Chase Crew Volunteering at the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta


At
the near-end of the balloon Launch Field we stumbled upon a tent where you can register
to join the crew for a balloon pilot. You can volunteer for one session or all week
– it’s entirely up to you. At first we volunteered for just one morning, but ended up joining
the same crew again a second time. We also stayed in touch with them during the week
in case they needed help. Luckily for us, absolutely no experience is
needed. We found it was a great way to meet some fun new people, learn a little about
hot air ballooning, and help out at the same time! We joined Patrick Grogan’s crew to help
launch the Pat-O-Lantern. We joined them on the balloon field to unpack, inflate and launch
the balloon into the air. If the pilot chooses to fly away from the field, then you become
the chase crew which turns out to be super good fun! Patrick’s wife was his crew chief, so we
jumped in the truck with her and took off! Using GPS on their phones, we tracked the
balloon as it flew away from the field. Just in time, we caught up with the balloon to
see them frantically waving and pointing at a parking lot in front of an office building right next to the road. We pulled in, I jumped out and ran over to the balloon. I got there just as the balloon
touched the ground and several of us fought hard to stop the balloon sliding or tipping over.
We made it by seconds! – Thank you so much!
– Oh, no worries! It’s customary that pilots will thank their
crew with champagne afterwards, and we’ve heard reports of pilots taking crew members
up in the balloon sometimes. I certainly wouldn’t go into it expecting either of those things,
but if you’re lucky then maybe! Regardless, I’d highly recommend registering
to join a crew if you can. They’re always in need of crew members, and joining Patrick
Grogan’s crew to help launch the Pat-O-Lantern, that was a highlight of our trip this year. – It’s always after landing that my hands keep shaking.
– Oh (Laughter) – That adrenaline rush
– Yeah How do you decide when to land? I was actually looking at the grass in the middle and it was last second wind just pushed me over this way. When I saw y’all coming up the road I started doing like that to whoever was driving. Turn in there, turn in there, because I was either gonna hit that grass spot and walk it to here or hit this. And just kind of last minute shift went whop We were just turning in to kinda wait to see what you gonna do. (Laughter) – So that was good timing!
– If I am that low, I am gonna land! Just thinking about this.. if we can press this down to squeeze the air out – this isn’t airtight. So air can actually seep through this. Correct. The newer they are, the harder it is to get air out. Gotcha. – There’s a coating on on a lot of these
– Like waterproof style And that makes it as airtight as possible. When you buy a new membrane, it’s really hard to get the air out. We do have a teeny tiny hole in there that we saw the other night. So you know, there are ways. If you liked this video, check out our other
videos on the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta and be sure to subscribe to our channel. See you
next time! So is this y’all last day? Or y’all coming back? I hope we get a ride back. I mean, are you coming back for more days? Oh yeah, we are here till Sunday. Cool. Oh, no we won’t give you ride back, we will just leave you fend for yourself in the neighborhood.

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