Orange County News
School's solar balloon encroaches on airport airspace
GARDEN GROVE, Calif. (KABC) -- A Garden Grove high school science experiment got out of hand when a solar-powered hot-air balloon floated toward John Wayne Airport airspace Wednesday afternoon.
A 30-foot-by-3-foot solar-powered balloon got away from students conducting an experiment on the Pacifica High School campus shortly after 12 noon Wednesday.
The Federal Aviation Administration reported the balloon was approximately 2,000 feet high and heading toward John Wayne Airport.
Authorities were alerted to the situation, according to an FAA spokesman.
It was part of an advanced-placement environmental sciences class. The balloon was tied down with a string. As the temperature heated up, the balloon broke loose around noon.
"We ran through the halls to go find it, to catch it on the other side," said Pacifica science teacher Steve Doucette. "And by the time we got over there, in just a matter of seconds, the balloon was 500 feet into the air, and we're all just standing there going, 'Oh my gosh.' And this balloon, to give you an idea of how long it is ... it's the entire length of the quad. This thing is huge."
As the temperature decreases as the sun goes down, Doucette expects the balloon will start to descend.
CORRECTION: ABC7.com earlier reported Garden Grove High School launched the balloon. The balloon originated from Pacifica High in Garden Grove.
school, orange county news, eileen frere
- Mandela honored by world, South Africans
- South El Monte hospital fire triggers evacs
- Blustering winds, low temps hitting Southland 42 min ago
- Man who allegedly pranked coaches arrested
- 50-acre brush fire erupts near Moorpark
- Spaccia convicted in Bell corruption trial
- Hesperia house fire started in gas fireplace 45 min ago
- OCTA votes against 405 Freeway toll lanes
- Mary Barra becomes 1st female CEO of GM 44 min ago
- abcnews: Senate extends ban on plastic guns
- How healthy is flavoring up your water?
- 6 finalists announced for 2013 Heisman trophy
- 'Saving Mr. Banks' tells 'Poppins' back story
- OTRC: Meredith Baxter weds partner Nancy Locke