Thief steals irreplaceable item from balloon pilot

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – As Steven Letherer prepares for the rest of Balloon Fiesta, he’s doing it without his memories.

“You know if someone says who did you fly with in 2002 in Albuquerque on Tuesday, I can’t tell them anymore, I just don’t remember,” said Letherer.

That’s because the Michigan pilot’s bag was stolen from his truck Monday while visiting the aquarium.

In the bag is his pilot log book.

“It is a diary, it’s a diary of all my flights,” said Letherer.

It’s something most balloonists have.

“Well the log book really is a history of my ballooning for the last 15 years,” said Letherer.

It marks the year, month, day, and even the people Letherer flew with on each flight.

“My mother passed away about eight years ago and she flew out here, but what days and you know, I always put a little personal notes about it and so that stuff is just lost,” said Letherer.

Now he’s trying to remember as much as he can. But it’s the specific and detailed moments he says are gone.

“All the dates are in there and you know, it’s one of those things that aren’t in my mind, because they’re written down and I know the years I did that stuff, but the days, and that, that’s gonna be hard to recreate,” said Letherer.

In his new book, only one note stands out now.

“On 10-5 my pilot log was stolen in Albuquerque,” said Letherer.

It’s one log, marking the day his 15 years of flights and memories were erased.

“This really has no value to anybody else other than me; to me it’s priceless,” said Letherer.

Letherer knows it’s a long shot, but the pilot is asking for its return if anyone has seen it.

The Michigan pilot also says he still loves Albuquerque and the people, adding that it’s a spectacular place to fly.

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