Albuquerque, N.M. Balloon Fiesta. The "Dawn Patrol" was twelve balloons that launched prior to dawn. They had to stay flying until sunrise so they could see where to land. We were surrounded by balloons. Look at how crowded the balloons are, on the ground. Many of the balloons went up, moved around this portion of Albuquerque, then landed back on the launch field. The winds in Albuquerque move in different directions at different altitudes, so the skillful pilots use this to land back at the launch site. The man in the zebra outfit is a launch director. Each pilot is told when to launch.