Angola Baloons Aloft 2020

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2020 July 10-11

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July 7, 2020

Angola Balloons Aloft


Angola Balloons Aloft illuminations set for Friday KPC NEWS SERVICE ANGOLA — Following a Friday night competition flight, the 21 balloon pilots at Angola Balloons Aloft will illuminate their balloons at twilight at several different locations in Angola. “Based on current conditions and social distancing requirements, we wanted to spread the balloons out so people can stay safe and still enjoy seeing them glow,” said event director Tim Crooks. Three balloons will illuminate at the YMCA of Steuben County, 500 E. Harcourt Rd., Angola. “We want to stress this display at the YMCA will be for our vulnerable population,” Crooks said. “People will be required to wear masks, stay in cars and

practice social distancing at this location.” Balloons also will glow at Angola Middle School, Angola High School, Commons Park along Cemetery Drive and between the high school and Ryan Park Elementary School on the athletic fields. “At these locations, we will park people in every other spot,” Crooks said. “Please be respectful of others around you. Our wish is for people to stay in their cars but if you bring blankets or chairs to view the illuminations, we ask you to stay in designated areas and practice social distancing. The areas where the balloons are illuminating will be roped off and nobody will be allowed past those points. This is all new and different and we ask you to please understand we

Balloons Aloft car show to cruise Steuben County BY AMY OBERLIN

ANGOLA — The classic car show that is part of Angola Balloons Aloft will hit the road Saturday, July 11, cruising to every corner of Steuben County. For the first time in the event’s 11-year history, the car show will travel around the county. “The classic car show has always been extremely popular,” said Tim Crooks, event director. “Gary Barlett, who heads up the car show, found a way for people to stay safe but still get a chance to see these great classic automobiles.” Hot air balloons will still gather July 10-12 for Balloons Aloft but the festival at Angola High School will not be held due to concerns about the COVID-19 pandemic. The car cruise starts at 9 a.m. at Trine University’s main entrance off West Maumee Street. Registration is free. The first 100 people to register their cars

will receive a free T-shirt. The cruise will leave Trine at 10 a.m., head east then turn north onto Williams Street. The cars will cruise past the two nursing homes on Williams Street then head into downtown Fremont around 10:20 a.m. They will be parked until approximately 11 a.m., then head into Orland on S.R. 120. The cars will stop in Orland until approximately 12:15 p.m. then head south on S.R. 327 and go to Ashley with an approximate arrival time of 12:45 p.m. After they stay approximately 45 minutes, they will cruise through Hamilton then through Pleasant Lake. The cruise will wrap up at Trine’s main entrance around 2:10 p.m. Exact locations where the cars will stop and be on display will be announced in early July on Facebook. Crooks encouraged the public to follow the Angola Balloons Aloft Facebook page to stay up to date on all announcements related to the event.

are doing what we can to provide this opportunity to the community while keeping everyone safe.” Parking lots will be blocked off and will not open until approximately 8:15 p.m. “Since we will be using school property, I want to emphasize there is no smoking allowed and no alcohol is permitted,” Crooks said. “Please leave your pets at home. The noise from the balloon burners and the fireworks are not a good combination for animals.” No public restrooms will be available during the event and cars will not be allowed to park on the lawns of the various schools. “Things are very different this year and the field we normally use for parking east of

the high school is not available,” Crooks said. “Parking is on a first come, first served basis. Once the parking lots are full, they will be closed. There will be absolutely no parking allowed along U.S. Highway 20 in front of the schools,” he said. The City of Angola’s fireworks will be displayed following the balloon glow and will start at approximately 10 p.m. All events are weather permitting. The inclement weather date for both the illuminations and fireworks is Saturday, July 11. The fireworks will be shot off near the Selman Pavilion at Commons Park. There will be no ground effect fireworks this year and limited parking will be available at the park.

2020 Schedule of Events Friday, July 10

7 p.m. — Balloon launch, wind and weather permitting 9:15 p.m. — Balloon glows at various locations. 10 p.m. — Fireworks

Saturday, July 11 7 a.m. — Balloon launch 10 a.m.-2 p.m. — Cruise the county 7 p.m. — Balloon launch

Sunday, July 12 7 a.m. — Balloon launch All times are approximate and subject to change/cancellation based on wind and weather conditions.

Angola 260.665.7427 Coldwater 517.278.7724 Toll Free 800.343.8311


Spectators take in the classic car show in a past Angola Balloons Aloft.

