Balloon Repair Station

Easy News 23.09.12

Huge ones to Ladies European Balloon Champion 2012 – Lindsay Muir.
Whilst the BBAC Competitions Club was totting up the score at Pidley Lindsay Muir, BBAC Chief Technical Officer Graham Hallett’s other half, was setting off to take part in the 2nd Ladies European Championship held in Frankenthal, Germany from the 18th-22nd September as the only British representative and where, after some very hard fought flights in G-LOKI, her Ultramagic M77, she came a stonking first out of a very competitive field of 25. Not bad.

Scoring 13953 points she ended up a comfortable 700 points ahead of Daiva Rakauskaite from Lithuania and over a 1000 points ahead of Ann Herdewyn from Belgium. 25 pilots took part, six flights were accomplished with 19 tasks completed.

For all the results go to their great website, updated regularly throughout, and containing a whole load of fantastic pictures of the event and fiesta that was run alongside.

The Black Horse at Great Missenden re-opens
Hooray, the Black Horse has finally re-opened, as promised, with a fine selection of beer and stuff. This is great news for us, and our customers, as we can now adjourn for a swiftly after we’ve been inspecting down the field in the old traditional way. Most of the pub ended up in a skip and then given what is normally termed a ‘makeover’ however, in this case it has been given a real facelift. Both inside and out the place has been cleaned, repaired, scrubbed and re-decorated and has now been returned to a very friendly and welcoming establishment. Outside the kid’s play area has been tidied up and sorted, the garden has new tables and the carpark enlarged. The front now sports a secure very nice family friendly sitting area. Our Mary and the grand-daughters immediately loved the wallpaper, which now graces one wall down the bottom end of the bar, to which other half Jay, realising it was probably expensive, said “No”.

The new landlord and staff are a jolly bunch and welcome dogs (well-behaved) and families. Currently on tap is Doombar, Landlord and Adnams, all very nicely kept. At the moment food is not being served but a new chef is on the way and the Grand Opening is planned for October 5th. This will great news for the hikers and ramblers that used to frequent the pub in large numbers in the days of Annie. Grub report later.

To celebrate we took the old Blue Peter balloon (G-BXXL) for a flight, mainly held together by sticky-backed plastic and its first outing for a lot of years, full of grandchildren (and Miriam) joining Ross Powell, up from Hampshire client flying in the Astra Balloon (G-OSAT) and Justin Moore with the new big European Balloon Company Ultramagic N-300 (G-OEBC) and a bus load of passengers.

The Black Horse Balloon Club will recommence meetings there on the third Thursday of the month starting 18th October and the AGM will be held in The Meeting Room at The Chiltern Hospital on 30th November meeting 7.30 for 8pm. Presumably it is going to be a rough one. Drinks after at the Black, obviously. Just to prove the BHBC is back a Christmas Dinner is planned at La Petite Auberge in Great Missenden on Tuesday 11th December. The three course meal for about £30 looks good. Please contact Sheila Philpott if you are interested in coming along.

Hopping mad if you miss this
Just in case you haven’t heard, the original and famous One Man Meet is about to be up and running at Welshpool from 12-14 October. This is always a great fun event and the opportunity to be selfish and do a bit of solo-flying. If you’ve never seen or had a go in a hopper this is the place to go. Full details and entry forms from Phil Dunnington at Please be sure that just because its called the One Man Meet doesn’t meet the fairer sex cannot attend and in fact this year it is being combined with the Woman’s Meet the week before at the same venue. So, if you want, ladies and gentlemen can hop about together all week if they so wish. So that is The Womens’ Meet & the One Man Meet  6-14th October. I know!

Comps Club Grand Prix date changed
The Competitions Club Grand Prix 2 event planned for the last weekend in September has been moved to the weekend of 6-7 October. The event is an inter-regional competition and the venue remains Husbands Bosworth, Leics, home of a smashing café. Contact: HYPERLINK “” First flight will be Saturday AM, last flight Sunday AM. For full details see Event entry forms and details are on the downloads page.

Newbury Show Brilliant
Reports in to rumour control that the Newbury Show managed to pull it off weatherwise and some great flights were had from the showground. Martin Freeston got to fly Robin Double-barrelled’s, rarely seen MG balloon.

The ballooning side of the event is organised by the 3-4-40 Region. The Region has had something of a makeover and now not only sports a great website with loads of stuff on it but now hosts a Facebook page which is at ‘3-4-40 region bbac’. Their website is

CAA Certificate of Airworthiness Form updated and doesn’t work!
The Application Form SRG1710 from the CAA, for the issue of a Certificate of Airworthiness updated to version 4 in July. Redesigned and produced to make applying on line possible has been produced. Sadly though it doesn’t work as the chosen font doesn’t always appear to be recognised by the CAA’s computer. You still have to send a signed hard copy though so one actually wonders what is the point. Apparently it gets it into the system quicker and they can then send you a note explaining that not only can’t they read it but you haven’t signed it. Love them.
The new form can be downloaded from For the moment you’ll need a crayon to complete it.

