Balloon Repair Station

Easy News 18.07.12

Balloon Stolen from Yarm, North Yorkshire Sunday 15th – Monday 16th

Mark Stellings balloon G-ELEE including his twin axle Westfalia trailer with registration plate SL 58 FLA was stolen from Worsall near Yarm Stockton-on-Tees between Sunday 15th and Monday 16th July. Details of the kit stolen are:

Cameron Z-105 Envelope s/n 4882 G-ELEE t/t 62 hours.
Basket CB300-4a s/n bh1174
Burner CB2694 Sirocco s/n 0086/0172
Tanks Worthington x 3 . 59828J, 59568J, 59704J – brown covers
Tanks CB426 x 4 . 4411-6444, 4411-6447 (both blue covers), 5441-7051, 5441-7055 (both red covers) .
Instruments – Altimeter/Vario in oak box. Honda 8HP fan. Tank trolley.
Westfalia Trailer twin axle. Type- 118651F521
Chassis Number – WWW128863YW437777

The trailer has a customized metal box at the front, very distinctive, plus steps at the rear, both unique as far as is known. In the box was a v bridle, fuel hoses x3, helium cylinders, Bonanno Quick release, karabiners, tether rings, tyre pump, plus spares of just about anything else you would need on a launchfield.

If anyone hears or sees anything please let Mark Stelling know on 07960 963588 or contact North Yorkshire police. The very nice officer handling the case is Quita Passmore.

Great news, New Easy Balloon Inspectors appointed.
We are very pleased to announce that we have now added two new inspectors, both based in the north, to help provide inspections and issue Airworthiness Review Certificates on behalf of Easy Balloons if required. A very warm welcome therefore to John Till and Richard Tillson.

John Till operates from his farm just off the A64 near Welburn and can be contacted on his home/evening phone number 01653 619990 or daytime/work number 01653 618294. Email will also reach him. Inspections are available by appointment pretty much anytime. He can inspect all sizes of Balloon including Public Transport.

Richard Tillson has a dog like mine and is based in Ilkeston, Derbyshire and can be contacted by telephone on 07711 284146 or Email at He is generally available mid-week and weekends and can usually carry out an inspections at relatively short notice. Travelling to inspect a balloon isn’t a problem or alternatively he can usually find somewhere close to his home. He is currently rated for Private balloons.

London Region Balloon Club new website
The London Region have been working very hard during all the bad weather and as a result now have an all new very smart website at The front end has a fair amount of useful stuff for everyone including a wealth of information on the Olympic Airspace stuff. If you want to go further into the site then you’ll need to become a member and login. Membership of the London Region Balloon Club and the CBC London Region/Capital Balloon Club membership is £15 per annum (£18 family membership) plus an optional £25 per person for flying membership (yes, they have a Club Balloon). Club meetings are held on the last Wednesday in every month at the Sekforde Arms, 34 Sekforde Street, London, EC1R 0HA. For membership renewals/enquiries, please contact the Membership Secretaries Jeff & Val Roberts, 9 Tower Close, North Weald, Epping CM16 6HA Tel: 01992 522212 or email

Olympic Airspace Active
Its noticeably quieter overhead the workshop now the new Olympic Airspace Restrictions have been activated and we have even had what appeared to be a Hercules and angry looking helicopter flying the bounds. The airspace cuts Halton Airfield in half. Over at Booker today all was very quiet as the gliders have all gone on holiday to Bicester for the duration! The restrictions came into force on 14th July and run through to the 15th August. the definitive guide, of what you need to do to fly in the restricted area during this period, have been published. Balloonists it seems have got away quite lightly all things considered and those that have tried out the system haven’t reported any problems. It isn’t onerous so don’t stop flying just because there is a supposed heap of rules but don’t ignore them!
From the requirement:
1. The commander of the balloon or one person on behalf of a group must have obtained approval for launch from Atlas Control no later than 1 hour before the flight and provide Atlas Control with the following details:-
(a) a contact telephone number for the pilot;
(b) the balloon registration number;
(c) a general description of its colour scheme;
(d) the intended launch time in UTC; (e) the intended location of launch in the form of an Ordnance Survey grid reference, Lat and Long, or a range and bearing from a major feature;
(f) the planned duration of flight; and
(g) the estimated landing area.
2. The balloon must squawk 6600, if able to do so.
The Atlas Control number is 01489 612943 to register your intended flight.
If you haven’t bought a new half mil air map then get one now as there is a free Olympic Airspace map with it will be invaluable during the period and may become a collectors item in the future if you haven’t got an Olympic Torch to flog on eBay!
Frequencies to listen to are Distress and Diversion cell on 121.5MHz, Atlas North on 132.800MHz and Atlas South on 123.225MHz. The squawk emergency code is 7700 Please also remember that some airports have TCAS ‘Temporary Controlled Airspace’ and there will be additional RA(T)’s ‘Restricted Airspace (Temporary)’, in place during the games, remember, that not all of these are in the South East. Credit to the London Region Balloon Club for the timely reminder.

