NEOSHO, Mo. — For some people it’s a lifelong dream. Taking off at dawn in a hot air balloon! And for others? Not so much!
Neosho man, Bill Lynch, has been a balloonist for decades. He’s flown ‘Sizzler’ at the largest hot air balloon festival in the world, the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta. He says, “This October marks my 27th consecutive year,” in the 9-day festival.
Lynch, of Neosho, is a real home town guy. Graduated from Neosho High School. He says he left home to serve in the Air Force.
Lynch is for hire. And today his two passengers are young ladies that will be seniors at Neosho High School this year. Mom tells us the flight was a birthday gift. “She deserves it. She’s a great girl.”
The balloon landing was near perfect. Crew Chief Jim Ballard tells us it was just a little windy. Especially up top.
They were hoping to land at Morse Park, but Mother Nature’s winds had other ideas. Landing at a residence on 86, just west of Neosho. Mr. and Mrs. French were gracious enough to let the balloon be gathered on their property. So everyone joined in to fold the balloon and place in the trailer.
After the flight Lynch pulled out the traditional bottle of champagne to toast after the flight. However he said today it was Welch’s Sparkling Grape Juice.
He pours everyone a little drink. “Carrie, by the way, happy birthday,” as Lynch begins the toast. “Chloe, the winds have welcomed you with softness. The sun has blessed you with his warm hands. You have flown so high! And so well. That God has joined you in your laughter and set you gently in the loving arms of Mother Earth. Welcome to ballooning! You are our newest balloonists. Here’s to you!”
LIVE! HOT AIR BALLOON LANDING >> BIT.ly/2TJ2rNg (…+) Local balloonist, Bill Lynch, of Neosho, has piloted “The Sizzler” in the world famous Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta. This October will be his 27th consecutive year in the 9-day event. His information when you click the bit.Posted by Joplin News First on Saturday, July 31, 2021