Tuesday, September 2, 2014

New Balloon Fiesta bathrooms off-limits to public

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – The city announced a big addition Tuesday to the Albuquerque’s biggest tourist destination, Balloon Fiesta Park. A new pavilion is going in with permanent bathrooms, but the public should not plan on using them during the fiesta. 

 The city says it’s hoping to start building the Sid Cutter Pilots Pavilion as early as this fall. During the Balloon Fiesta, it and its amenities will just be for pilots, their crews and volunteers.

“The tax payers own this…the tax payers will own this new pavilion but it’s actually a non-profit group of volunteers, for decades have put their time, talent and treasure in making the balloon fiesta what it is,” Mayor R.J. Berry said.

The $2.5 million pavilion will replace the big white pilot’s tent you see during fiesta, the spot where crews hold meetings.

Renderings show the new facility will be 12,000 square feet, with an indoor-outdoor connection and views of the park.

The park will also have some permanent bathrooms, a welcome addition for visitors who are forced to use port-a-potties. But the city says during Balloon Fiesta those bathrooms will be off-limits to the general public.

“For September and October, the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta has an agreement with the city of Albuquerque that they have exclusive use of the park – so they manage the park and the event at that time,” Barbara Baca, with the city of Albuquerque said.

The city says the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, the group that runs the event, also covers the cost for it so it will decide what to do with the pavilion during that time.

They also said the public will be able to use the facilities and the bathrooms, for other events, like Freedom Fourth or youth sports.

The city said the pavilion was paid for with bond money. They say construction of the new building will go out to bid in a few months.

Officials hope it will be in place by next year’s Balloon Fiesta.

Story, Video and Comments:  http://krqe.com

Carol Ann Schwarzenbach: Teen earns her private pilot license - Jacksonville, North Carolina

Carol Ann Schwarzenbach, 17, maps out her next flight plan at home in Jacksonville. Carol's years of aviation studies have paid off - she recently earned her private pilot's license.
Photo by Maria Sestito/The Daily News 

For many teenagers, getting a driver’s license is their ticket to freedom. For Carol Ann Schwarzenbach, it was getting her pilot’s license.

Schwarzenbach recently received her private pilot license, allowing her to fly nearly any single engine land airplane.

She credits her grandfather as being the motivating factor behind her success, which took two years of hard work.

When her grandfather learned that Schwarzenbach was interested in aviation, which had always been a passion of his, he offered to pay for the classes. At Tradewind Aviation, where Schwarzenbach completed part of her training, a complete private pilot training package costs around $7,000, but elsewhere it can cost a few thousand more, according to Tradewind Aviation Administrative Instructor Darrel Gilbertson. But before she could even get in the plane, Schwarzenbach had to learn some very technical and difficult material.

“I’ve gone through almost nervous breakdowns, crying because I just (could) not understand this,” said Schwarzenbach. But she said that later on, when she reviewed the material from weeks prior, what once was difficult now looked easy. The books that Schwarzenbach had to read through were lengthy, but Gilbertson said it’s all something that a high schooler should be able to eventually grasp.

“Basic freshman algebra is more difficult than the math required to do cross country flight planning,” said Gilbertson. Anyone over 16 who is willing to put in the time and money can get a private pilot license. The difficulty for students who pursue flight training comes from having to learn the material alongside regular school requirements and extra-curricular activities.

Ultimately, what got Schwarzenbach through the tough times was the support of her parents and the memory of her grandfather, who passed away during her training. She liked to remember the crazy stories he would tell her about flying, stories she doesn’t dare to repeat because they could have gotten him into trouble. Eventually, she finished ground school and was ready to start practicing flying. The first flight was absolutely terrifying.

 “I knew that I knew what I was doing, but in that moment, you start thinking about everything that could go wrong,” said Schwarzenbach. Landing, it turns out, was one of the easiest parts of the flight. The hard part of flying is learning on the ground, Schwarzenbach said. Once you take off, the material starts to make sense as you see it in action.

After 63 hours of flying, Schwarzenbach passed her Private Pilot Check Ride, the final test before receiving a private pilot license. For her next trip, she plans to take her dad flying around New Bern or Ellis Airport. And now that she can fly, traveling in familiar cities takes on a new meaning.

For the regular airline passenger, said Schwarzenbach, the destination is the highlight of the trip. But for a pilot, the flight can be as pleasant as the destination.

“We get to enjoy the scenery on the ground, and the freedom aspect of being able to take yourself from point A to point B in your own aircraft,” said Schwarzenbach. In the past, driving a route like the one from Jacksonville to Fayetteville was something Schwarzenbach dreaded. But in the air, she has a greater appreciation for hidden beauty of the area.

In the future, when she has more experience, Schwarzenbach plans on traveling outside of the state. She’d like to one day visit her siblings in Pennsylvania, Nevada and Washington.

- Source:  http://www.jdnews.com