seconds, it’s a quick and scary scenario.
During the fire, marshals were quick to guard the ground and make sure that some guests and photographers are away from the fire scene. I got scared even if I’m far away, because if the fire reaches the basket,expect a big explosion, because there’s a fuel tank inside the basket.
I’m glad that no one was hurt during the accident.
Kudos to the chase crew and the fire team for the quick respond.
The show continued like it was a normal day.
The sun flower balloon stayed on ground deflating… sayang.
taken by my Nikon D5300 with 18-55mm lens
and Olympus E520 with 40-150mm lens
19TH PHILIPPINE-INTERNATIONAL HOT AIR BALLOON FESTIVAL 2015website: www.philballoonfest.net
Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/pihabf
Official hashtag: #19thballoonfestPH