Pilot Error Sends Ping-Pong Balls Raining Down on Idaho Interstate

A popular contest at a festival in southeast Idaho had to be cancelled in a really big hurry last weekend after a pilot dropped some 3,000 ping-pong balls worth assorted prizes on Interstate 15 instead of the waiting crowd.

Organizers of the Blackfoot Pride Days celebration had to ask the thousands of revelers on hand not to risk life and limb gathering the little white balls—most of which could be exchanged for candy but a few with gift certificates worth up to $100—which littered the nearby interstate and surrounding streets.

Pingpong ball drop contest organizer Aaron Moon says that a new pilot took over the drop duties this year, and likely didn't realize that they tend to lose speed quickly and fall straight down instead of carrying momentum forward.

"I assumed that there was more knowledge passed on there," Moon told the Blackfoot Journal. "I am sure the pilot assumed it was easy to drop pingpong balls out of a plane. I will not assume anything anymore."

"Hopefully, we will better communicate next year. We have never had them fall on the freeway before."

Blackfoot Police Chief Kurt Asmus says there won't be any charges over the missed drop, saying that the department will work with festival organizers next year.

"We are interested in making it better, not holding anyone accountable," said Asmus.

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Image via Blackfoot Journal