Balloon Repair Station

Easy Balloon News 25.08.12

Yippee for Matthew Scaife at The Worlds
Big congratulations to Matthew Scaife, son of renowned British School of Ballooning Ride Operator Graham Scaife, who has managed an amazing tenth place in the 20th FAI World Hot Air Balloon Championships held this year in Battle Creek, America, but unfortunately for Team Australia. He runs the Australian branch of BSB and spends much of the year flying there so was unable to qualify for a place in the British Team. Never one to give into small setbacks he managed to get the chance to represent Australia so Kavanagh Balloons immediately gave him one of their racers to use and he set off to the States to compete. During the early stages of the competition he was leading the pack of the 103 top balloonists in the World. Not a bad debut. Is this the next World Champion Pilot? Now didn’t I hear that the Competitions Club was looking at allowing results from all big competitions to be counted towards Qualifying for the British Team?

First place went to Nick Donner and second to Johnny Petrehn both of the USA with the Japanese Champion Yudia Fujita coming in third. Richard Parry came in at 15th for TEAM GB with David Bareford 22nd, Andrew Holly 26th and Rupert Stanley 39th.

EASA AD 2012-0142 what to do if you are an Easy Balloon customer
Don’t panic. The Airworthiness Directive must be complied with either by inspecting the possibly faulty part, if fitted, or declaring that the AD does not apply. Please call the office on 01296 624725 or email and we’ll be happy to sort it out. There is no charge for either inspecting the component or sorting out the logbook entries. For a fuller long-winded technical-type explanation please check out the ‘EASA AD 2012-0142 what’s in your logbook?’ article which you can find in the Technical section. Which reminds me I must get on and finish the ‘completing the logbook guide’.

Olympics Airspace Restrictions – on your marks
The closing ceremony of the Olympics has now taken place but some restrictions are still in force until 12 September. These are the Prohibited Area P114 centred on the Olympic Park and the old P111 area less Heathrow’s Airspace along with the two restricted areas of airspace over Eton Dorney (near White Waltham) and the Athlete’s Village at Egham (near Fairoaks). For further information check out

For those that haven’t been affected by the Temporary Restrictions personally they seem to have worked very well and not been much of an inconvenience at all. The controllers at Atlas have all been extremely helpful, even cracking the odd joke when appropriate and almost entering into the spirit of the Olympics at times. On the jellybone,
“Hi, Atlas Control 2354 just letting you know we have landed.”
“Ah thanks, not much going on here tonight. 200 controllers with six aircraft and eight balloons since five o’clock.”
“That’ll be the effect of the restriction zone for you I suppose.”
Light chuckle, “You anywhere near where you thought you’d land?”
“Not a lot of point you giving us that information then. Thanks. See yah.”

Very tragic week for balloon accidents
Its been a very bad week for ballooning with two tragic accidents involving the new generation big balloons.

The first involved the new Cameron Z-750 built for Groupon and operated in France It was involved in a fatal accident on Tuesday 21st August. Early reports suggested that during the landing an elderly French lady was thrown out and struck by the basket. Details of the accident are scarce but it is understood that the victim was the 70 year wife of the local police commissioner. The balloon had been carrying 30 passengers plus the pilot and a co-pilot.

On Thursday 23nd August an accident in Slovenia resulted in the deaths of four passengers and injury to 28 others. The accident happened at about 0800 near the Slovenian capital Ljubljana. The Lindstrand balloon was carrying 30 passengers plus two pilots. According to one of the passengers the balloon hit the ground hard throwing out five passengers before becoming airborne again, crashing through a tree and coming to rest in the next field on fire. It is not clear at what stage the fire started. The four fatalities were recovered from the basket. Some reports suggest that a storm was in the area at the time and a second balloon flying at the same time made a safe landing. At present the cause of the accident is being attributed to ground level wind shear. It appears that the pilot needed to retake a health exam to renew his license in June. We do not know what caused the accident and the investigation is ongoing,” a Ljubljana police spokeswoman said.

Kavanagh’s super duper new burner
Called a Crossfire (not to be confused with the Chrysler menopausal car) the long-promised new Kavanagh burner has finally been approved and launched. Bearing in mind that it is on the other side of the world and we may never get to test one we have it on good Anglo/Australian authority it is a superb bit of kit. Now whether that is a relative to the old-one-type-statement or not one does not know but it certainly looks the business. Currently there are no approvals to use them with Cameron or Lindstrand envelopes that we are aware of.

