In 1988 the Company celebrated Mickey’s 60th birthday with a brand new hot air balloon that made appearances and flights throughout the country. One of the highlights of that celebration was the balloon flight over Niagara Falls, an event I will never forget.
Birthday Mickey was launched early that morning from a schoolyard on the Canadian side, and I was in a helicopter that had been granted special permission to fly low, documenting the flight of the balloon. The wind was brisk, and there was tremendous excitement surrounding what was to be a remarkable adventure.
As balloon pilots David Justice and Bob Carlton flew over Horseshoe Falls and dipped low into the river gorge, they were hanging off the gondola, waving their arms and celebrating every second! They landed safely a few miles downstream on a golf course, creating quite a stir among the warmly dressed golfers who could barely believe their eyes.
The photo of Mickey going over the falls was widely published around the world.