Balloon Repair Station

Easy Balloons News 16.06.12

Welcome to our first Ride Operators
Whereas we positively don’t encourage any private balloonists to join the CAMO but simply make use of our services and website, as it isn’t a requirement and makes things a lot easier having one date for the ARC and Inspection, we do operate as CAMO and are happy to take onboard Ride Operators. We are therefore pleased to welcome Wickers World, The European Balloon Company, Kent Ballooning and The Ballooning Business into our hangar. We have been looking after their balloons for quite a few years now so its nice to be able to offer them a, get this, ‘fully integrated service’ whoof whoof what fantastico management drivel!!!! Now where did I get that from!

Ultramagic Maintenance Manual update 07.06.12 & Flight Manual 08.06.12
Ultramagic have updated their Maintenance Manual to Revision 14. The changes affect 34 pages and amongst general tidying up and clearer service/repair instructions highlights repairs to fabric using adhesive tape. This is not permitted within 25mm of a load tape and if used on Ultralast fabric it must be sewn round.
A recommendation period of 25 hours is made for preventative burner maintenance. Fuel hoses must be obtained from Ultramagic (don’t forget your Form1). There is a bit of clarification on inspection periods and extending the inspection period and mention of damage criteria to double skinned envelopes. We’ve got one at the moment for repair, that’ll be interesting John!!!

The Flight Manual has been updated as well and is now at Edition 04 Issue 19. Only happened today so I haven’t had a chance to read through it yet. More on that later. The new Manuals or the affected pages can be downloaded from

Balloons and Paramotors
Its not often we get sent videos of balloons from other flying machines but Andy ‘Khoas’ Kaye, of Westloada Trailer fame, has now started flying Group B balloons for Go Ballooning. Based in the Dales he has done a few morning flights from Darley Moor Airfield near Ashbourne. Formally a WWII Training Station it is now home to Airways Airsports and Darley Moor Racetrack, a great bike racing circuit, well busy and buzzing. They run open track days here anyway last week one of the paramotor boys joined him for a flight and took some great footage of the balloon from the paramotor man’s perspective. I wonder how hard it is to hurt yourself in one of them! Well worth a look on Youtube at: details of open track days here.

Kubicek Flight Manual – double jump to Edition 15
Kubiceks Flight Manual Issue 2 has now been reissued as Edition 15. If you had it in your mind that it seems only a week or so ago that they updated to 14 you are quite correct. We had only just updated the Manuals section in the Pages bit and wangho, 15 comes out. There doesn’t seem many changes mind, apart from additional basket information and a bit highlighted concerning the use of approved tether kits for some baskets. Its quite a nice Manual as it happens with some pleasing sketches. Not exactly late night reading but good as it goes. Download from

And another update – Lindstrand Flight Manual 1.42
I’m sure we mentioned this before but I can’t find it anywhere but it was updated in the Manuals and TCDS guide in Pages a few weeks ago. So just in case please note that the Lindstrand Flight Manual has now gone to Issue 1.42. The changes are basically the introduction of the Disabled Basket operation in the back as supplements. Download available at:

Its official, Grass Roots gets Funding – it’s a goer!
The following press release came through to a hearty cheer. UK Ultramagic representative Richard Penney has stepped into the breach and come up with some well needed sponsorship to ensure the ever popular Grass Roots Meet goes ahead this year.

‘Ultramagic UK is delighted to announce a partnership with The Grass Roots Balloon Meet held annually every September at the Sackville Flying Club just North of Bedford. For 2012 the event will be known as Ultramagic UK Grass Roots Balloon Meet and while we have some exciting ideas up our sleeve the intention is not to move away from what Grass Roots has already achieved. The meet has quickly become recognised as one of the most friendly and enjoyable meets in the ballooning calendar that allows the freedom to fly in a great area in all directions, an abundance of landing sites and friendly farmers.

Everyone is welcome, private, commercial, shapes, in fact if you have a balloon and love uncomplicated flying this is the meet for you! In addition it has become a magnet for helping PUT’s achieve what is sometimes difficult including sitting exams, tethering, GFT recommendation and even check outs, some or all of this can be achieved here! By rolling the dates the meeting is always able to take place in flyable conditions and this ensures every participant can maximise the benefits of attending.

Ultramagic UK recognises the value of supporting Grass Roots ballooning and enjoying the sport we love, as such the organisation team and format of the meeting will remain the same as previous years. In addition to the above we will be offering great prizes for all manner of awards, plus the use of our demonstrator balloons for tethering, exams and General flight tests. (Subject to demand).

Everyone is welcome to Ultramagic UK Grass Roots 2012 and we look forward to seeing you soon!’ Richard Penney, ULTRAMAGIC UK

Team Grass Roots added: We are absolutely thrilled that Ultramagic UK has agreed to be the exclusive sponsor for Grass Roots 2012. This sponsorship will help towards the costs of running the event and gives us the financial cushion that we need to proceed with making arrangements for this year.

Over the past 5 years we have grown this event from nothing to the event that many of you know today, with the emphasis on relaxed back-to-basics ballooning at Sackville. We are grateful to the BBAC for their support to date. We encourage all those that love ballooning to attend, placing the emphasis on fun flying, socialising and training. Richard Penney at Ultramagic UK fully understands what the meet is about and Ultramagic UK’s involvement will not change the culture of this Grass Roots Meet. Effectively very little will change to the formula that we know you like. Love from TEAM GRASS ROOTS (Rob Cross, Tim Wilkinson, Peter Gray, Mark Stelling).

