Balloon Repair Station

News 15.12.13

In case you missed it bit – Ultramagic Flight Manual and Supplement updates
The current Ultramagic Flight Manual has been updated to Edition 04 Revision 22. There are also updates to some of the Flight Manual Supplements the most important being Supplement 19 which replaces Supplements 4, 6, 12, 13 and 24 which referred to the use of ‘Other Manufacturers’ Equipment’. This combines the various manufacturers into one Supplement. It also has a few changes to the existing equipment listed. Very good move Mr Ultramagic. The Manuals and TCDS page was updated. 09.12.13.

Flight Manual Ed.04, Rev.22. Changes are quite straightforward and amount to 11 pages in the main referring to the Supplement changes in relation to Other Manufacturers’ Equipment. Additionall there is a bit in 4.2 Inflation Site, 6.4.2. Temperature Sensors and in Appendix C the Pre-Flight Check which now includes checking that the fire extinguisher is fully charged.

Flight Manual Supplement Nr. 1, Iss.3 Tethered Flying. Limitations have been amended, Tether instructions amended The balloon should be attached by two ropes forming a V on the upwind side and two more ropes on the downwind side.

Flight Manual Supplement Nr. 9, Iss.4 Solo Duo Chairs. Addition of and, compatability with, S50 and S70 envelopes

Flight Manual Supplement Nr. 10, Iss.3 Disabled Pax basket. Introduction and use of the electric version of the passenger seat.

Flight Manual Supplement Nr. 19, Iss.6 Other Manufacturers’ Equipment. Everything now under this Supplement and very thorough it is to. It is to be used in conjunction with section 8.1 of the Flight Manual which lists the requirements that have to be met. As a result the contents of Flight Manual Supplements 4, 6, 12, 13 and 24 have now been removed from the lists and migrated to this single document, Flight Manual Supplement 19 Iss.6.

All the documents can be downloaded from the Technical Section on the Ultramagic website.
For further information contact Ultramagic at

Peter Spinlove
Sadly we got the news that Peter Spinlove has passed away. Our sympathies go out to all his Family and Friends. The funeral service is on 16th December at 2.45 p.m. at Southampton Crematorium, East Chapel. Donations instead of flowers please to the RNLI via Paul Capper Funeral Directors, Ellen House, 357 Winchester Road, Bassett, Southampton, Hampshire, SO16 7DJ. Tel. 023 8070 4715.

Lindstrand & Cameron Balloons – Closed for Christmas Dates
Lindstrand Balloons and Cameron Balloons will be closed from 24th December until 2nd January. This seems a little harsh we think seeing’s as the 2nd is a Thursday. You would have thought they would have said something along the lines of, “See you all bright and breezy on the 6th”. Unofficial sources reported rather re-assuredly that it would be unlikely if they were about much after midday on the 24th. Good. We’ll be closed when we’re not open.

Tony Patey Trophy awarded
4 mike scholes tony trophyThe rather lovely Tony Patey Trophy was awarded to Mike Scholes at the London Region AGM. Despite losing most of his eyesight in 2007 has continued to run marathons and raise money for charity with the help of his partner Debby Day. This year he once again excelled himself and competed in the Queen’s Cup Trophy coming a very respectable eighth with a total distance of 232.96 kms, his final landing being near Downham Market. The Trophy is a tribute to Thermal Aircraft’s Balloon Repair Master and one time Thunder Balloon employee Tony Patey who passed away a few years ago and who our John learnt his trade and worked with in London. Following a motorcycle accident he lost a leg so the highly prized Trophy is in the shape of a foot.

Cameron Concept Spider Tape update
Last time out we reported under Service Instruction for Concept Balloons gets under the radar the Cameron Balloon Service Instruction for the fitting of a Spider Tape to the top of their Concept envelopes. We mentioned that this was to ‘presumably to help prevent parachute creep’. Following a chat with the always accommodating Lindsay Sadler it transpires that they have found that the addition of the tape makes parachute operation a whole lot lighter. Recommended modification then. To download the Service Instruction S106-A which was issued on October 2nd 2013 go to and click on the pretty little pdf symbol.

