Balloon Repair Station

Easy News 02.11.12

Rosey and Chris get Tony Patey Trophy
At the last London Region Meeting those intrepid adventurers John Rose and Chris Wood were presented with the, very dear to our hearts, Tony Patey Trophy for their great performance in this years’ Gordon Bennett Gas Balloon Race. Following a very interesting and informative talk by Chris and John, Ed Lubbock presented them with the Trophy in recognition of not only entering one of the hardest tactical balloon races in the world but ending up ahead of many vastly more experienced contestants having only held licences for just over a year. Well deserved we reckon.

Joe Philp – Off the scale
The website nearly melted with all the interest in the Joe Philp gathering and amongst the many messages and comments we have had dear old Robin Batchelor (keen to be in every News story) found a short interview with him at the 1990 Bristol Balloon Fiesta. Try this Along with Joe are other notables being interviewed at the event. Goes on a bit but Joe is item number one, quite rightly.

Return of the Queen’s Cup
Many years ago there used to be a contest to see who could fly the furthest in a day by whatever means possible by balloon. This great event is about to be re-instated under the guise of ‘The Queen’s Cup Hot-Air Balloon Race’. Don Cameron of Cameron Balloons has just been appointed by the British Balloon & Airship Club, to be the Chairman of the ‘The Queen’s Cup Hot-Air Balloon Race’ organising subcommittee.
“Her Majesty The Queen approved the gift of the 1719 silver trophy to the Royal Aero Club of the United Kingdom in 2010 to be used for ‘Air Challenge Events’ each year. In 2011 The British Aerobatic Association held an event and in 2012 the Queen’s Cup was awarded at an event run by The British Microlight Association.” explained Don Cameron.

This British National, UK hot-air balloon event is likely to take place in October 2013. The aim of the competition is to fly off in your balloon on the Saturday at sunrise, fly tactically, as far as you can (within the rules and UK air law) land safely and then take off again from that landing spot, flying again and again if you wish, landing for the last time within a particular time frame (a bit like playing golf but ballooning!). Further competition details as they are decided and live news from the competition itself will be circulated via the UK balloon press and on the official Cameron Balloons Ltd. Facebook pages.

The Queen’s Cup is awarded each year as the first prize for an event. It is not kept by the winner, instead they receive a certificate and their name will appear in the Ballooning Sporting Records listings. As the event is likely to be held in October it may mean it clashes with the Great British Long Jump but more on that later, according to GBLJ organiser Robin Batchelor.

The King’s Cup for fixed-wing air racing has been around since 1922 and although The Royal Aero Club has had trophies donated by King George VI (the Queen’s father), the Duke of Edinburgh and Prince Charles they’ve never had one donated by The Queen herself. Back in 2009 Fred Marsh, then President of the RAeC, asked the Queen if she would sponsor a Cup for the Club. After considering the request she happily agreed but rather than have a modern cup made she had a poke about the Royal collection of silverware to see what might be in the back of the wardrobe. Finally she came across an Irish silver number about 18 inches high made in 1724 with the Coat of Arms on one side and now engraved on the other ‘The Queen’s Air Race Challenge Cup’. Job done.

Fred explained “We decided to give it to any of our 90,000 members who wants to stage an air race, so it could be for parachutists, balloonists, glider pilots, model flyers, microlight flyers or even airships”. It is most appropriate considering that the RAeC was originally set up for balloonists in 1901 that this year is will be competed for by balloonists.

The Ballooning Business sells to Virgin
The Northampton-based Ballooning Business has been sold to Virgin Balloon Flights. Lawrie Ellis took over the company from Mike Gabb a few years ago when he retired who in turn had bought it off of Tony Pinner. As a result of the sale much of the equipment is now for sale including the Cameron Z275, G-TCAS. The 160 he operated alongside it has already been sold. These days Lawrie wisely spends the winter flying in Australia. All existing customers will be transferred to Virgin Balloon Flights and current bookings will not be affected.

Long Jumpers excel
Results are now in and the presentations have been made for the 2012 Great British Long Jump. The conditions this year were dreadful and a result there were only eight entries with five actually flying. A disappointing turn out but understandable in the present climate in more ways than one. First place went to Rob Bayley and Andrew Gregory who flew an amazing 245.8 miles, pretty much East/West across the country. Second place went to Chris freeman and Richard Penney managing 176.35 miles. Third went to Matt Wiltshire and Ed Chapman at 117 miles with Andrew Holly and Andy Collett coming in with a respectful 114 miles. A very much shorter distance was claimed by John Francis and Dave Sillence. The reports and further details should be elsewhere on the site in a few days. Congratulations to all the competitors.

Met forecast and updates-new (improved?) revised website
Hot off the press, direct from the Belgrano, comes the latest news on the proposed changes to the Aviation Met services which starts going live from December 2012.

Following the last CAA / BBAC / BABO / balloon industry meeting with the Met. Office during November 2010 a number of promised changes to the freely available pages on the Met. Office website have been rather slow in coming to fruition due to financial restraints. In spite of this the Met. Office has recently been testing revised Wind / Temperature Profile pages and these pages are now deemed mature enough (working enough) to go live during the week commencing 3rd December 2012.