610 W. Broad Street Angola, IN


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July 7, 2020

2020 Balloons Aloft Lineup

Procrastination Pilot: Scott King Midland, Michigan

Old Cat Pilot: Steve Mitchell Chagrin Falls, Ohio

Patches Pilot: Jordan Cox, Indianapolis, Indiana

Skittles Pilot: Brian Kunze Plymouth, Indiana

Independence Pilot: Chad Crabtree Delton, Michigan

Superfluous Pilot: Larry Coan New Hudson, Michigan

Liberty Pilot: Phil Clinger Battle Creek, Michigan

Cynthia Seal Pilot: Pat Rolfe Battle Creek, Michigan

Freedom Pilot: Deven Cook Battle Creek, Michigan

I’m Back! Pilot: James Mitchell Medina, Ohio

Maveryx Pilot: Steve Sitko Jackson, Michigan

Special Purpose Pilot: Jeff Pestun Holland, Michigan

Summer Saver Pilot: Cameron Wall Albuquerque, New Mexico

Perfect Calm Pilot: Dennis Hall Howell, Michigan

Re/Max Pilot: Christopher Smart Huntington, Indiana

Goodnight Gracie Pilot: Janet Lutkus Medina, Ohio

Wanderer Pilot: Larry Lankenau Fort Wayne, Indiana

Michigan Cat Pilot: Rick Kerber Wayland, Michigan

Sullair Pilot: Shawn Raya Highland, Michigan

Claw’D the Crazy Crab Neptuno Pilot: Travis Vencel Pilot: Zach Burgess Bloomington, Indiana Monroe, Ohio

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July 7, 2020

Angola Balloons Aloft


People can participate, engage pilots KPC NEWS SERVICE ANGOLA — Organizers of Angola Balloons Aloft are reaching out to the public to become a part of the event beyond being spectators. People can welcome balloonists to their properties — typically acreages and farms — and there are some safety pointers for the public to follow. “If a balloon lands on a property with permission, the pilots always enjoy having the host property owner engage! It’s part of the enjoyment for the pilots and crew to meet rural folks and entertain them with their sport,” said Marsha Drewes, who along with her husband, Walt, chair the committee that organizes Balloons Aloft. If you live within an 8-mile radius of downtown Angola and would like to become part of the Angola Balloons Aloft event, all you need is a white sheet. “If you would not mind having a balloon landing or launching from your property, all you have to do is place a

white sheet in a visible place in your yard,” Marsha Drewes said. Affix the sheet to the ground and a balloonist might just land in your yard on Friday or Saturday. Or they might use your property to launch from. Balloons Aloft organizers ask participants to place a white sheet on the spot starting Friday early morning until Sunday morning. Make sure the sheet can be seen from the air so when a balloon pilot sees it, he or she knows you have given him or her permission to land. Drewes pointed out that because of the variability of winds and other factors, putting a sheet in your yard does not guarantee a balloonist will land there. In addition, people who might want to follow a balloon over the countryside are being asked to exercise caution and respect people’s property. “Actually the biggest effort on the part of the public is to make sure they don’t follow too closely to the chase vehicles and not cause a traffic jam,” Drewes


People who want to welcome pilots to their properties during Angola Balloons Aloft are asked to affix a white sheet to the ground designating a landing spot. Balloons Aloft runs Friday and Saturday.

said. “If you are watching or following balloons, make sure you keep your eyes on the highway!” If people do follow balloons and

decide to stop along a road or at a property, they should make sure they are parking in a place where parking is allowed, such as a county road shoulder.

THANK YOU ANGOLA BALLOONS ALOFT SPONSORS FOR YOUR CONTINUING SPONSORSHIPS AND FOR HELPING US “LIFT COMMUNITY SPIRITS”! WE LOOK FORWARD TO SEEING THE BEAUTIFUL, COLORFUL HOT AIR BALLOONS OVER ANGOLA EACH MORNING AND EVENING ON JULY 10-12, AND THE CLASSIC CAR SHOW THAT WILL BE TRAVELING THROUGH STEUBEN COUNTY ON SATURDAY, JULY 11. Angola Area Chamber of Commerce Angola Dairy Queen Autokraft Auto Body Avid Concepts Ben's Soft Pretzels Best One Tire & Auto Care BMC Canopy Bowen Center Cameron Memorial Community Hospital Campbell & Fetter Bank City of Angola Coldwell Banker - Kirk Kohart Corkle Auto Sales Croxton & Roe Insurance Dekko Foundation Denny Zent, State Representataive


