The 2016 Old West Balloon Festival’s first launch day could not have gone better, as the 22 balloons made it into the air after a brief delay to let the morning fog lift at the Mitchell Airport south of Mitchell.
Another great crowd watched abut this time without the traffic delays from the first year due to the addition of another entrance and parking lot.
For KNEB, News Director Kevin Mooney went up in the Good Morning Sunshine balloon with Star-Herald Editor Bart Schaneman and Pilot Royce Clapp. KNEB Ag Director Chabella Guzman was in the Winds of Change balloon with pilot Kenny Bradley.
The Good Morning Sunshine balloon ended up northeast of Mitchell and due to shifting winds landed in a bean field owned and operated by Gary Hiegel. there was no damage to the field or the balloon and no injuries to the occupants, whose first timers Mooney and Schaneman also took part in the first time “Rider”Initiation” after it was all over.