Balloon Fiesta Saturday, day 1 from the field

ALBUQUERQUE (AP) – The mass ascension of hundreds of hot air balloons above Albuquerque went off without a hitch Saturday morning. Pilots began launching shortly after 7:00 a.m. at the annual Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta.

The majority of balloons appeared to be floating south and winds were about 4 mph, officials said. The balloons are poised to land in downtown, Kirtland Air Force Base or in northeast Albuquerque, they said.

This year’s colorful balloons include one shaped like the head of Yoda and another like Darth Vader from “Star Wars.”

Organizers have equipped all 550 pilots with tablet computers capable of running a mapping application that will enable them to steer clear of the many restricted areas or prohibited zones like airport flight paths, the zoo and other locations.

The KRQEFiesta Social Hub – Day 1.
Add your photos, tweets, an other social media by using the hashtag #KRQEFiesta

The KRQEFiesta Social Hub – Day 1.
Add your photos, tweets, an other social media by using the hashtag #KRQEFiesta

The KRQEFiesta Social Hub – Day 1.
Add your photos, tweets, an other social media by using the hashtag #KRQEFiesta

The KRQEFiesta Social Hub – Day 1.
Add your photos, tweets, an other social media by using the hashtag #KRQEFiesta

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