Balloon Repair Station

Easy News 16.12.12.

Ultramagic Maintenance Manual Update
Ultramagic Balloons have just published their latest Maintenance Manual which has gone to Ed.04, Rev.16. Owners of UM balloons or using Ultramagic equipment under another manufacturers envelope should download the manual (also available as changed pages only) from their website. The revision includes Rev 15 which was issued simultaneously. There are amendments to sections 0, 2, 5, 6, 8, 9, Approved supplements 27, 28, 34, 36 have been added and Supplements 8,19, 26 have been amended. A noteworthy addition concerning the ‘occasional use of flight cylinders’ has been added to 1.1.4 which is pretty useful:
Substitution or addition of fuel cylinders for occasional use: Cylinders approved for use in the Ultramagic Flight Manual and Supplements may be added or substituted, by the pilot, to the balloon system ́s existing cylinders on a flight by flight basis. This action is subject to details of written proof showing current airworthiness of these cylinders and a copy of this document (e.g. Form1, UM RMCY01 card, UK document IR6 or similar) is made available with the cylinders during the flight.
Pilots are reminded of the requirement of pre-flight checks of all cylinders.
To download the manual or pages please go to the Ultramagic website-Technical Support and scroll down.

Maintenance Manual Supplement Nr. 21, Iss.1 has also been published. This refers to F-35 ‘R4TS’ Special Shape Envelope so unless you actually own, inspect it or need to mend it you don’t really need it! Quite an interesting shape now in the States.

Mince Meet is a go-go
Yippee great festive news. Helen & Len Vaughan are once again running their annual Mince Meet this year from the Black Horse at Great Missenden. It will take place (obviously weather dependent) on one of the following dates Saturday 29th, Sunday 30th December or Tuesday 1st January (Flight Time to be confirmed). All re-vamped with good ale the Black Horse is a great choice.

Briefing will be at the Black Horse Pub in Great Missenden, (OS Map 165) grid Ref 890 023. (Sat Nav HP16 9AX) If this site is unsuitable due to wind direction, alternative launch sites have been arranged. Participants, survivors, hangers on and camp followers will reconvene, following the flight for a celebratory drink at the Black Horse Pub. All are welcome to join in, even if you only come for a drink. A
marked up 165 map will be available to check for updates. A dedicated phone line to announce suitability for a flight to go ahead will be used. The first update will be left on the morning of 27th December, before midday to give an indication/outlook. This phone will not be manned so please don’t leave any messages on it. The number is 07581 899292. If you need to speak to a live person please feel free to ring Len on 07973 256412, Helen on 07966 149254 or landline 01908 608329. If we are unlucky and the weather doesn’t allow for a flight then we still intend to meet for a drink at the Black Horse on Sunday 30th from 12.30pm.

Please can you remember to bring a copy of your insurance as the landlord is new to the pub and new to ballooning and your entry fee which is leftover mince pies or sweeties to share in the field. Fingers crossed for a decent flying slot! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from Helen & Len. Be there or be talked about! Please pass this on to anyone you think might be interested.

Best thing since elasticated jackets eh, what!
There have been but few milestones in balloon development. First was possibly the use of seat belt buckles and the later development of Quick Releases, then Zebedee’s elasticated cylinder jacket (now widely copied), and more recently strapping up large ride balloon envelopes to make packing away easier, a spin off from special shape days. For us Inspectors though what joy and delight. Ultramagic have now started sewing loops to the bottom of their ‘elasticated’ jackets to make them even easier to take off. Cor lumey, what next, ravens at the Tower?

Brits do well at 2012 Tochigi Championships
This year’s Tochigi Championships held in Japan ended in mixed fortunes for the British Team. First place, naturally, went to Japan’s Yudai Fujita, appropriately flying balloon number 1 an Ultramagic Racer. Second, third and fourth places were taken by the strong American Team with Johnny Petrehn taking second and Nick Donner in third.

