VIDEO: New Mexico balloon fiesta takes flight

Standing on the North Diversion Channel path, Raul Granillo, third from left, gazes up as the hot air balloons that took part in the annual Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta in Albuquerque, N.M. Saturday, Oct. 4, 2014. 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.
Image Credit: AP Photo/The Albuquerque Journal, Jim Thompson

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - The mass ascension of hundreds of hot air balloons above Albuquerque went off without a hitch Saturday morning.

Pilots began launching shortly after 7 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.

All the balloons landed safely around the city a few hours later, authorities 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.

Amber and Nate Hoffman dressed as Princess Leia and Han Solo during the unveiling of the new Yoda balloon at the annual Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta in Albuquerque, N.M. Saturday, Oct. 4, 2014.
Amber and Nate Hoffman dressed as Princess Leia and Han Solo during the unveiling of the new Yoda balloon at the annual Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta in Albuquerque, N.M. Saturday, Oct. 4, 2014.
Image Credit: AP Photo/The Albuquerque Journal, Jim Thompson


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