Ultramagic TCDS update
Ultramagic’s Type Certificate Data Sheets for Special-shaped balloons has gone to BA.517 Issue 05. This follows the addition of a new balloon designated as a special shape on the 4th July 2012 and rather splendidly called an F35 R4TS.

Save Pete Bish’s Local Appeal
For the more aware you may have noticed that the Tally Ho! Pub on the crossroads where you turn down to Zebedee’s headquarter’s building has been shut for a while. Sadly this is befalling many local pubs. Fortunately the locals are revolting and have formed a group ‘Save the Tally’ with the aim of making it a locally owned pub. In the ongoing saga we’ve heard today that West Berkshire District Council has refused Acres Developments planning permission to turn the Tally Ho! into housing. This is very good news and follows Hungerford town council’s rejection of the plans in May.

It’s clear that the planners are unconvinced of the developer’s assertion that the business is unsustainable. Quite rightly too, responded ‘Save the Tally’, the business is close to the M4 and passing trade has always been both a mainstay for previous successful tenants and relatively immune to economic downturn. I’m sure many a balloonist has frequented this pub in the past as part and parcel of visiting Pete Bish or, as it is also close to the popular Folly Dog Leg launchsite, calling in after an evening flight.

Save the Tally recently held a very successful meeting for potential investors and we are told an announcement will be forthcoming soon. If you would like to add your support to the cause please visit the website or e-mail

Blast to the Past
London Oxford Airport, sounds like a Ryanair destination but is actually Kidlington to us locals is once again hosting Fly to the Past 2012 over the weekend of Saturday 1st September 2012 and Sunday 2nd. Tickets for last years show sold out so if you want to go book early. Very famous balloonist Jonathan Harris is organising the ballooning bit of this spectacle so if you’ve got a balloon and fancy going along let him know as soon as possible. For further details and Balloonist Entry Form visit 3440please contact, Jonathan Harris

The main event is on Sunday 2nd September. This year the organisers have announced that it will feature vintage shopping (£sd prices I wonder?), music, dance and mingling theatre from the 1940s to the 1960s and the day will close with a three hour concert of vintage acts. The Air Show will unfold the history of flight with a full day of Flying Displays and an Air Park of vintage aircraft including the Battle of Britain Experience and legendary B17 Sally B. FLY TO THE PAST is a unique air show, at a unique venue using a unique audio visual production to support the aerobatic displays. Phew! It celebrates the history of flight with live filming of the aircraft to giant screens and an all-surround-sound system that delivers a live commentary supported by a soundtrack of historic audio clips and music scores. A movie in the sky!

This year will see a revival of their founding producer, Sir George Martin’s ‘Wings & Strings’ concert where the John Miller Orchestra (Glenn’s nephew) will play live to Warbirds displaying in time to the great movie soundtracks of Sir George and the late Ron Goodwin including the Dam Busters, Where Eagles Dare and Magnificent Men In Their Flying Machines.

Advance tickets are £25 for adults, under 16s £5 and on the day £30 for adults with under 16s £10. Under 16s must be accompanied by an adult. Purchase online at (nifty site) or call 01865 516124.

Cameron’s new Cylinders piccies
Despite subtle hints and begging letters a quick note to Ritchie at Cameron Balloons soon got us some pics of their new aluminium cylinders courtesy Alan Noble. There wasn’t any guff with the pictures so we’ve taken an educated guess and had a look at the News bit on Cameron’s website where they also announced a reduction in their repair rates (Hmmm) and proclaim their involvement in the London Jubilee Flame, which was far less spectacular than the Tylers Green one (see Big Ben, Tylers Green Jubilee Beacon elsewhere. It seems they only come as Slaves (no vapour take-off) and the cylinder jackets, at the moment, only come in black. Hopefully they are elasticated like Pete Bish’s and Ultramagic covers. It was rather comforting to see the liquid valve, gauge, PRV and bleed valve are all familiar looking and that it comes with a padded guard ring. Nice touch. The valve appears to be a BM Muller gate-valve which means that if the poppet self seal fails then it can be easily replaced. The cylinder is a nominal 50 litres (40 usable) in size and weighs approximately 13 Kg fully fitted with Rego-type valve, black padded cover and rubber protection ring. It is not available as a master or with any other valve configuration.