Bye, bye Bradders – Cameron Balloons staff cuts
6 Snow White over Camerons Factory 1Rumour Control has been rife the last few weeks about lower than normal seasonal orders, sales and enquires coming into Cameron Balloons, bolstered somewhat by those visiting the factory recently all reporting that it isn’t as buzzy as it usually is. Following redundancies at Lindstrands last month seems the pattern is now being repeated at Cameron’s Bedminster Factory. To support the rumours on Friday 13th December we heard the sad news that Richard Bradley, along with others, had been made redundant. Ritchie has been with Camerons for over 25 years. He is planning to go to University next year to complete his training as a Sign Language Interpretor something he has been doing for a few years now. Thank you Ritchie for all your help and assistance over the years, we wish you all the best for the future as we do for any others that have been made redundant, not a pleasant thing for anyone involved. Anyway here’s a bye, bye wave from Andy Kaye’s Doll balloon in a good luck Chinese cat sort of way.

Ballonbau Woerner Gas balloons EASA AD 2013-0293 issued
5 woerner ballonbauAlthough outside our remit the following Airworthiness Directive has been issued and may be of interest. Please ensure you pass it on to anyone you think may be using any of the Woerner Gas Balloon types listed. Chances are that they will have contacted all the owners but you can never be sure!

AD 2013-0293 Amendment to Time Limits and Maintenance Checks for Ballonbau Woerner NL-STU/280, NL-STU/380, NL-STU/510, NL-STU/640, NL-STU/840 and NL-STU/1000 gas balloons, all serial numbers was issued on 09.12.13.

The AD has been issued after results of an analysis of NL-STU maintenance data revealed that the current inspection intervals are no longer adequate to ensure timely detection of deterioration or damage, which could affected the structural integrity of the balloon. This condition, if not detected and corrected, could lead to failure of balloon components or envelope, possibly resulting in loss of the balloon. To address this potential unsafe condition, Ballonbau Wörner developed new, more detailed and descriptive Instructions for Continued Airworthiness (at the same time separated from the Flight Manual) and issued Technische Mitteilung/ Technical Note EASA.BA.009-6 to inform all operators. For the reasons described above, this AD requires compliance with the updated Instructions for Continued Airworthiness. The effective date for this is 23rd December 2013.

Please note that NL-STU gas balloons with serial number 1101 or higher will be delivered with the new Instructions for Continued Airworthiness dated November 2013.
Ballonbau Woerner publications downloadable from
EASA 20130293 go to
For further information email

Steve Bray Off on holidays again
3 Steve braySteve Bray, General Manager of the Capital Balloon Club has once more been spotted trying to board a plane with excess luggage. We have never been sure what he actually does but apparently he is ‘in Televsion’ working on news and current affairs. This job involves him being called out at the drop of the hat to report on things as varied as The World Cup and Labour Party Conference. This time round this is his umteenth trip down to South Africa to get in the reports on the death of Nelson Mandella. From his point of view the trip was successful and the great man did actually die. Earlier attempts to ‘get the story’ failed as he recovered his health. So when you see pictures and film of the funeral from Jo’burg it’s a plug somewhere that Steve has ensured was connected.

New Zealand Accident – Pilot error cited
Following the collision with power lines and the in-flight fire that followed which resulted in the deaths of the pilot and the ten passengers on 7 January 2012, the New Zealand Transport Accident Investigation Commission has just published its report on the tragic accident. The report can be read in full via the link at the bottom of this piece however these are broadly the findings of the Commission;

The Commission concluded that the pilot had not intended to land in the paddock bounded by the power lines and that it had been an unsafe maneouvre to allow the balloon to descend below the level of the power lines and remain at low level as it crossed the paddock. They also concluded that when the balloon flew towards the power lines and collision was unavoidable, the pilot should have followed the balloon manufacturer’s advice and rapidly descended his balloon instead of attempting to climb. Had he done so, the balloon occupants would have had a better chance of survival.

Post-mortem toxicology tests revealed the pilot had a tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) level of 2 micrograms per litre (ug/l) of blood. The Commission concluded that this THC level had been caused by both long-term and recent use of cannabis. While it is difficult to say how much each type of use contributed to the result, cannabis is known to affect a person’s judgement and decision-making ability. Accordingly they found that the pilot’s use of cannabis could not be excluded as a factor contributing to his errors of judgement, and therefore to the accident.

