Friday, October 1, 2010

That Was HOT!

Our local and national news showed a hot air balloon that got tangled up in the electric wires in Jasper County, Iowa Wednesday.
The video showed a new looking Cat combine cutting the beans around the balloon. That's what our local TV lady said, too.
Not pretty boy Shepherd Smith on FOX News, he said the farmer was plowing around the balloon! I had to laugh like he thought he was doing something to protect them and doesn't know a combine from a plow.
He was probably trying to get the beans around the balloon before people came in mashing them all down trying to get the balloon off the lines.
At least all of you know the difference between plowing and combining, and I doubt much plowing is done on the eroded hillsides of Jasper County, Iowa. Iowa is big in notill and minimum till and I haven't seen enough plowing in recent years to shake a stick at. Some organic farmers do and that is about it. I have even seen notill equipment pulled by horses!

"What started out as a peaceful, relaxing hot air balloon ride turned into a potentially life-threatening situation and a few brief moments of sheer panic.

Newton resident Brenda Lamb was accompanying her father, Bill Jenkins, on a ride in Joel Worthington’s balloon Tuesday evening, along with a man from Montour and his two adult daughters. Lamb is a Daily News employee.

The balloon took off from Worthington’s farm south of Newton about 5:30 p.m., and began drifting slowly south.

As the balloon drifted east of Reasnor near the Lanphier farm, the balloon began settling down. Worthington hit the balloon’s burners to rise above the power lines, but a gust of wind sent the upper parts of the basket into contact with the lines.

“We heard a sizzling sound of the power lines and we saw some sparks,” Lamb said. “You know, I was scared for a brief minute, but there was really no time to be scared.”

As the balloon rebounded off the basket, Worthington tried to set the balloon down in the ditch, but the prevailing wind again took the balloon’s fabric into the power lines, and Worthington began deflating, to avoid further damage.

The balloon’s passengers were instructed to stay where they were until they could determine that the power to the wires had been shut off, so there they sat from about 6 p.m. until 7:20 p.m. when crews from Alliant Energy made certain there was no danger.

Worthington said there is noting in the balloon that is conductive of electricity. The basket is wicker and rattan, and the ropes are nylon-coated kevlar. After the incident, however, Worthington said he had the balloon safety inspected, and it was determined that no damage was done.

“If the wind dies down, we’ll be up again tonight,” Worthington said. “It’s time to get back on the horse.” Lamb agrees.

“We were very blessed and lucky,” Lamb said. “But I’m ready to go back up.” The ride was a Father’s Day present to her father, and Worthington said their next ride would be free."
I think I would pass on the free ride for awhile.

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