Balloon Repair Station

News 27.10.14

In case you missed it bit.
If you’ve already seen the News update 10.10.14 please just skip the following item as there are plenty more EASA politics elsewhere this time around to feed the mind, however, we have updated the actual requirements as published by EASA at the end! I rather think they are just saying stand by your beds but still, what it means is that, a compelling robust alternative to their initial requirements need to be accepted before 2018 and it is unlikely a sensible short response ‘Just go back to what we had before,’ will be sufficient. The pressure needs to be kept up.

News update 10.10.14 – Amendment to Aircrew Regulation latest
Following the massive U-turn by EASA concerning the imminent implementation of the over-the-top training and licensing requirements across the GA (General Aviation) spectrum, following further debate and discussion and the crucial vote in Brussels, held over the 8th and 9th of October, the EASA Committee have now voted in favour of the Amendment to Aircrew Regulation. This comes as a great relief to all members of the GA Community throughout most of Europe who have, since the bonkers inception of Training Organisations was introduced, seen flying clubs close and general aviation dwindle. In the UK the strong and impressive representation made by the Civil Aviation Authority, having worked very closely with all those clubs and organisations involved in GA, clearly helped immensely in the correct decision being taken by EASA. This though does not mean that EASA still won’t adopt some or all of the initial proposals and a great deal of work still lays ahead, however its all now stamped dotted and official so GA has three years to convince them that everything was perfectly OK before. Praise indeed to all those that helped with the outcome not least to the CAA who represented UK GA in the most positive way possible.

Following the vote at the EASA Committee in Brussels, Tony Rapson, Head of the CAA General Aviation Unit, released this statement dated 9th October:

At the EASA Committee on 8th and 9th October 2014 the Member States voted positively for an amendment to the Aircrew Regulation. The UK has been actively involved in this work with staff from the CAA and members of the GA Community playing a significant role to achieve positive change against significant resistance, to ensure a better and more proportional approach for GA is achieved and enabled for the future. I have attached a short list of the items agreed. The definitive version will be the final text as issued which we will distribute when it is made available. There was considerable text re-drafting over the course of the meeting to enable the amendment to be effective across a number of differing Member States requirements.

The positive vote means the we have achieved:
A delay to the mandatory requirements for all Registered Training Facilities to become Approved Training Organisations by April 2015 until April 2018. The delay is to allow the development alternative options for private pilot training to continue outside of ATOs beyond April 2018. This will be an important workstream that we will need to actively support.
An increase in the permitted upper age limit for single pilots of commercial balloon flights under EASA rules from 65 to 70 years of age.
Rationalisation of the revalidation requirements for balloon group ratings to permit revalidation on the largest balloon the pilot intends to fly.
The continued use of revalidation examiner privileges.
Making seaplane rating revalidations more proportionate.
Rules to permit the holders of third country licences to take part in EU competitions and flying displays.
Tony Rapson

