Jet Pilot Calls Gene Simmons Tribute Balloon in Brazilian Sky Dangerous
Gene Simmons' tongue was filmed hanging 20,000 feet in the air over Brazil, dangling from a so-called "tribute balloon." KISS are currently a couple weeks into their South American "End Of The Road" tour leg and it's the cause of some high-flying controversy within the flight community.
A member of a Brazilian jet's flight crew got the footage (seen below) off a mini-hot air balloon suspending a fabric-pic of the KISS bassist's makeup'ed face in full tongue glory, at significant altitude, in the skies of South America. The original posting is hashtagged #dangerous.
Apparently, these unmanned tribute balloons are a cause of concern among pilots. Scott Bateman, a pilot and YouTuber who hosts an all-things-Aviation show The Layover, retweeted the video, scolding, "These are tribute balloons that are regularly seen in #Brazil and across S America. They pose a real risk to #aircraft and #WePilots need to keep a sharp lookout."
Gene Simmons retweeted that video, recommending you check it out.
A former NTSB accident investigator says free-floating balloons can be tough for pilots to spot and challenging to avoid, "Balloons can be ingested in the aircraft's engine, restrict airflow and cause the plane to lose power." A la flocks of birds. See Sullenberger.
It looks like at some point this thing came down and is now an impressive souvenir in someone's backyard (or tree.)
KISS has played four Brazilian shows so far and Simmons has posted some cool media from the shows on Twitter.