Technical bits you might have missed
Typically there have been a few updates to the technical Information since the last News. Two updates were issued. The first update was issued on 04/11/13.
Kubicek BA.017 goes to Issue 17 & Cameron BA.013 to Issue 14
Belatedly, as I forgot to put this scintillating news in the last News thingy, apologies and I thought we’d updated the Cameron change in the TCDS/Manual pages already. Clearly not it seems, must have been the excitement of the new Cameron website going on line. Camerons TCDS BA.013 went to Issue 14 on 17th October and Kubicek Special Shape TCDS BA.017 went to Issue 17 on 30th October. The Cameron TCDS update appears to be a volume correction (amendment) to the A-Type A450LW but we’ve noticed that they forgot to update the update page. The Kubicek one is the addition of SHIP special shape and the Flight Manual supplement B2102-SHIP. Anyone got a piccie of it?
Service Instruction for Concept Balloons gets under the radar
Somehow we also managed to miss this one. Cameron Balloons have issued a Service Instruction for the fitting of a Spider Tape to the top of their Concept envelopes. This is presumably to help prevent parachute creep. To download the Service Instruction S106-A which was issued on October 2nd 2013 go to http://www.cameronballoons.co.uk/support#service-instructions and click on the pretty little pdf symbol. While you are there the Service Instruction on Launch Restraints (S-104-A) published back in August is well worth a read.
The second update was issued on 14.11.13.
Ultramagic Maintenance Manual goes to Edition04 Revision 17
Ultramagic have issued a notice that their beloved Maintenance Manual has gone to Edition 04 Revision 17. The changes are amendments to Sections two and seven (rigging and load tapes primarily and revisions to Supplements 17 (issue2) and 18 (issue 3) which is the addition of the new Tekno baskets and Tekno 70 envelope. To download the new versions go to Maintenance Manual section on Ultramagic Balloons website which is at
Schroeder TCDS BA.016 goes to Issue 07 & BA.010 to Issue 07
The Schroeder Fire Balloons TCDS BA.016 covering their G-Series balloons has gone to Issue 07 and TCDS BA.010 covering the S-series has also gone to Issue 07. Changes seem to be the same for both. 2.3 burner, Service instructions 2 bit, Table 3 burners specifically FB7. Both were issued on 12/11/13.
Ultramagic updates Parts Catalogue
Now here’s a thing probably in response to the new Cameron online all singing dancing illustrated catalogue Ultramagic have just updated theirs and told everyone on their mailing list. That’s service for you. In fact it is a jolly useful catalogue and includes cutaway and exploded diagrams along with illustrations of the parts. It is now officially ‘Illustrated Parts Catalog Edition 2, Revision 2’ and someone has approved it. Smashing lovely. Downloadable as a pdf go to http://www.ultramagic.com/balloons/kobe-1-es-Soporte-T%C3%A9cnico-s34_109.html and scroll to the bottom.
Lindstrand Orders rise
Following the doom and gloom and drastic measures taken by Lindstrand Balloons in the recent months we are pleased to report that things are now turning around for them. Simon Forse told us “We have lots of work on the books now, I am happy to report. The enquiries are high as well, although they normally are at this time of year.” Great news for them. They have just test inflated a 425A for Turkey, which was all fine and dandy and will be shipped out in the next week or so. Following the launch of their popular GoPro mount and Skyview they have now produced a very posh tablet case for the iPad and Galaxy. The case is both functional and practical and actually designed for the rigours of ballooning but also looks smart enough to be used outside the ballooning environment. The tablet sits ion the central section in a plastic wallet that whilst protecting the device from scratches and water moisture, still allows it to be used. The case opens out in such a way that it forms a stand for using moving maps, or watching movies whilst waiting for the wind to drop. There are also handy sections for your smartphone, USB sticks and business cards. Very importantly there is a small clip for the attachment of a safety line to to keep it secure in the basket when you arrive back on the deck but alas no parachute if you forget to attach it. The whole case can be shut easily and quickly allowing easy stowage for landing. As with all Lindstrand cases it can be ordered in a wide range of colours. For further information, contact Simon or lee Hooper or visit their website http://www.lindstrand.co.uk/
Jonathan Dyer - New Inspector in the field
A big welcome to Jonathan Dyer who has just been approved to be an inspector and ARC signatory for us. This means that he can inspect and issue Airworthiness Revue Certificates for private balloons under Easy Balloons system. Jonathan, his good lady and kids called by the other week and following the nod from our CAA man has been added to our Inspectors in the Field list. Jonathan is well known to inspectors for his contributions to the BBAC Inspector Training Days and to Instructors for his input to Instructor Training Days, not that different to his day job. If you need to get hold of him his contact details are in the pages bit under ‘Inspectors in the Field’ and he’ll be happy to help.