This is the state of play as EASA perceive it until 2018 and describe! What it is describing is that rather thankfully the majority of licence requirements remain unchanged.
Licence Requirements:
LAPLs, Sailplane, Balloon and some ratings: The amendment will dis-apply, until April 2018, the mandatory requirement to hold the following:
(i) all LAPLs – for aeroplane, helicopter, sailplane and balloon
(ii) the Sailplane Licence
(iii) the Balloon Licence
(iv) aerobatic rating, sailplane and banner towing ratings and mountain rating – and associated instructor ratings
RTF to ATO Transition:
Deferment of ATO requirements for LAPL, PPL, SPL and BPL to 2018, to permit work to be carried out to produce a realistic alternative for private pilot training outside an ATO. Registered Facilities that teach the PPL will now be able to teach the LAPL for the same aircraft category.
Audit frequency for ATOs providing private pilot training:
Reduces the audit frequency for ATOs involved in LAPL, PPL, SPL and BPL. Permits the audit period to be up to 4 years but stresses it should be less than this if there is information on poor performance
Designation of any powered sailplane as a Touring Motor Glider:
Allows the design company of any powered sailplane to have it designated as a Touring Motor Glider under Part-21, even if it does not meet the existing definition of a TMG. This would allow powered sailplanes to be designated as Touring Motor Gliders (TMGs) at the choice of the manufacturer.
Maximum Age for Commercial balloon and sailplane flights:
The Maximum age of pilots for commercial balloon and sailplane flights has been raised from 65 years to age 70 for commercial air transport with balloons or sailplanes.
Balloon re-qualification – size of balloon:
The amended rule will allow balloon pilots to re-qualify on the largest Group (envelope capacity range) of balloon they intend to fly in the future, which may be much smaller than the largest they have ever flown – which was the case before the amendment.
PPL(A) Training in TMGs:
Allows PPL(A) training in TMGs, which is already allowed for the LAPL(A).
Revalidation requirements including seaplanes:
Improvement of revalidation requirements, including seaplanes. The rule now specifies where applicants hold both single-engine piston aeroplane-land class rating and a single-engine piston aeroplane-sea class rating then at least 1 hour of the required 6 hours PIC time and 6 of the required 12 take-offs and landings shall be completed in each class.
Training in twins credited for single engine EIR
Allows training for En Route IR in a twin-engine aeroplane to be credited for Single-Engine EIR.
Credits for Instructor Ratings:
Allows credits for similar types for aircraft ratings to also apply for instructor ratings.
Revalidation Examiner:
Allows authorised instructors to sign licences to revalidate SEP and TMG ratings by experience. This was a UK 14(6) submission to allow reinstatement of the UK “revalidation examiner”.
Examination where examiner has also acted as an instruction:
Allows an examiner to test a student he has given instruction to subject to the restrictions specified.
Flying of EU-Registered Prototypes by Pilots from non-EU authorities:
Amends the validation provisions to add the means to allow test pilots from non-EU authorities – such as the FAA – to fly EU-registered prototypes.
Acceptance of third county licences for competition and display flights:
For competition flights and display flights Member States may accept a licence issued by a third country allowing the holder to exercise the privileges of a PPL, SPL or BPL Provided:
Prior to the event, the organiser of the competition or display flights provides the competent authority with adequate evidence on how it will ensure that the pilot will be familiarised with the relevant safety information and manage any risk associated with the flights and the applicant holds an appropriate licence and medical certificate and associated ratings or qualification issued in accordance with Annex 1 to the Chicago Convention. Additionally a simplified route for short-term validation of non-EU private licences for purposes other than competitions and air displays, not exceeding a cumulative total of 28 days in any calendar year, subject to an acclimatisation flight .
Upset Prevention and Recovery Training:
Various changes to delay the requirements for Upset Prevention and Recovery Training until April 2018.

Oldish bloke breaks Felix Baumgartner’s record
One of the Google bosses, Alan Eustace, at a sprightly 57, has broken some of Felix’s records in a secretly planned attempt on 24 October. Not wishing to get his ambition usurped and used as a huge Google PR exercise he somehow managed to spend the last 34 months planning and training for the record attempt in secret. This great achievement was made spectacular as he merely hitched himself to a massive weather balloon and got carried aloft. Hi-tech suit, lo-tech deployment although we all know how reliable explosive bolts can be. Despite that he managed to break the Exit Altitude, Vertical Speed and Freefall Distance records. The facts and figures are once again pretty remarkable. It took 35,000 cubic feet of helium in an 11 million cu ft envelope to get him to altitude having taken off from the rather appropriate disused Rothwell airfield in New Mexico,

Alan described the flight as amazing and beautiful. “It was amazing,” he told the New York Times. “It was beautiful. You could see the darkness of space and you could see the layers of atmosphere, which I had never seen before. It was a wild, wild ride, I hugged on to the equipment module and tucked my legs and I held my heading.”

Alan took off at 07:00 am MDT  from Roswell, NM, elevation 3673 MSL. After ascending for 2 hours and 7 minutes (1000 fpm) to a peak ‘float’ altitude of 136,401 feet (an unofficial record for the highest manned balloon flight), he exited at 09:09:51 MDT from an altitude of 135,890 feet (41,420 meters), setting a new absolute FAI world record. In freefall, passing 100,000 feet, Alan reached a peak velocity of 822 mph (Mach 1.23). By comparison at the same altitude in 2012, Felix Baumgartner was falling at 809 mph (Mach 1.20) but he continued to accelerate and at 91,000 he reached his peak velocity of 843 mph (Mach 1.24). The team pointed out that Alan was completely stable, while at the same point in time, Felix was spinning uncontrollably. Alan manually deployed his parachute after freefalling (with his stabilizing drogue) for 4 minutes and 27 seconds, opening at an altitude of 12,476 feet. His total freefall distance was 123,414 feet (37,617 meters) a new FAI World Record. He landed at 09:24, 14 minutes and 19 seconds after dropping away from the stratospheric balloon. His total flight time was 2 hours, 23 minutes and 40 seconds. He made a safe landing and was reported to have been in great condition and high spirits. I should cocoa. stunning bit of film