Dry Dock Marine Center Dunworth Automotive Duraclean Services Farmers & Merchants State Bank Farmers State Bank Findlay Convention and Visitors Bureau First Federal Bank of Angola FOP Pokagon Lodge Fort Financial Credit Union H&S Auto Machine Services Hometown Media Indiana Farm Bureau Insurance Jacob Insurance JICI Jimmy John's Key Bank

Kona Ice - Drew Pocock Michigan Cat Mitch & Debra Rhoads Olive B. Cole Foundation Ramada Inn Re/Max REMC Sheets Family Steuben County Community Foundation Steuben County Tourism Bureau Stoy Farms Sullair Tom's Donuts Trine University Vestil Manufacturing


Angola Balloons Aloft •  ©KPC Media Group Inc.


Yard waste and household toxics such as paints, solvents, and pesticides often make their way into the Steuben County storm drain system and DO NOT GET TREATED before reaching our lakes. These wastes make our waters unhealthy and unsafe for people and wildlife.

Follow these practices to help prevent stormwater pollution… In Your Home… Household products such as paints, paint thinners, drain openers, motor oil, wood polishes, insecticides & herbicides, oven cleaners, and many other general cleaners frequently get dumped on the ground, or into a gutter, street or storm drain. Instead of polluting our stormwaters, take these items to a household hazardous waste collection facility. PAINT THINNER


Fertilizers and Pesticides… Fertilizers and pesticides are often carried into our storm drains by sprinkler runoff. To minimize stormwater pollution, use organic or non-toxic pesticides and fertilizers as directed, and keep them away from ditches, gutters and storm drains. Store them in a covered area off the ground to prevent contact with water.

Trimmin’ the Garden… Decaying organic materials that enter our storm drains, such as grass, leaves, yard clippings, and pet waste, will use up oxygen in nearby streams, stressing aquatic life. Prevent stormwater pollution by not blowing, sweeping, raking or hosing yard waste into the street, gutter, or storm drain. Alternatively, leave grass clippings on your lawn after mowing, or compost your clippings and yard waste. Pet waste should not be composted, but rather disposed of in the trash to prevent the potential spread of diseases.

Planting In The Yard… Produce less yard waste and save water by planting low maintenance trees and shrubs. Also, conserve water and minimize unwanted runoff by using drip irrigation, soaker hoses, or micro-spray systems to water vegetation.

Angola’s Clean Water Utilities (260) 665-2514

July 7, 2020

Clinger, operations team coordinates Balloons Aloft KPC NEWS SERVICE Angola Balloons Aloft Competition Director, Phil Clinger, has been coordinating Angola Balloons Aloft since its inception in 2010. Clinger, owner of Aviation Endeavors, has a long history with hot air ballooning and directs several other events including the Michigan Challenge and the Battle Creek Field of Flight. He became interested in hot air ballooning in 1993 and started directing hot air balloon events in 2000. Clinger also now owns and operates a FAA certified hot air balloon repair station, Thermal Air Repair. He flies in many festivals and competition events including the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta and Festival del Globo in Leon, Mexico. When not competing or attending festivals, Clinger flies hot air balloon rides near his Battle Creek, Mich. home and in Traverse City, Mich. Balloons Aloft is strictly an invitation-only event whereby Clinger selects some of the top-notch, most proficient pilots to fly hailing from states all over the country. The process begins in the late fall each year and ends in July with the three-day event. Pilots are pre-registered and must provide the director with specific information about their balloon including their certification to fly, balloon air worthiness, insurance, and qualifications to attend the event. After selection is complete from the number of applications that are submitted, the confirmation process begins and pilots plan to attend one of their very favorite events held in Angola. Comments by the pilots often include what a friendly town Angola is and how much they enjoy meeting the local folks. One of the many duties of the event’s Competition Director and one of the most important is filing for a waiver with the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration). This allows the balloons to fly with reduced restrictions on altitude over the event and community making it more conducive to competition. Clinger leads a team of professionals on his staff that includes a safety officer, scoring officer, field judges, meteorologist and landowner relations officer. This combined group puts together an amazing show of competition flying and evening glows. Pilot briefings are held each morning and evening prior to the launch times as the director goes over

