Balloon Repair Station

News 28.04.13

In case you missed it – Mandatory Service Bulletin from Ultramagic

Ultramagic issued a Mandatory Service Bulletin 01/2013 on the 16th April. ultramagic cracked frameBottom line is that it requires dismantling of the centre gimbal block and inspection of the burner frame centre tube on Ultramagic BMK-050 and MK-21 quad or triple burners with centre gimballing before the next flight. Ultramagic has had two reports of broken centre tubes, probably (almost certainly!) caused by road transportation conditions outside of the requirements of Section 7.4 of the Flight Manual. The picture is from a Turkish operated 425. The cracks occurred in the middle of the tube beneath the centre gimbal centre cap. The Service Bulletin (SB) is MANDATORY and must be carried out BEFORE the next flight. Once the inspection is carried out you will need to let Ultramagic know the results. Details of the inspection must be made in the logbook along with any findings and if necessary rectification. If your Ultramagic or bottom end is not affected then you need to enter ‘UM SB 01/2013 not applicable-affected burner not fitted’ and complete the sections in the AD and SB section in the back of the logbook. Any problems or clarification please give us a call however Team Office should have sent all those affected (or not) a note. Don’t forget that if dismantling and reassembly of the centre-gimbal is carried out then it will have to be released back to service by an Inspector. Full details of the SB and instructions of the inspection procedure, which has loads of piccies to make it quite clear, can be found at

Kubicek Special Shape TCDS updated

Balony Kubicek updated their SSHAB TCDS to BA.017 Edition 14 on 19th April 2013. The update includes a change to the wording in the envelope description and the addition of a Cup Special Shape.

Peruvian Balloon Accident

Peruvian authorities reported that five women have been rescued after a hot air balloon operated by Globos Peru ditched in the Pacific Ocean off Canete Beach, south of the capital Lima, on Sunday 28th April. The pilot and another passenger apparently attempted to swim ashore but are now reported as missing. Interior Minister Wilfredo Pedraza criticised balloon owners, Globos Peru SAC, saying that none of the people on the flight were wearing life jackets and the balloon carried no GPS or tracking device. Members of the Peruvian Navy, Air force, Police and local boats searched the area by sea and by air for the men but no trace has yet been found. The rescued women passengers had remained with the balloon’s basket which floated and were taken to a Naval hospital. Balloon company manager Luis Fernandez explained that strong winds had pushed the balloon off its planned route along the coast and out over the Pacific.

Great result for the Marathon Balloons

What a fantastic result for the bold tetherers at this years’ London Marathon. MarathonThe past few years have seen it far from perfect but the lovely weather meant that they all managed to put on a fantastic display right along the start line. The weather stayed with the event and all reported a fine day. Nice to see the Breitling Academy Balloon on display. This balloon is operated by Brian Jones using a Double Airchair to train up severely disabled pilots. Congratulations to our neighbour Henrick the Viking who flew the flag for Wendover. We know he completed the race as we saw him on Monday afternoon. Couldn’t spot him amongst the early runners though. Piccie courtesy Mike King.

Cameron Flights (Southern) Ltd – Go Ballooning Creditor’s meeting report

Here is the latest ‘official’ statement from Cameron Flights (Southern) Ltd as posted on their website.


Cameron Flights Southern Ltd t/a Go Ballooning in liquidation

Following a creditors meeting on 24 April 2013 Joe Sadler, a Licensed Insolvency Practitioner with Elwell Watchorn & Saxton LLP, was appointed Liquidator of Cameron Flights Southern Limited.

The Liquidator has a statutory duty to investigate the affairs of the company and will report to the appropriate forums in due course. A letter will be emailed/ posted to all creditors this week providing details to facilitate access to the report of the creditors meeting and requesting that any relevant matters should be submitted to the Liquidator for inclusion in his investigation.

Go Ballooning Creditor’s Meeting – Pint of beer £4 a pint shock horror!

Following the publication of the ‘Information For Creditors’ report a couple of days earlier the creditors meeting for Cameron Flights (Southern) Ltd (CFS) took place on the 24th April at Abingdon in Oxfordshire, the meeting kicking off at 2.30pm with a healthy 23 interested parties in attendance along with the company’s directors Mr & Mrs Hossack and Joe Sadler & Mark Cooper of EWS LLP (the insolvency practitioners) however only one consumer customer was present, all others being trade creditors. As if being owed loads of dosh wasn’t enough the creditors who turned up at the Abingdon Four Pillars Hotel got a double whammy after discovering a beer was £4 a pint!

EWS LLP went through the Report and the floor was opened for questions and answers which turned out to be a quite interesting hour or so. Barclays Bank were represented by three attendees, including their own insolvency practitioners, and they began by asking general questions about the way in which the business operated. They appeared less than impressed by the responses of the Directors. Further questions followed relating to questions about the assets of the company, the way they traded and ‘where had all the dosh gone’ especially that earned in the last six months.