Pete Bish takes over EB Inspector Day.
Now normally we try and get round and visit all our inspectors from time to time or they call by but this time we decided to hold an Inspector Day of our own at the workshop which taught us all a thing or two. We turned the sewing floor into a balloonists barn dance venue with envelopes substituted for bales. What was clearly on show was the dedication and commitment of all those that inspect on our behalf. We did a bit of paperwork as you would expect, John then demonstrated the art of the thumb test and how, although it doesn’t replace a grab test, it is a good general way to check fabric strength especially in suspect areas on envelopes that technically do not require a grab test. Following this, much to the alarm of Dan Wilson, we got out his old parachute that failed a few years ago and set about tearing it to bits with both thumbs and grab testers. After a fine stew and roast potatoes for lunch we spent the afternoon examining and going over the dozen or so burners and cloudhopper bottom ends that we had in the workshop and firing up the mini-Ultramagic burner that many hadn’t had the chance to inspect or use. Whilst we did this John repaired 8 bish skirt dayJohn Till’s old skirt as he is taking part in a Morris Dance at the weekend and naturally at the close of day Pete Bish and John directed operations to demonstrate how the mighty spring ring used to be fitted in the old fashioned days. We then stood well back and watched John Till try and get it under control and bundle it in the back of his van. Big ones to them all and what a fine bunch of fellows they are. Thanks to Geoff Lescott who not wishing to lose his eye and took the sensible decision and managed to get the piccie.

A new approach to General Aviation – EASA pat themselves on the back
6 425 jumboForgive me for being less than skeptical and although I fully applaud the latest moves by EASA to correct their misguided ways I can’t really get over the fact that they are now claiming that they are the main movers in the new approach to lightening the burden on General Aviation and how wonderful their new, fresh and smashing super initiative is. This is all so political. Come on EASA why don’t you just come out and apologise for screwing up General Aviation throughout Europe by not giving any regard to the learned voices that actually are General Aviation that asked you not to. Yes you may well declare that you have published your six commitments to General Aviation and seductively called it ‘A new mind-set for General Aviation’ but really you are the bunch that created the problems in the first place. What is worse is that even more time, money and input from the industry as a whole (they still insist on calling us all ‘stakeholders’, presumably so they can apportion blame) will have to be spent by companies, organisations and individuals to sort the mess and chaos they have already caused. Despite being appointed EASA Executive Director in 2013 Patrick Ky has been around EASA for quite a few years so has clearly been part of the nonsense for awhile. One can only trust that he was also frustrated in his former role heading up the Single European Sky ATM Research Organisation and, in case you were even vaguely interested, ATM stands for ‘Air Traffic Management’, and is now getting his own back! Since he came to power, in fairness, he has put in place the aforementioned ‘New Approach towards General Aviation’ as part of the strategy to change fundamentally the way the General Aviation (GA) sector is regulated in Europe but it would have been nice if he made some reference to previous errors.

In a bit of EASA-styled PR Mr Ky says that, “The new approach to General Aviation is about creating a more proportionate framework, focusing on safety culture, safety promotion and common sense! We are already delivering the first results of the process as it is also described in the GA Roadmap Report 2014. During the EASA Safety Conference on GA in Rome I heard very interesting views and proposals on how to make GA more accessible and more enjoyable. I expressed the six commitments of the Agency to the rest of the GA community. Success does not depend only on EASA actions or decisions, but also on coordinated actions, decisions and support by all other members in the GA community. The era of passive criticism has come to an end; this is the time of active participation and positive contribution for change. We are at the start of the process to change the regulatory environment for GA and the mind-set of regulator, as well as the rest of the General Aviation community. We are working towards simplifying the regulatory framework for GA, enabling its revival and ultimately its growth.”

So, if I understand that properly, what he is saying is that all the NPA’s which were, and still are, the only way to get your views across and were often ignored with the legislation actually turning out to being a compromised deal in a boardroom with the yards of input from the organisations and people that were actually flying, maintaining or training aviators being largely ignored or brushed aside. Sorry but I actually thought that there was a lot of very vocal and active criticism and very little of the passive stuff. Did not EASA boast about its active participation in the regulatory process? As for developing a more proportionate framework for general aviation the whole reason that it is not proportionate is one hundred percent down to EASA’s bonkers former roadmap that may now, if we believe them, have been updated. Does this mean that Tom-Tit guided artics will no longer try to use Clovelly as a shortcut to Barnstable?