The weight of a Crossfire double in 760×610 frame is 22.4kg. That is standard with gimbal block and no inner frame. Cost for the gimballed double in the frame is A$8147, not that attractive with the Aussie dollar being so strong.

Phil Kavanagh said, ‘I’m not sure what you may have heard about this burner, but as well as being as quiet as most (and maintaining a good strong flame pattern), it has remarkable low pressure performance, some 17% higher than our Series 3 when both are run at 50 PSI. We understand our Series 3 burner outperforms all other burners at low pressure by at least 10% and this is a long held reputation earned from comments by users of both brands.’

Kavanagh have been looking to sell into Europe for a few years now but with their Dollar remaining high and shipping costs it doesn’t seem likely for a year or so yet. Nice site with piccies and news stuff at

Ferry Crossing update DFDS come up trumps
Following conversations between Dave Such and DFDS Ferries following problems taking flight cylinders on their crossings their very fine Dangerous Goods Safety Advisor Matthew Jackson had a head scratching moment and has declared that DFDS English Channel Crossings will now allow a maximum total of 47kg of propane in any number of cylinders. The exemption has been extended to permit small cylinders of helium for met balloons, a small petrol can and fire extinguishers for use in the balloon. This is great news as it means you do not need to purge cylinders providing the total does not exceed 47kg (84 litres). There is no need to inform them at booking but you are asked to let them know at check-in. The applicable routes are between Dover – Calais and Dover – Dunkirk. As with all other crossings the cylinders must be securely strapped into the basket or trailer, shut off at the cylinder and stored away from sources of heat or ignition. Well done Dave.

If problems are experienced at check-in please ask them to contact the DFDS Duty Operations Manager on +44 (0) 1304 218 451 who should be able to sort out any problems or present the exemption letter. If all else fails and only as a last resort ask them to contact Matthew Jackson on 07833 504 316. Be sure to be aware that DFDS staff know that balloon cylinders have percentage gauges on them and that despite any arrangements the Captain’s decision is final. This is a great result and booking discounts are available if you ask for them. Book now

DFDS Propane Letter [PDF File]

More good news-welcome to another New Inspector
A big welcome to Cary Crawley who has joined Easy Balloons as an inspector. Cary is cleared to inspect both private and commercial balloons.

His CV is pretty impressive and states ‘Over 24 years commercial experience in 23 countries with many return trips. Establishing ride business, flying special shapes, promotions, films and instruction. Flown 17’s to 425’s. I hold CPL Group C and instructor ratings in the UK, USA & New Zealand. Also UK Type Rating Examiner & UK C of A, PPL and CPL Examiner, BBAC Inspector & holder of French licence!’

Although based in Colchester (rumoured) he travels the world in connection with ballooning. Contact Cary Crawley at P. O. Box 3378, Chelmsford CM2 6GE, UK
Tel : 07669 055627 or e-mail :

Camerons launch space age burner (they’re all at it)
Well just like their new flight cylinders details are a bit hazy but Camerons have announced that their new burner originally called a mind-boggling SoFireDoubleProto and now thankfully renamed ‘Safire’ this is the ‘double-that-thinks-its-a-triple’ which, I have to say, makes it a bit confusing as to where it lies in the burner market place and how it would be fitted to an existing four pot system. It is actually aimed at the big ride balloon market but whether it will ever be marketed as a single-that-thinks-its-a-single-and-a-half or approved for use on smaller or larger balloons that don’t require a triple or require a quad is not clear. Camerons haven’t yet released the weight or price.

Their latest news letter states;
‘Unlike some burners Safire has no sharp transition from low powered flame to maximum power – controls act in the traditional manner and with a feel which pilots will immediately recognise. This new rides burner is also very good looking, its futuristic stainless steel can being complemented by a silver anodised manifold block.
Safire is recommended for use with envelopes of size 210 and upwards in double or triple configurations. It is presently undergoing certification and is expected to be available for purchase late 2012 or early 2013.’
For more information go to

Another pilot checks out
Big ones to Market Harborough based trainee pilot Phil Lambert who checked out on Saturday 26th August in G-OTEL. Trained up by James Adkins and signed of by Andy Austin the flight from Kelmarsh was complicated by some quite gusty conditions on take-off but went really well with examiner and student electing not to be brave and to before, rather than in or fly over, Corby! The flight took place in the company of other balloons flying from close-by the Shambala Festival, held in the grounds of Kelmarsh Hall, where most of the youth of Corby probably were! Highlight of the flight (apart from the landing, was the appearance of the Lancaster, low level, as the balloons were inflating. Now that’s organisation for you.