A very warm welcome to you on this episode of stop the front page. Although Easy Balloons is a Part M Airworthiness Organisation trying hard to keep the bonkers EASA legislation at a minimum that continues to drive the humble private balloonist out of the skies and doesn’t do much for pilots in general with all the rubbish created to make getting a private pilot’s licence in the first place as complicated as possible, here is a haven of bonkersness at an altogether different level. This isn’t just about balloons or flying even but is an eclectic (I like that word) collection of articles and stuff about all the things that us and our customers get up to and enjoy. Sadly it is doubtful if you’ll see a review of the latest Datepalmtop or Tomtit moving map but we hope you wander round and find something of interest that may even make you chuckle. John finally admitted defeat as far as the weather is concerned and after heroically sewing a couple of trailer covers back together headed off to warmer climes for a short break. Meanwhile back in the marsh that has been the Black Horse field we did finally manage to carry out some inspections but have still failed to get a slot to inflate the outstanding completed jobs. Fingers crossed then for the coming week or two but the winds still look a tad hospital down this part of the world. The predicted calm is yet to materialise still, our neighbour Eddie did manage to spray the field (and the main road I fear) the other day.
The news is a bit dominated by stuff arising from the British Balloon and Airship Club who finally have a new member on the Committee and rebuffed plans to amend the period Committee members can serve. EASA licensing is fast approaching and its with deep pockets and fear that many will be greeting it. There is a list of dates and locations of a Road Show style presentation that the BAAC have organised for the regions in the coming weeks. Having heard the presentation I’d say you’d be well advised to get along to one of them if you can. We have had a huge number of hitty things on Don Cameron’s article about his take on the EASA nonsense and it seems to me that licensing, despite every effort from the gallant Dave Court, the BBAC’s Training Officer, it is neither going to be easy or cheap talking of which the balloon that was mentioned last time out as appearing on Ebay (should that be eBay?) did get just the one bid and went for £160. Cheap bag. My smashing little camera has jammed shut and despite a rooking about with a screwdriver and pliers it seems terminally poorly. Barry has kindly loaned me another but that seems to be taking pictures with a reddy blue tinge so that’s my latest excuse for the burner article delay but I do have some pics already so hopefully it will move forwards soon. What is up is an account of our trip to the re-opening of the Oxford University Natural History Museum. I nearly completely went into one but have managed to keep it article length. If you’ve never been there you ave missed a treat. Borrow some kids if you haven’t got any to hand and treat yourself. Entry is free. To complement it there should be a thing up about a dinosaur flight that I did a fair few years ago (wouldn’t get away with it now!). We also draw your attention to the proposed Airspace changes around Farnborough. As we go to line (or whatever) we hear that local balloonists with the help of Phil Dunnington are in the process of trying to get similar arrangements put in place that would allow them to fly out of the new zone along the lines of Southend. The links are at the end of the piece and if it affects you then you need to act now.
Sadly work has got in the way of much progress either on the-round-to-its or the new workshop but now the evenings are drawing out things are set to change so no doubt we will be come familiar with a different early evening crew in the local before much longer! Over t’other side we have finally got a new selector arm from our lovely German people so Dick the Bike is busy bashing the gearbox of the Vivi back together yet again. I fear Trevor will just sell it when its done as it is really actually too small for him. The old Rob Cross trailer is having a make-over prior to a trip to France full of fishing tackle. I fear it still has a slight aroma of pig roast about it but that’ll soon clear. The trusty Landcruiser is getting new rear springs for the task which keeps us out of mischief. We are also trying hard to actually sell some stuff both to clear out before our enforced move and to raise funds. Its tricky though. We do have far too many cylinders and burners but they do actually get lent out and actually I don’t want to sell my Lindstrand burner. On a high note though the Claud Butler has its pedals on and is all done. I’ve even managed to ride it round the yard next stop will be a ride home as John is fed up with tripping over it. On the front page this time is a rather apt picture of Joe Philp. Knowing his father beat a shepherd to death I feel this hasn’t been photo-shopped! Well that’s about it for the moment so from Jane, John, Alice and Chris thanks for dropping by and here’s hoping that we can at least get current before much longer. Does floating in a strong solution of salt water count as a free flight?