Sadler Memorial Plaque to be unveiled in Nottingham
Short notice we know but on Saturday 30th November at 2.30 pm at the Fellows, Morton & Clayton pub on Canal Street in Nottingham, NG1 7EH, The Sheriff of Nottingham will be officially be unveiling a plaque marking the site where James Sadler made the first successful balloon flight in Nottingham 200 years ago this month. It was also reputed to be the first manned balloon flight in the East Midlands. The plaque has been jointly sponsored by both East Midlands Balloon Group and the Nottingham Civic Society. Like most city centre pubs they do not have customer parking. The very small car park adjacent is mainly used by pub staff and some city council staff. There is a NCP car park just across the road. You can also park on pay and display meters on Castle Boulevard. Or if you are happy for a 10 minute walk then you can park a bit further out, still along Castle Boulevard, just outside the charging zone where it will be free. Nice to know he decided to fly from a pub carpark, some things never change! If you plan to go or want further details please drop a note to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Gobbledegook - CAA response to the GA Red Tape Challenge
Want a good laugh or, being rather less cynical, your spirits lifted, then this read is a must for you. Only about 18 months late and now at the point that the CAA gold plate (and more) all the EASA regulations. Fair enough, they claim that a lot of it is based on existing UK legislation but if so then a chance has been missed to sort that out as well, but they now publish the best bit of flannel so far in the whole sorry EASA saga! Mr Haines, CAA Chief Executive, says “Following the General Aviation (GA) Red Tape Challenge, which found that the current regulatory regime is often too prescriptive, impractical and inappropriate, the government and Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) announced plans to transform the way in which the UK’s GA sector is regulated” and has now come up with CAP1123 or was it 1231? Amazed it wasn’t 1234! This publication is their overall response to the Government’s Red tape Challenge which in its own right has been completely unsuccessful. Reading 1234 doesn’t take long and it is full of promises and claims some of which have been accomplished meaning the process is more complicated as new online forms don’t work and the new ones probably never will. However (as the man from the CAA often says) some aspects did make me laugh out loud. Now you have to bear in mind that Andrew Haines has lots of experience in the aviation industry having joined the CAA after a wide-ranging career in the rail industry. Mind you he did recently take on the responsibility for improving the performance of the First Great Western franchise and Great Western Railways once operated Dragon Rapides so perhaps I am being unfair his £250,000 per annum salary is fully justifiable. So, in the ‘Introduction’ the observant Mr Haines states that,
“I have often been told that the CAA has a level of engagement with its stakeholders that is unrivalled amongst other national aviation authorities.”
That's true, we engage with them at least four times on any application that is made before having to get alongside and giving them a hearty broadside of umpteen more copies of this and that. Then a bit further down he goes on to say in ‘Guiding principle 2: Maximise delegations.’
“We wish to maximise delegations to the extent that industry appetite and competence and resilience are the only constraints. Here the CAA would retain overall accountability so that the UK continues to meet its international and European obligations, but responsibility for delivery of the regulation would be delegated to one or more Qualified Entity. A Qualified Entity would deliver regulatory oversight locally and, being closer to the sector than the CAA, do so in a manner more proportionate and efficient for that sector. They could legitimately compete with each other for business, with fees and charges set by market demand.”