Matthew Scaife (pretend Australian) once again stole the heart’s of the spectators and stormed in at number seven. The first Brit place went to Richard Parry who topped out in tenth with Lindsay Muir, close on his heals flying a standard Lindstrand. Mike Howard came in thirteenth with Crispin Williams bringing up the rear in twentieth place. There is a fuller story elsewhere along with some piccies courtesy of Lindsay.

Air League and RAeC burseries available for young pilots
The Royal Aero Club Trust has burseries available to help you get your PPL. If you are aged 16 to 21 you could qualify for funding to help you attain a PPL in any discipline from fixed wing to balloons. Applications for a bursery towards a balloon licence must be made through the British Balloon & Airship Club. Full details are available from and applications need to go to Hannah Cameron email by 31st March 2013. The Trust was founded by Fred Marsh, Vice-President of the RAeC, in 1998 to help young peoples’ interest in aviation especially in the area of air sports.

A similar opportunity is offered by The Air League for PPL scholarships for student pilots aged 18-26. Full details and application forms from Closing date for applications is 22nd February 2013. The Air League was founded in 1909 and actively encourages and provides opportunities for young people wishing to follow a career in aviation be it actual flight training or aeronautical engineering.

Bedford Council finally to oversee refurbishment work at Cardington.
If you’ve passed the Cardington Airship Sheds recently you may have noticed that Shed One is finally getting a make-over. The contract to monitor the main refurbishment of the iconic Shed 1 at Cardington Sheds has been given to Bedford Borough Council’s building control team. Shed 1 was designed and built by A J Main and Co of Glasgow for the Admiralty, under supervision by their Directorate of Works during 1916/17. It was enlarged in 1926-7 by the Cleveland Bridge and Engineering Co of Darlington to construct and house the Rl0l airship by the Royal Airship Works. The 1926-7 alterations included the addition of 4 bays, the insertion of new raking struts and increasing the size of the vertical columns to heighten the roof. Six stairways lead up to 3 roof gantries used in the construction of the R101. At 812′ x 275′ x 180′ it is the only remaining in-situ airship hangar from the age of the airship and is now Grade II listed.

In recent years the condition of the shed has deteriorated with safety netting having been installed to prevent bits of the corroded corrugated roof sheets falling down and it is now in need of significant repair work. The building contractor CField is now well underway with the refurbishment works and Bedford Borough Council Building Control will monitor the work through to completion, which is expected to take around 18 months.

Councillor Sarah-Jayne Holland, portfolio holder for community and regulatory services at Borough Hall, said,  “The Cardington Sheds are iconic buildings and can be seen for miles across the borough. However, the oldest shed, Number 1, is in serious need of repair to ensure it remains in place for generations to come. It is therefore good news that this repair work is now taking place and as the council’s building control team are responsible for monitoring the work taking place we can help to play a part in ensuring this historic piece of the borough remains for future generations.”

Let’s hope Shed 1 is restored in the timeframe expected, we can then have another BBM&L inflation day there. Well, fingers crossed! Visit the Cardington Airship Station website for latest pictures and diary.

EASA nonsense hits all time high
The latest CRD (consultation document but really means we’ve already decided) has been posted. Now at best these do need watching as sometimes bits and bobs come up that affect us balloonists but more often than not it is stuff outside of our interest but this time they have excelled with a real gem.

‘Please note that CRD of NPA-2011-20 (B.III) corrigendum “corrigendum to (B.III) Authority, Organisation and Operations Requirements for Aerodromes – CS-ADR Book 1 and 2 ) – Table J-1 to Book 1 Subpart J” is now open for consultation on EASA website’.

Checking the dictionary ‘corrigendum’ comes out as ‘a thing to be corrected, typically an error in a printed book’. I’ve come to the conclusion that they are now trawling the world of nonsense phraseology as they’ve run out of useful and meaningful things to do and if they use Eurotalk that no-one understands then they don’t need to do anything to earn their overpaid salaries. This delightful bit of rubbish can be found at To place reactions please logon at HYPERLINK “” For further information please contact Rulemaking Process Support at Tempting isn’t it!!!!?