Hot Air Balloon Pilots: Northland terrain is a challenge

By KBJR News 1

September 18, 2013 Updated Sep 18, 2013 at 9:22 PM CST

Duluth, MN (NNCNOW.com) --- The U.S. has 3,000 hot air balloon pilots. Minnesota has 30 and 11 of them will be here in the Northland this weekend.

The three-day Hot Air Balloon Festival is the first of its kind to ascend in Duluth.

The event takes off this Friday at Bayfront Festival Park.

Pilots are scoping the area for safety measures. With the lake and trees, there are hardly any landing spots.

Since balloons don't have steering wheels, pilots say they let the wind take them.

"I think the importance of coming to Duluth is because it's a difficult place to fly because of the lake,” Steve Sinnen, a Hot Air Balloon Pilot said. “Most of the pilots that are coming up here are looking for the challenge. They want to take off and fly here because not a lot of pilots have done that in the past."

This Friday, hot air balloons will light up the evening sky while the Duluth Superior Symphony Orchestra plays.

Posted to the web by Kati Anderson.
kanderson@kbjr.com