A Peaceful World came crashing down on the football practice field Tuesday night at Olathe South High School.
By TOD PALMER
The Kansas City Star
OK, thats an exaggeration, and its not nearly as bad as it sounds.
Peaceful World is a hot-air balloon a 100-foot-tall Cameron Z-105, to be precise which drew a crowd when it landed on the track circling the Falcons FieldTurf at the end of a sunset tour.
Ryan Forschee, who drove the balloons watch-car and was in charge of landing it safely, said Federal Aviation Administration guidelines require that hot-air balloons land before the sun goes down.
For this flight, the Olathe South campus provided the landing pad.
We were on a sunset tour and going wherever the wind took us, said Stacey Shannon of Kingsville, Mo., who was accompanied by her husband, Greg, on the flight.
Peaceful Worlds owner and pilot, Becky Petrehn, whose family began hot-air ballooning in the 1970s, allowed the children who flocked to the scene to help guide the balloon out the gate Falcons football coach Jeff Gourley unlocked after seeing the rainbow-colored, quilt-patterned balloon touch down on his track.
We were going for a field goal, but we missed by a couple feet, Petrehn joked.
Dozens of cars, mostly parents with their kids in tow, pulled into the schools parking lots as the balloon descended.
We typically do draw a crowd, Forschee said. Normally, were flying in the country and theres nobody around, but anytime we get close to the city well have 30-plus cars come chasing you down.
During the flight, Zack Holk of Overland Park, who was on the sunset tour with his wife, Lisa, said they encountered plenty of people waving from the crowd and a lot of barking dogs.
Still, the Shannons and Holks hadnt expected their romantic escapade to draw so much attention.
We did not expect to have such a crowd when we landed, but its fun, Zack said.