There was that lovely CAA expression 'BUT', again creeping in almost undetected after they lure you in. How on earth would anyone get to be a Qualified Entity, how much would that cost and how much would the CAA charge to audit someone for that privilege and who are the mystical ‘They’ ? What a load of complete bollix. Been better if they'd used the time sorting out the wretched new online Certificate of Airworthiness Application Form and what they exactly want to be sent. It changes every time and nowhere is there a defined list or try and understand that licences for balloons does not need to be as stringent as one for a Cessna. We ask every time for a definitive list but nothing.
Just to be clear that this is complete twosh it has a CAP number (CA1123) for a kick-off and a page (the first) with ‘Intentionally left blank’ on it as they probably spent a day or so trying to decide what they reckoned they’d be able to get away with. The other nice touch is that the paper is dated November 2013 and we can respond to it but (in CAA parlance) responses must be in by 6th December giving plenty of time for the various Groups, Clubs and Organisations, some of which already hold delegated responsibilities, to debate and discuss before, like me, making a considered and balanced reply!
Reading the proposed requirements for maintaining your licence and ratings various I can well understand why so many have, or will retire from ballooning or simply won’t be arsed once EASA cracks its whip. Well done CAA, you appear to be attempting to get onside with the very people that give you a job and that you have already run over by saying that at as the sun sets on the old system and EASA rises brightly over the horizon you are minded to change everything again. Then again I may be wrong. Read it and drop Mr Haines the CAA Chief Executive a line if you think it will do any good. Once again the upper levels of CAA management has demonstrated that it hasn’t got a clue what really goes on in General Aviation. It’s a shame that those in the Organisation that have to suffer under it aren’t allowed to run the show or their experienced and valuable opiniuons listened to. Read the lovely thing as a pdf downloadable free of charge (at the moment) by going to
http://www.caa.co.uk/application.aspx?catid=33&pagetype=65&appid=11&mode=detail&id=5838 and then make a comment or suggestion to email@example.com by Friday 6 December 2013. We are assured in CAA speak that ‘Your feedback and suggestions will be shared with the Challenge Panel who will take them into account when preparing its report to Ministers due in April 2014’. Sleep easy.
Strange days indeed - Balloon sold to Iraqi
Steve Waterton popped in the other day to show us his impressive new retrieve vehicle. We got to talking about this and that and after a bit of a clandestine drawn out sale his old balloon G-ZEBO has really been sold to a bloke in Iraqi! Now here’s the thing not only was he invited out to take it for a flight if he was ever in the country but Mr Jonathon Dyer is actually rumoured to be going out there to get a flight in it! Wicked.
Len Bartram Norfolk Airfields reprinted - new titles added
Four new RAF 100 Group booklets out based on the notes of Len Bartram and written up by Janine Harrington the Secretary of the RAF 100 Group Association have just been issued, whoops, sorry, meant published. The others in the series have now been reprinted with glossy covers and updated some containing additional pictures and information. The new booklets are on RAF West Raynham, RAF Swannington, RAF Great Massingham and RAF Little Snoring. Although Trevor Wise Publishing Inc is still handling the overall sales of these lovely booklets individual copies can now be ordered direct from City Bookshop in Norwich. www.citybookshopnorwich.co.uk/
Jack Klein Obituary
Jack Klein, 62, died October 22, 2013, in a vehicle accident near Ko Olina, Hawaii. Celebrations of his life will be held in his favourite places all over the world during the next several months.
Jack Klein was born in El Paso, Texas, in 1951. After graduating from high school in Houston, he lived in Hawaii for several years, making a living as a carpenter while he enjoyed the surf, sun, and tradewinds. He was a natural, instinctive hang glider pilot with a flair for swooping the launch platform on top of the cliff at Makapuu. He met his future wife, Carol, when she was learning to fly and needed an experienced pilot to "check her out" for her first flight at the Makapuu Ridge.