Their answers were less than helpful and those present appeared to find them rather confusing. They omitted to bring any books or figures to which they could refer and claimed that they didn’t know their turnover figures. The bank’s representatives were clearly less than impressed that they could not supply such basic facts and figures. Bad start, they’d being going straight back down the stairs had they been in the Dragon’s Den. So it wasn’t that surprising that they then explained that all the money had gone on running the company and they continued trading in the firm belief that they would survive. Some attempt to examine their novel accounting method by only counting the ‘cost to fly’ as a liability associated with each passenger came to nothing however, it was allegedly approved by their accountants, Baker Tilly. Delving further, using figures from the Creditor’s Report, it was shown that the previous years’ accounts’ liability figure was kept artificially low by virtue of the accounting technique but then, rather remarkably, in their most recent statement, the liability doubled when the company ceased trading. This clearly hadn’t gone unnoticed by many present and rather suggested that they may have been insolvent for years. Joe Sadler of EWS LLP was thus directed to investigate this accounting practice and ask Baker Tilly for an explanation.

One high point came when it was asked why four new balloon envelopes (worth £120k) had been ordered by another of their companies, PSH Skypower Ltd, by transferring funds into that company from CFS Ltd? The answer was rather puzzling bearing in mind that CFS were an agent for Cameron Balloons Ltd. They claimed to have ordered the new balloons via PSH Skypower because they enjoyed greater discount from the manufacturer if acting as PSH Skypower rather than as CFS Ltd. It was pretty clear to all that having cancelled the order and if the deposit of around £35K was recoverable it would be repaid to PSH Skypower. The bank took a keen interest in this and pursuing the point asked questions concerning transactions between the Director’s various other companies. It was then revealed that it was Joe Sadler who stopped Go Vouchers from continuing to trade after Go Ballooning ceased and that the Hossack’s had also set up two new companies a week before CFS went into administration. In their defence The Hossacks replied that they were ‘always starting up companies and putting them on the shelf’. The bank also suggested that the timing of CFS Ltd’s failure was convenient because the Hossacks missed being liable for a personal guarantee to the bank by a couple of days which came as a bit of a shock to those present.

Time came for to approve the Liquidators which went pretty well as expected. The Directors (Mr and Mrs Hossack) had about £250k of voting rights by virtue of the money owed by CFS to their pension trust. The rest of the creditors (excluding the bank) had about £70k worth of voting rights. The bank does not usually vote, even though they had a £2m voting right by virtue of all the money owed to them as a result of the card transactions taken by CFS Ltd in the past year. So, with the Bank abstaining the vote to appoint EWS LLP as liquidators went their way. This wasn’t the end of the story though. Unusually the Bank’s own insolvency practitioner stipulated that he wanted a Liquidation Committee to be formed. Such a Committee is unpaid and the members provide expertise in their particular field helping steer the investigations of the liquidator. A group of five creditors were duly elected thus avoiding hung votes and although the contents of the meetings will not be in the public domain they will act in the best interests of the creditors. The first meeting took place immediately following the Creditor’s Meeting and further ones have been scheduled.

From the figures provided the deficiency reflected in the statement of affairs as at 24 April 20l3 is £2,207,214 and it seems that currently there will be a balance of about £11,000 left in the company which will probably not even cover the insolvency fees so the chances of the creditors recovering any losses is looking unlikely. Following on from the questions concerning other Companies owned by the Directors it would seem that Go Vouchers Ltd is also likely to go into liquidation, possibly compulsory liquidation if the creditors demand it through the court however PSH Skypower continue to trade. Now that EWS LLP have been properly appointed, you can contact Mr Joe Sadler with any other queries or request a copy of the Report.

Mr Joe Sadler can be contacted on 0115 988 6035 or by email to their Nottingham Office through their website

Right that’s enough of that so moving on.

Deepest Eastest

spicey islanderFinally, despite windier than forecast conditions, we managed to get our visit to Kent in and got Mike Spice’s Kent and Canterbury balloons, including our old mate the Unipart ‘105, which he uses for exclusive flights, and Matt ‘Arkwright’ Wady’s Merlin balloon inspected. After the frustrations of wind, snowdrifts and a sodden airfield we broke with tradition and shot done the motorway on a non-working day! The promise of a fish and chip supper on the beach at Hythe always does the trick. So there we were discussing things various when Spicy informs us it was his mum’s birthday. Turns out it was also Arkwright’s mum’s birthday as well. Not ot be outdone Spicy then came out with the revelation that is was Hitler’s birthday whereupon a Spitfire flanked by a couple of helicopters flew over. Seems that a company called Actions Stations has been operating a Spitfire and Hurricane out of Lydd for the past few years. The idea is simple and brilliant. They fly you alongside the aircraft in helicopters along the coast past the White Cliffs of Dover, Dover castle and the Battle of Britain Memorial. The photographic opportunities are immense and, according to those that have done it, quite fantastic. It certainly looks impressive from the ground with the Spitfire barrel-rolling, looping and flying by the hovering helicopter. Usually the Spitfire uses the very airfield we were on between missions the tarmac of Lydd is costly on the tyre front! Unfortunately the area around the hangar was still a bit boggy so they were operating it out of Lydd. What was there was Arkwright’s latest aeroplane, a fine Islander that they use for pipeline surveying. Anyway the fish and chips were fine the journey back uneventful and we ended up in the Swan in daylight. Nearly forgot to mention, I spotted me first swallow of the year as it swept low-level across the strip. Thanks chaps. Don’t be put of by the go prefix, they are in no way related to any other ‘go’ organisation in fact the website is great and the team come across as really friendly dedicated people. They operate from March to October three days a week.

