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Wed, Jun 22, 2011

Aero-TV: Larry Simburger -- Extraordinary Balloon Flights

Meet Another Of The Many Exciting People That Make The Arlington Fly-In A "Must" Each Year

The Arlington Regional Fly-In north of Seattle is among the longest-running event of its type in North America, and has adapted and broadened beyond its core in the homebuilt movement over the years. Now called the Arlington Fly-In and Sport Aviation Convention, the event now offers a platform to interests as diverse as warbirds, radio-controlled models, antique ground vehicles, aerobatic performances and hot air balloons.

While the balloon enthusiasts are most comfortable in the still, cool, early-morning air, a "Hot Air Balloon Night Glow at Dusk" provides a unique opportunity to showcase the scale and color of these aircraft to both the general public and fellow aviators. Attendees are required to be back on the grounds by 8 PM for this event, and will be rewarded with one of the most spectacular sights any airshow can produce.

The job of managing balloon operations to provide success and safety for participants and spectators falls to Larry Simburger, who caught the ballooning bug at age 13 in 1973 when he followed the progress of Malcom Forbes as he crossed the United States in a balloon.

Larry recalls, "Watching that story, not knowing where he was going to take off and where he was going to land, and to see him accomplish that really kind of peaked my interest."

Two years later, an invitation to crew for a local balloonist came his way through a high school friend, and the hook was set. Larry, who works by day for Boeing, has since set ballooning records of his own, and the Arlington Fly-In is fortunate to have his skill and experience in the neighborhood each July.



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