Jack was drawn to Alaska in 1978 by the lure of adventure and high-paying pipeline work. Arriving a little too late for the pipeline boom, Jack was nonetheless able to make a living thanks to his common sense and carpentry skills. His fledgling company, Advanced Construction, took off (along with several roofs) because of the destructive Anchorage wind storm of 1980.
In Alaska, Jack was introduced to ballooning by a fellow hang-glider pilot who had been doing "glider drops" from a friend's hot air balloon. However, Jack was so intrigued by the balloon that he put his hang glider away and bought a balloon instead. He and Carol got their commercial balloon licenses in Anchorage and did passenger flights in Anchorage and Fairbanks for many years. They opened a certified balloon Repair Station, and Jack's handyman skills found another expression in balloon fabric and industrial sewing machines. In the late 1980s, issues with airspace, insurance, and the economy essentially ended commercial ballooning in Alaska but opened the doors to ballooning in other parts of the world.
Jack and Carol worked for two years as "balloon safari" pilots in Kenya. Thanks to the many people they met overseas, and the sponsorship of British Airways and Lufthansa Cargo, they embarked on years of "adventure flying" in many countries. Among Jack's most inspiring and influential friends was Peter Blaser, a Swiss lubricant producer and world-class balloon pilot, who introduced Jack to the ultralight, easily transportable balloon designs of Brian Boland and other outside-the-box thinkers. Jack added his own unique touches to those designs and began building his own lightweight systems, often embellished with his trademark "Alaska Flag" logo. Jack also developed an extremely lightweight yet powerful inflation fan, the "Kleinfan", that has a small but fiercely devoted "fan base" all around the world.
In 2012, after a serious illness, Jack returned to Hawaii with Carol and decided to build a custom home with a view of the sea and the mountains. He seemed to sense that this was his last "big project", and worked tirelessly to finish the house while he was physically able to do so. While bringing a load of flooring back to the house on October 22, 2013, Jack was killed instantly in a 1-vehicle accident near Kapolei.
Jack did things his own way, oblivious to the constraints of convention and fashion. Although he could not always explain the "science" behind his work, Jack could build anything out of anything and would have been the ideal person to be stranded with on a desert island.
"Tinker, sky sailor, carpenter, music lover" (in the words of a friend) - not to mention outstanding cook, - he has left a tangible legacy of beautiful and useful things, for people as well as his beloved cats. His kindness and generosity will long be remembered by all who knew him. "Ua la'i ka nohona i ke alo pali." There is tranquility before the face of the cliff. http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/adn/obituary.aspx?n=jack-klein&pid=168014144#storylink=cpy
Big Balloon goes to Denmark
Tony Brown’s 425 has now left for a new life in Denmark. Now Denmark isn’t that big an so it will be interesting to see how the new owner gets on with it. At the time of its launch it was the largest balloon operated in the UK. Tony’s idea was that a bigger balloon meant fewer flights and to that end it has done him proud. Although now retired from the passenger ride business Tony has now gone back to flying for fun and jolly happy he is too.
Radio Controlled Balloons threatened by EASA legislation
Just goes to show that EASA are leaving no stone unturned in their relentless persuit of the ridiculous. Latest CRD (Crap, Rubbish, Disgard) is NPA-2012-10 "Transposition of Amendment 43 to Annex 2 to the Chicago Convention on remotely piloted aircraft systems (RPASs) into common rules of the air" is now open for consultation on EASA website. So careful with that model balloon Eugene.