Long jump reminder
If you haven’t entered already then now is the time as October the first is fast approaching. If you’ve never had a crack at this competition it is well worth it. Don’t worry too much about the seriousness of it just use it as an excuse to push yourself that extra bit. If nothing else the awards ceremony and report that is issued makes it all worthwhile. Check out the website for entry forms and send your entry fee to Robin Batchelor.

BBAC British National Balloon Championships 2012 results
This year’s BBAC Competitions Club National Championships were held at Pidley Golfcourse in Cambridgeshire courtesy of David Hopkins and directed by that stalwart of competition flying David Bareford for the first time. Held over the week of 11-16th September nine competitors, all from the the UK, entered. Andrew Holly G-SSRD, Mike Howard G-IFIF, Rupert Stanley G-RUPS, Crispin Williams G-CFIW, newcomers Stephanie Bareford EC-IMI and Dominic Bareford EC-LIR, Marcus Green G-KNEE, Rick Vale G-RACR, Richard Parry G-CGMX. It’s a pity the President’s Cup Meeting had to be cancelled because of the appalling weather otherwise the turnout may well have been better.

Sadly the week’s weather was somewhat unsettled and only four competition flights comprising 18 tasks were made in varying conditions. Wednesday morning tasks saw 5 tasks, Thursday another 5, Saturday yet another five and the last on Sunday managed 3.

Coverage of the event through the Comps Club website wasn’t great but did give the results more or less as they came in but as abbreviations for the tasks with no explanation or a running current position for the pilots so for the uninitiated it was all a bit confusing seemingly in a secret code. The Balloonpong website gave write-ups, nearly on a daily basis, and there is a nice 23 minute compilation video from the event.

Final positions were 1st Andrew Holly 12094 points in a Kubicek, 2nd Dominic Bareford 11248 points and 3rd Richard Parry 10953 points. Crispin Williams took 4th, Mike Howard 5th, Marcus Green 6th, Rick Vale 7th , Rupert Stanley 8th and finally Stephanie Bareford in 9th.

Bombing down the A1 Chris Freeman spotted the competitors lurking in the trees. Could this have been a fly-in? Thanks Chris.

Check out

For the full Results

Ups for the CAA – makes a change
Six new dates for 2013 have been confirmed for UK CPL(B) written exams. With the onset of EASA licensing nonsense and the high regard held throughout the world for the UK CPL(B) it is strongly recommended that if you are thinking about getting a CPL don’t leave it much longer. When the new EASA licences come in it will be possible to convert UK CPLs to non-expiring status but they will not be recognised by EASA but you can be sure that if you want a job flying balloons outside the EU holding a UK CPL will be a help. Full details of the dates at the CAA website.

High Road Balloons new addition flies first sortie
There seems to be some turbulence being encountered around the High Road Balloons’ HQ. His mum Emi says that young Mylo has taken to low level sorties and contour flying in his bouncy plane and clearly enjoys a bumpy ride. At just six months Mylo is already a keen aviator. Clearly getting ready for his first flight with his dad then.

English Proficiency Test – Confusion on new CPL licence issue
If you are applying for a new UK CPL and get offered a new EASA equivalent license you are currently advised not to go for it as there is no support for the requirements. Instead go for the traditional UK CPL(B) and convert later. You also need to be aware that the various licence ratings now all appear on one shabby bit of paper, including the radio licence, so if you apply for an additional rating then you will get a new style licence. If you haven’t had an English Proficiency Test and got the bit of paper then you must get that done before applying otherwise your Radio Telephony (RT) licence may be left off or amended. You need to ensure that you are Level 6 English Language Proficiency and send that bit of paper with your application. English Proficiency Tests can be carried out by UK CAA Appointed Examiners.

Sackville updated
Following all the brilliant comments about the Sackville event enough to say there is a host of stuff on Faceache, Youbend and on individual photographers’ websites. Keith Ogden has posted his shots from the Meet and very fine they are to. Check out

Moving on briefly Tim Wilkinson reminds all flyers that Sackville is always open for business so if you want to go and fly from there please give him a call. There is fuel available and tea and coffee in the Club hut for early arrivals. Reports suggest that if you manage to land there (by balloon) breakfast or refreshment awaits if they are home and not about to head off to Tescos for more bacon. If you fancy being a tad more adventurous how about joining their flying club. Check out their website for details Tim can be contacted at Sackville Flying Club, Sackville Lodge Farm, Riseley, Beds MK44 1BS Tel : 01234 708877 e-mail : Sackville Flying Club.