The Fat Rascal turns 30

fat rascal at 30This will mean nothing to many but to those itinerants that used to be on the ‘Circuit’ it marks a milestone in a culinary legend. The Yorkshire Show was held (still is) at Harrogate home of Bettys probably the best Tea Rooms in the world. It was compulsory to go there for breakfast and to purchase a pile of Fat Rascals to take home for the kids. With almonds for the cheeky grin and glace cherries for eyes they are best eaten warm with butter but will sustain a fellow for quite a few days if necessary in their plain state. The Betty’s Fat Rascal is said to have originated from the Turf Cake, an old regional speciality. Thirty years ago this year, the Turf Cake was rediscovered by Jonathan Wild from Bettys, who added a few Bettys’ touches to create the now famous Fat Rascal. In truth it was probably Joe Philp that discovered the Fat Rascal. Best described as a large fruity scone 6,500 are produced each week, all decorated by hand. We love the things and a detour was always made to pick some up. These days though you can order them on line and they arrive the next day all fresh and scrummy. Happy Anniversary Fat Rascal.

As part of their celebrations to mark this very special anniversary, Ian McMillan, the ‘Bard of Barnsley’ has penned this unique ode to a traditional Yorkshire treat.

Happy Birthday to the Fat Rascal by Ian McMillan;
This rascal’s turning thirty, so let’s all raise a glass
To a Yorkshire institution known across the world Yorkshire Fat Rascals
That’s grown in fame and fortune as the decades slowly pass;
Raise your Rascal banners! Get your Bettys flag unfurled!
It started as a Turf Cake; now it’s got a cheeky face
Made from spreading almonds in a ‘gnarl’: a kind of grin,
It’s a super-scone so vast you can see it from outer space
So spread some butter on it, let it dribble down your chin.
Then taste it, feel the texture: it’s like Yorkshire on a plate:
Chew it, feel the flavour fill your mouth and lift your heart.
It’s like one of the family: this Fat Rascal’s your best mate
And if you’ve never had one, well now’s the time to start!
Fat Rascal: Happy Birthday from the Bard of Barnsley

Now let’s all enjoy one with a cup of Yorkshire Tea!,294.aspx

More riveting reading from EASA

Had to chuckle at this one just up, NPA-2013-07 “Ageing aircraft structures” is now open for consultation on EASA website. Well now there is plenty of ageing kit out there but fortunately it doesn’t seem (on the face of it) that this will affectr us. More about mainspares and engine mounts we suspect but then again what about those ageing pilots?

See: To place comments please logon at For further information please contact Rulemaking Process Support at

In a different department they have now also published SIB 2013-05 – Safety Information Bulletin: Manual Flight Training and Operations.

This is a follow on from stuff that has been out before and basically advises that, ‘Operators are encouraged to consider incorporating emphasis of manual flight operations, as a means of maintaining basic flying skills, into training (initial and recurrent) and, when feasible, line operations. Operational principles should be developed by operators and included in their automation policy. The operator should identify appropriate opportunities for pilots to practice their manual flying skills, taking into account various factors…’ So, every once in a while set your auto-pilot climb and descent buzzer to silent and let the thing drop out the sky or turn off your wip-wap Tomtit and see if you can find out where you are on a real map. Remember them? To see the details of this Publication go to

Latest Workshop Clutter

The far workshop has become totally cluttered again and in need of yet another biffa-out claud butler 1954however, never one to turn down a challenge or look a gift horse in the gob, we have just taken delivery of project pedal and this time with no engine. When I was at school a mate of mine had a Claud Butler and it was super smashing. I had a Raleigh New Yorker three speed jobby and with raised handlebars did look the dogs’ but I was never shy of borrowing the Butler for longer journeys whenever me mate was away for the weekend. Whilst deep in discussion about such things over a pint or two of ESB the other evening one of the regulars asked if I wanted his old lug-less Claud Butler as he really didn’t want to take it down the tip. I was round the following day and then off to find some bits for it. IMG_1095Booker Paul may be an aircraft welder extraordinaire but deep down he is a historic bike man so when I turned up at his hangar with the frame he was in his element. The idea had been to see what he could let me have in the way of period bits for it but, daft me, within minutes we were in his Aladdin’s Cave and he was explaining that he could sort this bit to go there and this bit there and these wheels would be perfect and so on, so looks like he will be building it up then. Maybe I’ll get to ride it eventually and maybe touch up the frame. Turning it upside down and pointing out a frame number it turns out it is probably 1954 and a ‘New All-Rounder’. Smashing. Wonder when I’ll see it again?