New Cameron cylinders alive and kicking
Supplement 8.38 to the Flight Manual for the new Cameron Aluminium flight cylinders has now been issued. Called rather affectionately the Alugas 50l (that’s little L not 1). 501s were jeans I believe, not that my dress sense is that good. Maybe we’ll call the little ls. Actually the 1 and l are remarkably similar in the font I’m using at the moment. Sorry I digress. So the little ell has a useable volume of 40litres and weighs 13kg empty. It is only available as a slave and has a straight diptube. Having not even seen a picture of it or had any indication of how many spondulicks you’ll have to part with to own one it’s a bit hard to comment at the moment. Its listed as Category one so will fit most if not all current baskets. I expect Camerons will send a driver up with one in quick response to this comment!!! Anyway, if you buy one (and they are lighter than a Worthy) then you’ll need the Flight Supplement which you can download from:

Evesham Balloon Festival blown out
Having had a good old gander at the weather over the weekend of the 8th-10th June the organisers of the Evesham Balloon Meet took the bold decision to cancel the balloons. The rather unsettled weather is certainly taking its toll on events throughout the UK at the moment, hey ho. Kevin Jones, of Evesham Hot Air Balloon Festival, said: “It was an extremely difficult decision, especially as we had received interest from a record number of hot air balloon crews for this year’s event, but the safety of the public and crews must come first and the predicted wind speeds are way beyond the safe operational limits of hot air balloons.”
In fine spirit, considering the enforced changes to the weekend’s festival, Wychavon District Council agreed to waive car parking charges on Corporation Meadow. So some solace there then. Let’s hope they have another go next year.

CAA warning shots
A recent circular from the CAA has just done the rounds highlighting that a balloon (like any other aircraft) needs to be legal to fly. They write, ‘Prior to all new built balloons or second hand imported balloons entering service, it is essential to ensure that the aircraft has actually been formally registered on the UK aircraft register and that an EASA Certificate of Airworthiness (CofA) has been issued, along with a valid Airworthiness Revue Certificate (ARC). There have been recent cases of balloons being physically delivered to owners but not (at that time) having been either placed on the aircraft register or had the application for a new CofA lodged with the CAA’s Applications and Approvals Section (A&A). It is important to recognise that a balloon may not be flown until the Certificate of Registration and CofA are both issued and in the possession of the aircraft owner. Any such flight (free or tethered) may be in breach of the Air Navigation Order. Operators are recommended to allow sufficient time to facilitate the above prior to the proposed service entry date of a new balloon.’

Well that seems to make sense but the delays caused by A&A by requesting more and more information well outside either their procedures, as posted on their website, or indeed in the spirit of EASA which the CAA so ardently follow means that what should be a simple straightforward task, especially with existing airworthy EU balloons, is getting more than prolonged. Hardly surprising the owners of balloons get both frustrated and confused as to what they actually need. One customer enquired if they could process the paperwork using their premium 24 hour service (large additional fee payable). “If we get time.” came the rather surprising answer! As if that isn’t enough then they offered a ‘Calculator’ which can be found (somewhere) on their site. Whatever you stick in it comes up with £240. We asked a chap on the other end of the phone for a price for a particular task using the ‘Calculator’. He couldn’t do it! It is long overdue that the CAA sort themselves out and provide a service befitting the enormous charges they make. There are many in the organisation that are very helpful however they seem to be outnumbered by executives in planning and resources committees and departments busily trying to justify their existence. Scheme of charges, more like Scheming charges. Ha! that’s better.

Just for laugh see how long it takes you to find “The Calculator” and the charges generally applied. Answers below. If you can make sense of it let me know. This is a load of bonkers but worth a try. This is the home of the mighty “Calculator”. See if you can get anything other than an answer of £240!

Questions regarding this subject may be directed to

Ride Balloon Lands in centre of Bath
After getting becalmed over Bath for over two hours the pilot of the Bath Building Society Balloon with 16 passengers on board took the decision to put the balloon down at the first opportunity. After contact was made with the local police they closed the chosen road and Mike the Pilot skilfully plonked it down between the trees and clear of the double-yellows. It was agreed by all that the landing was extremely skilfull and after the situation was explained to the police they were happy and stated that no action would be taken by them against the pilot. We say good decision and well done Captain Mike, brilliant bit of flying.

Robins Fledge
We are pleased to announce that the six robin chicks that got reared in the box of old Unipart sweatshirts up in the loft have now all fledged. Last year they nested in the battery box of Maurice the Nuffield 460. This year all six eggs hatched and the whole lot made it through to fledge however one got left behind having failed to suss out the escape route and the parents had been coming back to feed it. Sounding like a low battery warning squeak on a smoke detector it had to go so, on Friday, after it was quite clear the parents had decided to let it get on with it, we cornered it and took it round the back of the barn where the rest of the family hang out. It fluttered up into the laurel bush and within a few minutes there was a rather vocal parent in attendance so at least they all finally got out into the wilds and the risk of a speckled floor and envelope bags has gone for another year.