The New Zealand CAA and the Commission have already acted on the findings and addressed some of the concerns. The Commission has already made recommendations to the Government about passing legislation to address the safety issue of the use of performance-impairing substances in all transport modes. Both long-term and recent use of cannabis may significantly impair a person’s performance of their duties, especially those involving complex tasks. Under no circumstances should operators of transport vehicles, or crew members and support crew with safety-critical roles, ever use it.

Power lines are a well recognised critical hazard to hot-air balloon operations. Balloon pilots should give them a wide margin and if they ever inadvertently encounter them, they should follow the balloon manufacturers’ advice and best industry practice to mitigate the possible consequences.[G]skins/taicAviation/skin_aviation

British Balloon & Airship Club AGM confirmed
The BBAC’s AGM will be at the NFU Mutual Headquarters in Stratford-upon-Avon on Sunday March 16th 2014. Proceedings start at 2.00pm. Five members of the Committee are standing down this year but are available for re-election. They are Don Cameron, Julian Hensey, Ian Hooker, Wyn Morgan and Paul Spellward. Nominations are due by 2nd February 2014, same as the date for any Special Motions. Depending whether the Meeting is to be held in the Meeting Room or the Lecture Theatre there may or may not be much in the way of trade stands. We are assured though that Pete Bish and the Zebedee bunch will be there as always.

Icicle back on track and a great new venue – Marlborough Common
After a tremendous amount of footwork and diplomacy Pete Bish has managed to get Marlborough Common as the venue for next year’s Icicle Meet. It is doubly confirmed now that the 42nd Annual Icicle Meet will take place on 4th & 5th January 2014 on the Common just north of the town (OS Map 173 183699). Please follow the signs and directions of the marshalls when entering the site. Parking is free so please do not park on the road or grass verge. The Bacon Butty Van will be there. Briefings will be at 0800 on site each day. There will be a Meet Safety Officer and several ‘hi-viz’ jacketed launch masters to assist him to ensure all take-offs occur in an orderly manner. There will be NO external pressure to fly, either competitive or commercial. The criteria for flying will be as in previous years, for fun and safety. The Meet is informal, un-sponsored and open to all balloonists. As usual they will be running a Farmers Draw and will be looking for a donation of £25 in cash or kind, per balloon at the first briefing, or £20 in advance (see the pre-booking “Save a Fiver” offer). This covers the cost of the draw and other expenses.

All entrants must declare in writing that they carry third party insurance to comply with the 2005 EU directive. Please note that even balloons for inflation only must be covered by this insurance. A Met briefing will be given by John Crawford, a NOTAM will be published and additional briefing given. Ensure you have Aldermaston, Burghfield, Harwell and the Salisbury Plain danger area to the south marked on your maps (173/174 essential) along with all the current sensitive areas. Master maps will be on display all weekend. Refuelling will be available at Warren Farm, Savernake Forest at times to be specified at briefing. Cash or cheque on delivery. This year they are offering propane at a special price of 50p per litre and there’s lots available so bring your empty tanks & fill up!

The Trade Stands and Social venue is the Elcot Park Hotel as usual with accommodation prices held at this years rates. The guest speaker at the Saturday evening dinner (price £27.50pp) will be Colin ‘Red Cap’ Wolstenholme so book early to avoid disappointment! For full details and all the contact details go to

Queens Cup Presentation – Rivals come together for Great F&M Bash
1 Queens Cup PresentationFollowing the well-followed, BBAC organised, RAeC Queen’s Cup Competition held back in October the lucky entrants were treated to a slap up meal and presentation ‘Do’ at the right posh Fortnum and Masons in the heart of London on Tuesday 12th November thanks to the efforts of Andrew Holly who flew the Cameron-built Fortnum and Mason’s balloon into 3rd place.

As a large contingent of organisers and competitors came from along, or close to, the M4 corridor a coach from Bristol to London (and return) was laid on and stopped off along the way picking up many of the pilots and crews. Teams Rose and Bland jumped aboard at Newbury and were whisked straight to the front door of Fortnum and Masons. “Lovely coach and a super service”, said Nick Bland, a coach operator himself. They reported that the evening was truly brilliant with a seemingly endless supply of food and champagne along with a stonkingly first class service. They all reported that they had a lovely time. Rose & Co seemed rather unsure what time they got home though! The Queens Cup itself was made in 1724 of Irish silver and dedicated to Air Races in 2011. It was presented to the winner Richard Parry (322.38Km) by Patrick Naegeli the Chairman of the Royal Aero Club. In very, very close second place was Dominic Bareford at 320.95kms and in well-deserved third came Andrew Holly with a 284.48Km flight. 2 Queens Cup Gas PilotsApart from a Grand Celebratory Feast all the competitors got specially struck medals to commemorate the competition. It was interesting to note the fine turnout by almost all the country’s gas balloonists who managed to get in the picture. Rumour has it that a similar competition is planned for the future. Could this be the future of Long Jumping?

