Just four balloons remain aloft as the America's Challenge Gas Balloon Race enters its second full day. The new race leaders are Team 18, Richard Abruzzo and Gary Johnson. They took over the lead when the balloon that set the pace throughout the first day of competition, that of Team 8 piloted by Gerd Strasmann and Rainer Herkenhoff, landed northwest of Oklahoma City, OK.
The other three teams still flying are Team 4, David and Alan Levin, Team 1, Lesley Pritchard and Jack Mullen, and Team 10, Andy Cayton and Stuart Enloe.
Meanwhile, we're pleased to report that Bruce Hale and Bob McGimpsey are safely out of the wilderness east of Chama. They and their balloon were retieved late this afternoon. Both pilots were taken to an Albuquerque hospital and are listed in satisfactory condition. The Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board are working on a determination of what led up to the balloon's hard landing.