In the skies over Lakeview emerged a large yellow shape drifting with the winds, a hot air balloon owned by Bill Goodman and Amanda McAdams floating gracefully early in the morning of Saturday, May 17.
It was the first flight of 2014 for their balloon, nicknamed “Butterfly”, left in storage for months while awaiting weather to improve. Earlier attempts to fly this year were thwarted by heavy winds.
Starting at the Lakeview airport a little after 6 a.m. to check the winds, the balloon team relocated to the Watrud farm north of the airport for better wind conditions and open airspace.
It took roughly half an hour to get the balloon setup and airborne, with pilot Bill Goodman flying solo to fulfill FAA-requirements of three landings before carrying passengers. Following the landings, Goodman took several people for flights over farmlands on the Westside. Several spectators lined the roads nearby snapping photos of the unusual sight of a hot air balloon in Lakeview.
People on the grounds crew assisting Goodman and McAdams with balloon operations included Rick Benjamin, Bette Benjamin, Audrey Goodman, Robyn Anderson, Devrin Anderson, Jeff Anderson, Cecily Watrud, Eric Watrud, Naomi Watrud and Samuel Watrud.
Goodman and McAdams moved to the area two years ago, both employees of the U.S. Forest Service. Their love of ballooning began while living in New Mexico, participating in the annual Albuquerque International Hot Air Balloon Festival. Every year they take Butterfly back to New Mexico in October to participate in the world’s biggest ballooning event.
If weather stays pleasant throughout the summer, expect to see Butterfly in the skies above Lakeview often.