Up, up and away: Mohave County country musician, daughter experience shocking balloon ride
KINGMAN – Local country musician Matt Farris has been performing at and attending BalloonFest for many years but it was only this year that Farris says he finally got to ride in a hot air balloon.
Getting to see Lake Havasu from a bird’s eye view was an adventure, one that he would happily go on again, the Havasu native said. “It was such a cool experience.”
The whole flight was 99% positive, Farris says, however the landing end was not an ideal hot balloon landing.
According to Farris, the balloon’s pilot was aiming to bring the balloon down on a dirt lot on the northside of town when a freak gust of wind pushed the balloon into some powerlines.
Farris says the collision caused a huge spark that left the balloon with a big hole but as soon as it happened the pilot reverted to his training and decades of experience.
“He knew exactly what to do and he was right on it,” Harris said. “It was quick-thinking; he definitely knew what he was doing after 40 years of flying.”
The pilot directed Farris to lower his daughter out of the basket to the ground crew, taking extra care not to touch the basket in the case it had become electrified. After getting his daughter out of the basket Farris says he was able to hop out.
“It was more scary than anything,” Farris said.
The pilot’s name wasn’t immediately available, and Farris said officials and pilots emphasized how rare an incident like this is.
Undeterred by the less than ideal landing of his first ride, Farris says he is already looking to get back up in the air in a balloon. In fact, Farris says he is performing at the Arizona Balloon Classic in Goodyear next month.
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