See: http://hub.easa.europa.eu/crt/docs/viewcrdpdf/id_166. To place open for reactions (that isn’t even English) please logon at http://hub.easa.europa.eu/crt/ For further information please contact Rulemaking Process Support at RPS@easa.europa.eu. I know I am just going to have to submit something just to wind them up (o:
Back in the saddle - Ruby on the mend
On Tuesday I finally got to ride me ‘orse again following its somersault earlier in the year. As a result of hitting soft sand at full tilt boogey she managed to tear the tendons in her leg. Using stem-cell surgery amazingly the damage is almost healed and following a month of light 20 minute walks down the lane I got to ride her down to the Swan in the village and back. She is really keen to go for it but it will be a few months more yet before she can trot up let alone anything more so a gentle 40 minute ride was deemed more than enough. We managed to time our arrival spot on opening time and landlord Paul furnished us with large ports to prepare us for the ride back. The following day she went for another scanning and all was reported going well but she was a little lame so its back to 20 minutes a day for another week or two. I may yet get a walk down to the village over Christmas we’ll have to wait and see. Meanwhile Rosey the foal (still a yearling) is now almost as big as Rubes and has a lovely nature. Mary came down on Alice’s horse whilst fellow local Noel borrowed Mary’s horse his having passed away a few months ago. It was truly a great morning out.
Saga safe - Lindsay Muir out of the running
Shock news from Bishops Castle home of the Three Tuns Brewery, allegedly Britain’s oldest licensed brewery, is that Lindsay Muir, champion lady balloonist, is out of contention for the Saga World Cup in Japan. Following a knee injury she has been forced to withdraw her entry in this years championship. “I can’t go to Japan, can’t climb a ladder, I’ll have a go at driving today and see how that goes so at least I might be able to get around a bit. I don’t know what the consultant might or might not do with my knee and when something might happen. Can’t get up the scaffolding to paint, fill in holes, fix chicken runs etc. and I don’t reckon Ryanair will give us a refund either.” she told us. Hubby Graham though is helping out making her coffee and cooking but sadly there won’t be any dramatic cold descents for her this year.
Top Secret CAA helpful links published.
Ever wondered the secret links that the manufacturers and those in the know use to get stuff form the CAA? Well the blokes on the ground there have just published this useful list of their top ten links. Well its not really ten but whose counting?
1. Subscribe to receive free updates when CAA ‘Information Notices/Safety Notices’ are published: www.caa.co.uk/subscriptions
2. Copies of all ‘Information Notices/Safety Notices’ published by the CAA: www.caa.co.uk/informationnotices
3. Standards Documents (for guidance): www.caa.co.uk/standardsdocuments
4. CAP 804 (Flight Crew Licensing: Mandatory Requirements, Policy &
5. CAA Safety Sense leaflets aimed at GA pilots: www.caa.co.uk/safetysense
6. EASA Aircrew Regulation, Part-FCL, Part-MED:
7. EASA website: http://easa.europa.eu/home.php • Private Pilots webpage: www.caa.co.uk/privatepilots
8. Information for ATO and RTFs (more information will be added in due course): http://www.caa.co.uk/default.aspx?catid=2681&pagetype=90
Handy Links that aren’t anything to do with the CAA
1. CAA Aeronautical charts and other useful information: www.caa.co.uk/charts
2. Airspace and Safety Initiative. Helpful GA information including video guides to flying around the London TMA, pre-flight planning tips and links to online tools, advice on keeping a good look out, transponder use, and avoiding conflict in the circuit: www.airspacesafety.com
3. Aeronautical Information Services website providing the official aeronautical information for the UK such as the UK Air Pilot, AICs, NOTAMs: www.nats-uk.ead-it.com
4. Fly on Track is a site dedicated to reducing unauthorised infringements of UK
5. Met Office Weather and climate change forecasts for the UK and worldwide:
Comet Ison - early start required
Missing getting up at crack of sparrow’s well here is something to do at quarter past silly o’clock. Now reckoned to be the best comet to see ever and providing it doesn’t crash into the Sun in the next few days Comet Ison should reappear low on the horizon to the south east from 1st December around dawn and then gradually climb over the following weeks. Yeah, well I know the earth is moving and it is but it will appear higher in the sky as December progresses. A wicked crescent moon shouldn’t affect visibility. Depending on how much survives and the effect on its close encounter with the Sun it may well remain visible throughout much of December. Fill the hip flask, set the alarm and wait and see.