The maps will look rather different to those currently being used but this is due to the replacement of the “super computer” that automatically “feeds” this data, the need for orography (mountainous detail) to be shown, and in order to add 12 agreed new locations and facilitate further additional locations in the future. The new model data (picture) will have a much greater resolution. Perhaps more importantly, the present twice daily updating of the Wind / Temperature Profile pages will change to four updates per day. The data will continue to be valid for 06:00 and 18:00 (07:00 and 19:00 in British Summer Time), but will now be updated at 02:30, 08:30 & 14:30 and 20:30. All times in are given in UTC (like GMT but more accurate), so you need to add one hour to all for all the BST times.

So, a new morning’s forecast (valid for 06:00) will now initially be available at 08:30 on the previous morning, then updated at 14:30, 20:30 and finally at 02:30. The last one would only really be of use in immediate pre-flight preparation, but the first will offer an earlier insight into whether the following morning flight slot is worth considering and by tracking the second and third a pilot or operator can follow the changing forecast, which will offer greater insight and greater confidence in any particular slot. Finally, the call on/call off decision will now benefit from the 20:30 data, rather than previously just the 14:30 data. Got that?

For the evening forecast (valid for 18:00) the initial data will now be available at 20:30 on the previous evening (rather than at 02:30) so an initial insight can now be gained on the previous evening. The 02:30 update might be checked early morning, but it will be the 08:30 that will provide final information for the late morning call on/off decision. Then, the 14:30 will assist immediate pre-flight preparation.

The Met. Office has also stated that when the time comes for their GA website to be migrated off its existing platform (which uses quite old architecture-Georgian?), scheduled for sometime in 2013, they should also realise better functionality (such as pan and zoom features-gizmos) on the charts. The next CAA / BBAC / BABO / balloon industry meeting with the Met. Office is scheduled for early December 2012. Please speak directly to your industry rep for more information or to raise any specific points.

Old & Rusty Balloon found
Rumour Control reports that G-BBJB, Thunder c/n 9 has surfaced somewhere up north and has now been put in the care of the British Balloon & Museum & Library. Early interrogation of Pete Bish revealed that this was originally ”Helios’ and owned by Glen Barrett, then re-named ‘Dick Darby’ with D.Barlow & J.Baker. It was built by Thunder Balloons in Great Titchfield Street London and first registered on 17/09/73. It was then registered to the Anglia Balloon School on 23/01/74 before being sold on to the Saint Crispin Balloon Group in Humberside. Seems it could become another flying example in due course.

Ultramagic parts manual
An Ultramagic Technical Documentation notice popped up the other day as a general notice to advise about the approval and issue of the new Illustrated Parts Catalogue Edition 2, Revision1. This super new Document can be downloaded from or from the Ultramagic website > Technical Support area. then scroll to the bottom.

Kubicek TCDS updated

The Kubicek Type Certification Data Sheet for the BB series balloons, BA.003 Balony Kubicek BB, went to issue 24 on 05/11/12. This was updated on the Easy Balloons TCDS pages a few weeks ago so this is a reminder. Whilst on the subject of TCDSs, Aerophile 5500, the tethered helium ride balloon, has now been issued as
B.A.020 Issue 01 (26/11/12). Just so you know.

BBAC Inspector Symposium – Inspector Costs set to rise
There is to be a British Balloon & Airship Club Inspector symposium on February 9th 2013 at the NFU Headquarters in Stratford upon Avon. To remain current BBAC Inspectors need to attend one such event every two years. If you are currently training or wish to become an inspector you are strongly advised to attend. The attendance fee for the 2013 symposium (cost recovery only) is £20 and can be paid at the BBAC shop in early 2013 along with the inspector rating renewal fee.

Following the latest BBAc Committee meeting annual fees to be an inspector and maintain the rating are set to rise next year. Following a revue by the BBAC Technical Committee the revised inspector rating renewal fees were recommended to the BBAC Main Committee and approved by vote at the Main Committee meeting held on 21st November 2012. For 2013, the annual fees will be UK, £40, Europe, £120, Rest of World, £170. These are subject to VAT for inspectors holding the PT rating (no change from 2012).

If you wish to become an Inspector the application fee for trainee inspectors has now been set at £100 payable to the BBAC. This does not apply to inspectors currently in-training provided they complete their training by 31st March 2013. See BBAC-TC-072 at (log-in required) for full details of the 2012 inspector training system. Questions or concerns should be directed to the Chairman BBAC Technical Committee

Warsteiner Brewery boss dies
Albert Cramer, the owner of Warsteiner Brewery, sadly lost his fight against Cancer on Tuesday 20th November. Albert will probably not be known to all in the U.K. but he not only ran a successful Brewery and Horse Riding Team but brought the gift of Ballooning to every region of Germany and much of the World with his fleet of Warsteiner Balloons being flown throughout the world and attending many balloon meets. Many pilots would not be flying today without his assistance. Warstein hosts the biggest balloon meeting in Germany during the first 9 days of September, May the spirit and generosity that Albert created live on to the benefit of all. The heartfelt condolences from the World Ballooning community go out to his family, friends, colleagues and all his fellow pilots and crew. The 2013 Warsteiner Meet is set to run from 30/08/13 to 07/09/13. Details on the website Obituary at