Mr Ky’s promised six commitments? Easier access to IFR rating, as a concrete measure that will improve safety, By the end of 2018 the 3rd option for licensing will be fully developed providing a simple system for pilot training, work towards a simpler and more proportionate framework for aircraft maintenance and licence: a Par-M ‘Light’. Moving on we have, continue development of CS-STAN and other similar tools to enable the introduction of new technologies which contribute to safety, simpler certification leading towards a simpler framework for certifying LSA aircraft in the short term by increasing the support to applicants (e.g. workshops, document templates etc) and in the long term by amending applicable regulations in order to bring a radical simplification and finally with regard to industry standards, build on the improvements of CS-23/Part-23 on other CS or regulations in order for EASA to focus on its safety objectives and to delegate the preparation of associated standards to industry groups (ASTM, ASD etc.). It has to be said that the spelling mistakes and grammar in the statement (corrected) don’t instil confidence however they may be onto something. It would also be refreshing to use plain English.

It is quite clear that EASA have finally fronted up to the problems that they have caused without admitting to the offence and that Patrick Ky speaks the speak but as to whether anything actually changes remains to be seen. What has to be seen is that us humble souls that try and have fun in the skies under the closed club that is EASA need to be ensure they keep their words and follow the map they claim to wish to follow. The biggest sadness is that EASA have already single-handedly done irreversible damage to general aviation at al levels. Thanks to Don Cameron being in the right place at the right time and not being afraid to say it as it really is we may well be able to progress things further, what with an election coming up and the need for politicians to be seen to actually be doing something, as an ally may have been found by Don in Grant Shapps, MP for Welwyn Hatfield and the Conservative Party Chairman who flies an N-reg (apparently to avoid EASA bureaucracy) Piper Saratoga. Don attended the recent Rome EASA Safety Conference and laid down the truth of the matter as far as ballooning was concerned in a hard-hitting thought provoking speech which we have chosen to cover in a separate article Fighting the good fight in Rome – Don Cameron addresses EASA. With the CAA being pushed by Grant Shapps to hurry with implementing the Red Tape Challenge, a broader approach throughout industry and general life heading his campaign for re-election and the apparent willingness of the CAA to stand up to EASA we may be in with a chance that sense will prevail and EASA will go back to looking after the interests of Airbus.

7 patrick kyAccording to his official EASA bi-thing,
‘Patrick Ky became Executive Director of the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) on 1 September 2013. His mission will be to further consolidate the role and responsibilities of the Agency to become a worldwide reference in aviation and to make the European aviation regulatory system a fully consistent, efficient and reliable framework. Prior to leading EASA, Patrick Ky was in charge of the SESAR programme, Europe’s ambitious ATM modernisation programme. He also held different managerial positions in the French Civil Aviation Authority, in a consulting company, and in Eurocontrol. In 2004, he joined the European Commission to work on SESAR. In total, Patrick Ky has more than 24 years of work experience in Civil Aviation. A graduate from Ecole Polytechnique and the Civil Aviation Engineering School in France, Patrick Ky also holds degrees in economics from the University of Toulouse and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Patrick is married and the proud father of 3 sons. In his leisure time, he plays tennis and enjoys all types of mountain sports (ski, mountain bike, trekking).’
No mention of flying then? As for Grant Shapps MP, we’ll do a bit more research. It will be interesting to see how he uses the EASA stuff (if at all) in his canvassing to get re-elected. Please have a read of Don’s article. He means what he says and now GA has the advantage everyone that enjoys flying needs to maintain the advantage.

Ultramagic 7141F go stainless
1 UM burner fittingInline with the measures and findings of Cameron Balloons recent Service Bulletin 20 Ultramagic have decided to stop supplying brass backed Rego 7141F connectors. In future all replacement connectors will be stainless backed. They have also discontinued the block adaptor on the Bonanno Mini-Burner. The hose fitting into the block used to be via a 1/4 NPT / 3/8 NPT adaptor. Now the hoses are supplied with a 1/4NPT fitting that allows you to fit it straight into the block. That saves a bit of weight then so gets a star.


