MEDORA, N.D. (KXNET) — The beauty of nature surrounds Medora, but the view from above gives you a totally different perspective especially traveling by way of a hot air balloon.

“The hills, the wildlife below us. I don’t think we’ve seen a house anywhere while we were flying. We just saw the cows and the antelope,” Hot Air Balloon Pilot Perry Ochsner said.

Perry has years of piloting an aircraft but is new to flying hot air balloons, he just got his license last July.

“You have to be ahead of the balloon, it doesn’t react the same way an airplane does,” Ochsner said.

The skies all operate the same.

“When we fly airplanes, it does a lot of navigation. The weather air currents transfer over,” Ochsner said.

It may be eye-popping seeing different hot air balloons in the air but setting up is not as easy as it looks.

“It takes a minimum of four people, and it’s nice when you have an experienced crew, but it’s also nice when you don’t have an experienced crew. You can fill them in on what to do and everybody gets a job; the balloon comes out, and we put the components on the ground,” Ochsner said.

Ochsner welcomed KX reporter Cameron Brewer inside the hot air balloon and went through each step on how it operates from altitude to wind.

“We’re 400 feet above ground level, most time we hover around that 50 to 200 range. We stayed above treetops; we stayed above some of the hills. We kind of touched the trees a little bit,” Ochsner said.

Ochsner is not alone, he was joined by other hot air balloon pilots, with everyone enjoying a good comradery in the skies, keeping in touch over the radio.

“We can discuss what altitudes we’re at what headings we’re getting at different altitudes, landing spots, talking with a crew which is an integral part,” he said.

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