Championship day at the Great Texas Balloon Race - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Championship day at the Great Texas Balloon Race

Championship day at the Great Texas Balloon Race was a go as pilots put on a scoring clinic that thrilled fans (Source: KLTV Staff) Championship day at the Great Texas Balloon Race was a go as pilots put on a scoring clinic that thrilled fans (Source: KLTV Staff)
EAST TEXAS (KLTV) -

On the final opportunity for pilots to score points, the Great Texas Balloon Race put on a good show for fans.

At the last minute, the go-ahead was given on championship day at the balloon race. With less than perfect flying conditions, and a delayed lift off, pilots put on a scoring clinic that thrilled fans.

Pilot Jason Buckner scored the only ring on the pole, but dozens of pilots peppered the target areas, piling up points.

"It was pretty amazing. I couldn't believe how close they were getting to the target, was just shocked that they could come in so quickly and go right back up," said visitor Amber McKlinney.

For contenders, every target was crucial, and they made each shot count.

"It was challenging. It was fun to fly from the ground level to four thousand feet more than three times," says race pilot Guy Gauthier.

"They came in so close together and the speed that they came in, and just the quantity of balloons flying today, it was great," says Todd McKlinney.

The post flight party had all pilots hoping their scores got them to the top.

"It was a great event because we did have those personal stories that you see in any competition. Pilot Kinnie Gibson battling cancer, Michael Glenn who's known as the rolling pilot the only paraplegic pilot in the United States," says race announcer Glen Moyer.

"We were going to decide a national champion on six events, and by flying today we stretched that out to ten. So now, the national champion can really claim that championship. It wasn't shortened," Gauthier says.

List of Winners:

U.S. national champion: Johnny Petrehn, of Kansas.

Women’s national champion: Christine Bertsch, of Iowa.

Texas state champion and senior division champion: Joe Heartsill, of Texas.

Great Texas balloon race champion : Bruce Bussey, of Longview.

Copyright 2014 KLTV. All rights reserved.

  • NewsMore>>

  • Rusk County currently under Burn Ban

    Rusk County currently under Burn Ban

    Thursday, October 19 2017 12:02 PM EDT2017-10-19 16:02:42 GMT

    Rusk County is now under a burn ban effective immediately.  Other counties in East Texas currently under a burn ban include Cass, Marion, Harrison, Gregg, Cherokee, and Kaufman Counties.  A burn ban is a mandatory order that is put into effect when drought conditions exist, prohibiting outdoor burning for public safety. The map will show the update the newest burn bans soon. To see a list of statewide burn bans, click here. Copyright 2017 KLTV. All Rights Reserved.

    More >>

    Rusk County is now under a burn ban effective immediately.  Other counties in East Texas currently under a burn ban include Cass, Marion, Harrison, Gregg, Cherokee, and Kaufman Counties.  A burn ban is a mandatory order that is put into effect when drought conditions exist, prohibiting outdoor burning for public safety. The map will show the update the newest burn bans soon. To see a list of statewide burn bans, click here. Copyright 2017 KLTV. All Rights Reserved.

    More >>
  • Police need help identifying man suspected of shooting windows with BB gun

    Police need help identifying man suspected of shooting windows with BB gun

    Thursday, October 19 2017 11:57 AM EDT2017-10-19 15:57:54 GMT

    Longview Police Department detectives say they've identified a man suspected of shooting out the windows of more than 60 vehicles in Longview. Thursday, the department released a statement and photos of the suspect via social media. "We have identified one of the suspect’s involved in the criminal mischief cases where the windows were shot out with “BB Guns” 10-15 to 10-16-17 (We cannot name him at this time). We have a second suspect involved in the photos b...

    More >>

    Longview Police Department detectives say they've identified a man suspected of shooting out the windows of more than 60 vehicles in Longview. Thursday, the department released a statement and photos of the suspect via social media. "We have identified one of the suspect’s involved in the criminal mischief cases where the windows were shot out with “BB Guns” 10-15 to 10-16-17 (We cannot name him at this time). We have a second suspect involved in the photos b...

    More >>
  • 'Robin Hood' still needs good home, recovering after being shot with arrow

    'Robin Hood' still needs good home, recovering after being shot with arrow

    Thursday, October 19 2017 11:05 AM EDT2017-10-19 15:05:20 GMT
    Robin Hood is pictured here with LPD Detectives Suzie Hardee and Gabe Downs (Source: Longview Police Facebook Page)Robin Hood is pictured here with LPD Detectives Suzie Hardee and Gabe Downs (Source: Longview Police Facebook Page)

    The Longview Police Department shared an update this morning on their Facebook page, saying that 'Robin Hood' is still looking for a good home. 

    More >>

    The Longview Police Department shared an update this morning on their Facebook page, saying that 'Robin Hood' is still looking for a good home. 

    More >>
Powered by Frankly