ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Balloonists from around the country had a chance to show off across the Albuquerque skies Monday morning. More than 30 pilots gathered for a series of championships this weekend.

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They participated in events to test their knowledge and precision, with tasks like throwing a beanbag from a certain altitude to hit a target on the ground. “It’s a lot different than just coming out at flying the mesa, which a lot of balloons do, they are given very specific locations, it really tests the pilot’s ability to control their aircraft,” said Event Director Elisa Talbert.

All 32 pilots participated in the annual Rio Grande Classic Competition. The other events include a southwest regional title, as well as a New Mexico championship, both of which qualify pilots for the nationals. Those events are happening in Nebraska in August.