Anniversary Gift of Balloon Ride Turns Into Scare

Associated Press

A hot-air balloon carrying a couple celebrating their 30th wedding anniversary snagged on a light post today, stranding the couple and the pilot more than 100 feet in the air for several hours.

The couple and the pilot of the multicolored balloon climbed down an extension ladder to safety shortly before noon. They had been hung up since dawn.

Paul Stuckenschneider received the balloon ride as a gift from his wife, Gail, their 18-year-old daughter, Joanie, said.

“This is something he’s wanted to do for a very long time,” the daughter said. “It’s kind of ironic because she was very nervous about it.”


Members of the Air Force Reserve’s 304th Aerospace Rescue and Recovery Squadron joined police and firefighters in the rescue.