Re-cycling isn’t necessarily good
The Safety Information Bulletin SIB 2011-27R1, ‘Suspect (Bogus – Counterfeit) Electronic Components’ has been updated following a spate of component failures. Actually an interesting little read but not really applicable to balloons? Fake or reclaimed parts masquerading as new is an increasing problem within the aviation industry and this publication focuses mainly on printed circuit boards. Now before you go asking, “Yes, but what has this got to do with balloons?”, let us just say that it should be a quiet reminder that if you are going to use an older or ‘reclaimed’ parts then make sure you have the necessary paperwork for them or can prove their provenance. The practice is not forbidden or illegal. Parts removed from failed cylinders, for example, can be re-used but you need to record the number of the cylinder they were removed from. Probably the most important bit of a balloon are the O-rings in the hoses. If you replace them make sure they are what they say. Have you got a Form1 number with them? Let us hope we never meet up with Ebay Rego O-rings! Then just after this came out one appeared concerning life rafts!

Wibbly wobbly – all change for Black Horse Balloon Club
7 rupertstanley-w100h100For reasons various, long and complicated The Black Horse Balloon Club have been trying to sort out their website for a couple of years or so. Finally they have bitten the bullet and gone for a new one. This was just one of the matters resolved at their recent AGM which included the pleasant result that the turnout was very good and that Marie Still was re-elected and more importantly agreed to remain the Chairman for another year. Following the blow out of the last Black Horse Meet held at the pub the very large bottle of scotch put up by Tim Revel for the longest flight was re-thought and presented as a prize for the most miles flown by the AGM, and blow me down it was won by skilled aviator Rupert Stanley. Let’s trust he didn’t include his powered escapades in the total (o: The new site is looking very promising and on the front page are dates for forthcoming events and a nice little (at present) picture gallery. In the future their magazine Quick Release will be published in the members’ area. Worth a look we say.

CAA Responding to the Response
Big ones and thanks to all that managed to get the news of the impending deadline of the Response to the Response in time and were able to respond. Having put a posting on the BBAC website they did, just, manage to put some guidelines up. Now who contacted who first over the matter we’ll never know but, apparently, Andrew Haines, the Chief Executive of the CAA, sent some examples of responses from members of the BBAC (and presumably non-members, as he wouldn’t have a membership list) some of which were well-founded and clearly phrased but it seems some, we are told, were merely abusive or displayed a complete ignorance of the underlying regulation of ballooning. We will continue to monitor progress.

It is very important that ballooning is fairly represented and it goes without saying that a dedicated few within the BBAC do devote a considerable amount of unpaid time and effort to ensuring that as much as possible is done to achieve just that. What appears to be lacking though is the ability of the BBAC Main Committee to let the BBAC membership know exactly what is going on or recognise that there are balloonists out there that choose not to be members. When questioned the BBAC always seem to take a sharp intake of breath and cite ‘Sensitive Issues’ or ‘Things are at a sensitive stage so we can’t discuss them’. Now I can understand that if they are defending some poor sod who has violated a regulation or maybe has been perceived to have caused an ‘incident’ but as for defending or fighting legislation, unless they are trying to ‘do a deal’ (reprehensible behaviour in my opinion) I can’t think of a single reason why they can’t be more transparent. The BBAC website (members only naturally) should be better used and if a matter requires support, or backing off from, then let people know. A bit of ongoing self-publicity wouldn’t go amiss. Best post this on the BBAC website then (o:

Prelude – the New bulk tank for Metz
8 Prelude bulk gas shipHow about this for a bulk gas tank then? The largest floating vessel in the world has now been assembled in South Korea. At 1,601 feet long, well longer than the Empire State Building is high and 243 feet wide, Shell’s new floating liquefied natural gas facility named ‘Prelude’ is designed to produce and liquify natural gas at sea it by chilling it to -260ºF so it can be transported around the world. When fully laden the ship weighs approximately 600,000 tonnes and is. The Prelude is expected to produce 3.6 million tonnes of liquefied natural gas per year. Built in two halves and after only a year of construction the facility was floated out of the dry dock at the Samsung Heavy Industries (SHI) yard in Geoje, South Korea. It is designed to withstand a category 5 hurricane and can be moored at sea during the most powerful cyclones with one of the largest mooring systems in the world which involves a 305 foot high turret allowing to swing with the breeze (gale!). To move this Gigant it has three
6,700hp engines. The vessel is expected to be completed in 2017 and, the blurb says, will operate in a remote part of Western Australia for the next 25 years, however Shell hopes that it will help to unlock vital energy resources around the world. Does that mean they are going to drag it overland? That I’ve got to see!

The Prelude has replaces the Danish-built container ship Emma Maersk built in 2006, which measures 1,302 feet as the longest ship in the world.

Lidl For Sale – What just before the Christmas Rush!
Just up in the Items for sale bit is a 5hp fan, a couple of V30 Rego cylinders and a rather delightful 101 hour Cameron Z77 from Mike Scholes meanwhile Russell Collins who accidently bought the Lidl balloon now has it on the market, artwork removed and re-registered as G-CIDL for a very reasonable £8,500.00 but is open to sensible offers. Still lurking in the unsold spot is Richard G-CHUK a Cameron O-77, the old Converse Balloon, complete with trailer at £5,250.00 or near offer.
Full details and contact numbers in the Pages Bit.

SIB 2013-21 issued – its all about PEDs!
There was me thinking a PED was type of Italian moped but no, it isn’t, as SIB 2013-21 – Use of Portable Electronic Devices (PEDs) during Commercial Air Transport Aircraft Operation – issued on 9th December makes clear. If it sounds familiar it is as something similar has already been issued about using however this publication clarifies the situation with regards to non-transmitting PEDs and their use by passengers. Possibly this isn’t really for balloons but there are a few interesting points raised in it. MPA.140 which refers to the subject states that;

The operator shall not permit any person to use a portable electronic device (PED) on board an aircraft that could adversely affect the performance of the aircraft’s systems and equipment, and shall take all reasonable measures to prevent such use.

Clearly aimed at 737s and the like the wording actually doesn’t actually ban PEDs just how and when they can be used. Non-transmitting PEDs include all devices for which the transmitting functions (e.g. WLAN, mobile phone functions, Bluetooth) are disabled. The SIB provides short term guidance to operators when intending to expand the use of non-transmitting PEDs and includes some initial recommendations for T-PEDs. Taking a few bits out of the publication that may be relevant it high lights the following;

The passenger briefing is important for providing information to passengers on the safety aspects, such as egress (not a baby owl) from the aircraft in case of an evacuation, demonstrations of safety and emergency equipment and aircraft systems, etc. It is recommended that PED distraction during the passenger safety briefing is avoided so that passengers’ attention concentrates on the safety briefing and crew instructions. That’ll be “Right turn off you phones”.

Ensuring that the transmitting PED (T-PED) is switched-off or the transmitting functions disabled prior to flight. They refer to when the doors are closed but I suppose its after you’ve got them in the basket! PED stowage should be considered during critical phases of flight and taxiing to prevent possible injuries from projectiles and to allow for egress (its that baby owl again) from the aircraft especially in the case of an emergency. You get a lot of projectiles flying about during taxiing! There are references to inclusion of changes, or in the case of Balloon Ride Operators, including it in the Ops Manual, along with briefing or training flight crew, cabin crew and technical crew before an expanded use of PEDs is implemented.

For further information contact the Safety Information Section, Executive Directorate, EASA. E-mail: or ask that nice Mr Chadwick.
SIB 2013-21 is downloadable at

Digger driver cleans up
9 brianFinally this time round our hearty congratulations go to that stalwart of all year flying Gary Davies who has just won yet another boot-full of Building Industry Awards. Not content with getting the old farm JCB, Brian, up and running again and regularily using it he has just gone and won the Morris Homes Site Manager of the Year Award and also the Group Site Manager of the Year Award. No doubt a planning application has gone in to extend his now exceedingly full Trophies Room the footings of which will be dug out by Brian. So excited was he that he spelt ‘manager’ as ‘manger’. Well, chances are he project-managed the building the stable in a former life. Very Crimble we think. Have a Happy Christmas everyone.