Phil Clinger

the various scenarios concerning wind direction, weather, safety precautions, and the competition challenge the pilots will face for the flight. This operations staff’s morning starts early around 4:30 a.m. when they begin to check weather and wind directions. After completing their forecasts, they can then decide which area is best for launch sites and where best to place targets. Selecting target sites can be quite difficult based on available sites and weather predictions to make the Tasks challenging but possible for the pilots to achieve. The final decision is usually made just minutes before the pilot briefing. This year, Clinger’s team will make every effort to fly over the city for each of the four flights. We all know the expression, “change like the wind,” so what is evident at 4:30 a.m./p.m. may change by 6:30 a.m./p.m. and Clinger’s team must predict that change. After pilots leave the briefing, the operations team heads out to the target sites to prepare for the arrival of the balloons while the pilots are out selecting launch sites. The basic goal of the competition is for the pilots to see how close they can get their marker to the center of the target after flying at least three kilometers with only the different wind currents providing the steering. The markers are measured to the center of the ‘X’ and many times the results are separated by a few inches or less. After the flight, which usually includes several targets, the measurements and data are loaded into a scoring system developed by the Balloon Federation of America and the competition standings are published. The many months of planning and organizing each year brings Angola and the surrounding communities an exciting and fun-filled weekend in July.

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July 7, 2020

Angola Balloons Aloft


Balloon pilots face a variety of contests BY MIKE MARTURELLO

ANGOLA — The balloons might be the center of attention, with their spectacular colors and majestic shapes, but for the pilots, coming to Angola Balloons Aloft is also about competing. There are not only prizes on the line, but the chance to accumulate points toward national points standings. The competitions are not about speed but more about accuracy. Pilots try to fly to certain targets as close as possible. There are about 15 nationally sanctioned competitions, which are not determined in advance. Angola Balloons Aloft Competition Director Phil Clinger, Battle Creek, Michigan, said weather factors often determine which competition events will be selected on any given day. This is assessed about an hour in advance of the competition. The competitive flights at Angola Balloons Aloft take place Saturday morning and evening and Sunday morning. Here are some of the more common contests that might be called up by Clinger at Angola Balloons Aloft. The information is from

Hare and Hound

All the balloons launch from the same site, usually a festival. One balloon takes off first and is the hare balloon. The other balloons are called the hounds, and they will launch a predetermined time after the hare. The hare lands at a suitable site and lays out a large fabric X, usually about 50 feet in diameter. The hound balloons attempt to drop their markers as close to the center of the X as possible. The closest marker achieves the highest score.

Convergent Navigational Task

The target X is placed in a secure area, usually the festival site. The balloons can launch anywhere they want as long as they are outside of a predetermined radius from the X, usually 1, 2, or 3 miles. Pilots fly in, drop their markers at the X, and scoring is based on the distance from the center of the X.

Watership Down

This is a two-part task that combines a CNT with a Hare and Hound. Competitors take off outside of a predetermined radius of the first target (usually at the festival site) and drop their first marker. The hare balloon launches from the first X and the hound balloons continue on to drop their second marker at the X set down by the hare.

Key Grab

between point A and point C.

A Key Grab is nearly identical to a CNT, but instead of an X at the target, a pole 10 or 20 feet high is the target. A detachable ring is fastened to the top of the pole. The first pilot who removes the ring wins the prize. Prizes can be almost anything; new cars, cash, and even new balloons have been given away! An X for a CNT is often placed near the pole and the two tasks are flown simultaneously. Throw your marker and grab the ring — you can do quite well in a single flight!

Minimum Distance Double Drop

The judges define two scoring areas. The task is to drop one marker in each scoring area, with the shortest distance between the two markers achieving the highest score. Watch out, though — in an effort to get your markers as close together as possible, one marker might drift outside the boundaries of a scoring area, resulting in no score.


Pilots take off from a common launch point (point A) and fly to a judge declared goal (point B). One marker is dropped at point B. The pilot then tries to change the direction of flight and drop a second marker at a point (point C) that will result in the smallest angle

Multiple Pilot Declared Goal

The competition director will assign pilots to drop markers at multiple targets of their choice. Targets are usually road intersections or road-railroad intersections. Sounds easy, but the targets must be identified by their map coordinates. The first target’s coordinates must be declared before launch, the coordinates for the second target must be written on the tail of the marker dropped at the first target, and so on. Errors in writing down the coordinates or choosing a target that is difficult to get to can cost precious points. As you can see, balloon competitions can be very challenging. Serious competitors use very sophisticated computer programs to track wind speed and direction before they fly, and use GPS receivers in the balloon during flight to assist in determining the best altitude to fly to get to the next target. In the early days of competition flying, some pilots felt lucky to drop a marker within a hundred feet of a target. Today, the center of a target can have dozens of markers within a foot of its center. Sometimes penalty points or a rules violation can make the difference between winning and losing.

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