“We had to keep the cylinder as basic as possible to reduce costs, so we followed the old Model T Ford principle.” Says Nick Purvis, Cameron Sales Director. “You can have the cover in any colour as long as it’s black and the cylinder with any valve as long as it’s our standard Rego!” At £790 (or €948 at the moment!) plus local tax and any shipping costs, obviously, they look to be one smart little cylinder.

Team Wellwick new additions
Its been a bit of a frustrating year so far with not a few events being cancelled however a good set of results is still being recorded with Mary Alice qualifying for a couple of Championship Events. In the Gymkhana events which Team Wellwick take very seriously Grand-daughter Holly won her age group handy pony and fastest handy pony in any age group. Miriam won the Gymkhana Championship outright, Angie (should have known better class) won the grown up gymkhana.

To bring on the youngsters a new pony (20 years old) has been acquired from Norfolk. Called Toffee, he’s actually a very well mannered gentle Welsh Pony which seems to be bombproof so just the job. We’ll have to see how it goes at the next event! Toffee will replace Danger Mouse which, although a great pony that has clocked up quite few wins in dressage and one day eventing, is just a bit too much for four year-old grand-daughter Nicole who is fast developing a very brave attitude in the outdoor school! Braving the rain Nicole rode down to pay an early morning wet visit.

Meanwhile the foal is getting bigger and braver and my horse is getting ready to go back to being ridden! All we need now is to be able to cut the hay and silage and nice weather.

Now there’s a thing
Spotted from the cab of Frank the Lorry on its last outing to a cross country event in Gloucestershire the other week was this fantastic Wicker Man head on the back of a trailer. No idea what it was or where it was going but it would look good on the workshop gable!

To the edge of space for £2000!
Get a load of this then, on 11th July children and teachers from the Tasker Milward Secondary School in Haverfordwest, Pembrokeshire, yes, that’s in Welsh Wales, successfully launched a helium balloon that reached an astonishing height of 20 miles and managed to relay back pictures of the curvature of the Earth. Now that’s what I call space exploration on a budget! Could a Welsh school be the next to put a man in space?

The idea came from Sixth Form member Connor Goddard who had seen some guys unsuccessfully to launch a similar balloon three times and suggested that the school give it a go. The £2000 required to purchase the balloon and build the equipment to go onboard was raised by six teachers taking part in a 72 mile sponsored step in the school gym. The project was led by the Head of Chemistry, Jon Sharpe and assisted by physics teacher Dorian Pascoe and IT technician Tom Griffiths.

The latex helium helium weather balloon had a digital camera on board and sensors gauging temperature and pressure and was launched from the school at 11.30 BST and climbed for three hours 14 minutes reaching 32.722km before bursting at 14.44 and then took 32 minutes to descend landing in a field of cows at St Clears near Trelech in Camarthenshire pretty close to the predicted landing site.

It touched down in a field of cows near Trelech in Carmarthenshire. Jon Sharpe explained that, “The payload is a bit battered and bruised, but it went from -40 degrees to +40 degrees in a matter of minutes and at one time was travelling at nearly 100mph (160kph). We were tracking it all the way and couldn’t understand when it landed why it was still moving. When we arrived at the landing site we found a field full of young heifers. They must have been trying to play football with it.”

Much to the relief of teachers and students when they finally got the box of tricks open the camera and much of the equipment was intact having survived the landing and the cows very well.

Connor described the pictures they got back as, “Amazing’. Speaking on BBC Radio Wales, he said, “We’ve got pictures when you can see the curvature of the earth, and all the cloud formations. In some of the pictures you can actually still see the land below, you can see the coastline, but obviously you’ve got the blackness of space, and then the glow of the earth’s atmosphere and the curvature of the earth itself.

We were tracking it all the time. We had two vehicles that were fully kitted out,” he added. We were sort of driving around the county trying to follow the craft because the craft was constantly sending us information from the sky, relaying its longitude and latitude, its altitude, the temperature inside and outside. Even though we could sort of predict it was always going to be a bit of a gamble there was a very big chance, because three sides of our county are surrounded by water, that it could have landed in the ocean.

“We really weren’t sure if we were going to see the craft again, but we were all jubilant when we found it. It was sort of sitting in a field with a load of random cows.” Wales and not raining? Well done.

Pictures from the flight
BBC News report