Old friend goes to Europe
This month finally sees the export of an old friend, no not Chris Wood but his balloon, a jolly fine example of a Lindstrand 310A, G-CBIW, to Poland. Built in 2002 this multi-coloured Lindstrand was the main balloon operated by his company Eastern Balloon Rides. Since its delivery in January 2002 Chris clocked up over 430 trouble-free hours. All hyperlast the balloon still looks, feels and flies almost as well today as the day it was new. The new owner, Dariusz Brzozowski, of First Class Ballooning based in northern Poland has certainly got himself a great balloon.
These days Chris operates a Virgin Balloon on his home patch around Colchester and Braintree in Essex and, when he has nothing else to do, he takes time out flying his gas balloon in Germany. Rumour has it his son Will is going for his licence.
Old and Rusty Club day at the workshop
Just when you think the quiet season has finally arrived and we can get on with a project or two hecticivity abounds. A straightforward inspection for Pete Bish last week turned into a bit of an open house with Chris Wood rocking up for a bit of scoop and mouth cosmetics (no, no, no, not on Chris Wood, his balloon) and then that legend amongst rusty balloonists, Ray Bailey. It was like a replay of the Icicle the week before.
This was the first time in umpteen years that Ray has been back to the area where once he checked out many a pilot from the Black Horse field. Well it didn’t take long before he was leaning on a basket with Bishy and Chris recounting tales of old. Later, at the Black Horse, we got down to an in depth discussion on his other passion, steam trains. Everyone was happy then apart from John who soon realised the day may get longer if I wasn’t dragged away. Anyone recall the day the Caledonian Express, hauled by a Stanier Princess, failed and was hauled, bunker first, by Ray’s engine into London Euston and a rapturous reception? So, what is the tenuous balloony connection in this Ubend video?