DFDS Discounts for Metz…and beyond
Following DFDS Seaways excellent recent policy revision for taking flight cylinders on their crossings (they have declared that on English Channel crossings they will now allow a maximum total of 47kg of propane in any number of cylinders with the exemption extended to permit small cylinders of helium for met balloons, a small petrol can and fire extinguishers (for use in the balloon). Additionally the company is now offering 20% discount to balloonists through their Group Booking Department at Dover. The discount applies to online booking prices but CANNOT be made online. Please note to get the discount you can only do it by email and quoting “Balloon 20”
Along with quoting “Balloon 20’ you need to provide the date and times of your crossings, Driver and passenger names, car registration and trailer length (if applicable), contact email and telephone number and your address.
Ping that off to HYPERLINK “” and once the booking has been made Dover Group Bookings will contact you for payment.

New Congested Area permission issued
Following the earlier announcement from the CAA concerning Congested Take-Off Areas permissions the CAA has now published a ‘General Permission for Congested Area take-offs in balloons’. This has been placed within the CAA’s Official Record Series 4, number 948. A copy of the General Permission may be found at:, then select “ORS4 No. 948” which opens the link to the PDF document using any PDF reader. Pilots wishing to use this General Permission must ensure that they carry a copy of the document. The previous Permissions for Congested Area balloon take-offs, issued to both the BBAC and BABO, are being revoked. The new General Permission is valid until 1 December 2013.

Last Minute Zeppelin trip – be quick
You’ll need to be quick to take advantage of this offer. David Gale, the UK PR Manager for Friedrichshafen Airport, in partnership with Monarch Airlines to celebrate the first new scheduled flights to Friedrichshafen from Gatwick and Manchester, is offering the opportunity to join an exciting day trip which will take in the amazing Dornier aviation Museum and hangar and the world renowned Zeppelin Museum in Friedrichshafen city centre.

This is all very short notice. “The trip itself takes place on Thursday, December 6th from London Gatwick Airport so as you will see this is an eleventh hour request for assistance. We still have a number of seats available on the trip and wanted to maximise the opportunity for people with a real interest to be part of it.” says David.

The flight leaves on Thursday, December 6th, 2012 and the trip is £159.98 per person.
The very full itinerary starts at 0400 with assembly at Monarch Airlines’ check-in, South Terminal, London Gatwick Airport when the boarding passes will be issued.
The flight will be operated by a Monarch Airlines Boeing B757-200 scheduled to arrive at Friedrichshafen at 0900. Then its off to the Dornier Museum with a number of unique aircraft in a fantastic new building returning to the airport for a tour and then to the Zeppelin Hangars on the opposite side of the airfield followed by a trip to the Zeppelin Museum in Friedrichshafen City Centre with plenty off time to take in Lake Constance and the town, where the Christmas markets will be in full swing, if you wish. At 1800 its back to Friedrichshafen Airport and a “Folk-like” Swabian evening and meal, including local foods and beers served in the airport fire station with views of the FDH ramp. The flight back leaves at 2155 getting you back to Gatwick by 2240. The event will be escorted by Monarch Airlines staff members who will be on hand to answer questions. The Zeppelin museum tour will be escorted by museum guides, and tours of the Zeppelin production site will be escorted by company staff. There will be plenty of walking, so guests are recommended to wear comfortable shoes, and pack lightly.

Included in the £159.98 price: Fares and Taxes for your roundtrip flights to Friedrichshafen, guided tours of the Zeppelin Museum, visit to the Zeppelin Production Site, entrance to the Dornier Museum, your evening meal in the Fire Station, all transfers and the services of Monarch Airlines staff members for the duration of the event. Excludes: Credit Card Booking Fees and Seat Reservation Charges (£11.99 each way for extra leg room seats and £5.99 each way for standard seats) Please contact Monarch Airlines Reservations: 0843 227 1312 (Calls cost 10p per minute)

Flights provided are subject to the normal terms and conditions. Please see for further information. Tours may be cancelled or rescheduled without notice in the event of a security or operational related issue at the airport. You acknowledge that you will have appropriate travel insurance in place for this trip. Bookings are non-refundable and we do not allow for changes to be made.

And finally – Congratulations to new pilot Gareth Bufton
Gareth Bufton of the RAF Halton Balloon Club has just got his PPL having checked out with Kevin Meehan and beating the atrocious weather here by trotting off to Mondovi. Gareth wishes to thank the many people who have helped him along the way especially everybody at RAF Halton Balloon club, Rob Cross and team Windrush, Kev Tanner, Mark Stelling, Mike Gunston, Andy & Jane Austin, Martin Rowlands, John Tyrell & Wendy Rousell, Giovanni Aimo, and most importantly Kevin Meehan for signing on the bottom line. Well done Gareth.