Stop Press for Aerostat
It is with regret we have to report that after only a couple of issues of Aerostat (the British Balloon & Airship Club journal) the youthful and forward thinking Tom Gouder has stood down as the editor. This is a great loss to the BBAC as the first two of his productions were a breath of freshnness and were going down the young zippy easily readable and informative route. After citing ‘pressure of work’, Tom Gouder has asked to be relieved of his duties as editor of Aerostat until further notice. This is really sad. All contributions should now be sent to Brian Trowbridge who is now the acting editor. Articles and newsworthy type stuff should still be sent by email to

Anthony Smith – messing about as usual
The Memorial Service planned by Anthony’s family at St. Bride’s Church in Fleet Street in now expected to be in February next year. The date is yet to be confirmed. Anthony’s final book, ‘The Old Man & The Sea’, the story of his courageous An-Tiki adventure is also planned to be published in the New Year. The tribute from the BBC Radio 4 programme ‘The Last Word’, which is well worth a listen, along with a collection of obituaries has been compiled by Robin Batchelor and can be found at

CS-STAN to the fore – Might actually be a fine fellow
Now then pay attention as NPA 2014-24 has been issued with the attention grabbing title ‘Certification Specifications for Standard Changes & Repairs’ and is all to do with a thingy called CS-STAN which isn’t another book about fly fishing! Normally we would say that this was simply (not normally a word associated with EASA) yet more sweet talking spin from EASA but actually it may well impact on ballooning for the better if all goes well and can somewhat tentatively be looked upon as an indication that EASA may actually be listening and reacting however don’t hold your breath. This Notice of Proposed Amendment (NPA) addresses a proportionality issue hopefully allowing a simpler process for the design and embodiment of some changes and repairs when applicable to aeroplanes up to 5700 kg MTOM, rotorcraft up to 3175 kg MTOM, most sailplanes, balloons and airships.

Just so you know, the concept of Standard Changes and Standard Repairs was introduced with Regulation (EU) No 748/2012 (paragraphs 21A.90B and 21A.431B). In order to use these EASA-speak gobble-de-gooch, the establishment of the related Certification Specifications (CS-STAN) by the Agency was required. This NPA contains a first proposal (phase 1) on CS-STAN. So to use what they had created they had to invent something then get it approved so they could use it, sort of thing.

In the future, CS-STAN could be enlarged based on experience and with new proposals provided by affected stakeholders (phase 2). STAKEHOLDERS!!!!! Most of the stakeholders don’t understand the nomenclature never mind the wording but the proposed changes are expected to reduce the regulatory burden for the embodiment of simple changes and repairs in certain aircraft when fulfilling the acceptable methods, techniques and practices included in CS-STAN. It is expected that this will have a positive impact on the operation of the affected aircraft in Europe, promoting general aviation. Additionally, the existence of a simplified procedure for the embodiment of Standard Changes and Standard Repairs could limit the illegal practices of some owners that have not followed the applicable rules when modifying the aircraft and may encourage the installation of safety equipment. Expiration date for comments 06/01/14 comments via the Common Response Tool (CRT) available on line from EASA. That is the thing you fill in to make a comment. For an invigorating late night read check out the details of the NPA and get access to the CRT at;

Do you now take this vow and can you swim?
2 balloon beach towNice to hear about a balloon incident that ended happily thanks to the actions of the pilot. Surfers came to the rescue of a newly engaged couple that were aboard a hot air balloon that made an emergency landing off the coast of Cardiff-by-the-Sea in California on Sunday October 19th. Following a successful proposal followed by a change in wind direction the balloon, operated by Panda-monium Hot Air Balloons based in San Diego and piloted by the company’s owner Timothy Chico, found itself off the beach. No problem though, Timothy chucked out the handling and enlisted the help of the local surfers who, with the coastguards towed it back to the beach. Encinitas lifeguard Capt. Larry Giles was most praiseworthy of the pilot saying that,
“The last time lifeguards came to the rescue of a hot air balloon was 14 years ago.” and that, “Despite the shaky landing the pilot did a great job steering the balloon close to the shore for a safe landing.” One of many witnesses to the emergency landing and who captured dramatic video was Mark Burnz. He said, “Yeah this is pretty crazy. It was pretty wild. We just talked to the hot air balloon people. They’re really great people. They take safety very seriously, and for whatever reason, the atmosphere conditions changed and took them over the water.” The balloon was eventually landed and the occupants made a successful landfall. No date for the wedding has been set as far as we know.

Little & Large gets bigger – Organiser gets smaller
Dave Such, who launched the novel meet last year held at Sackville Lodge, reports that ‘it couldn’t have been more successful’. Blessed with perfect conditions with all four flying slots flown and 55 flights taking place over the weekend by 21 different balloons using Cloudhopper, Skyhopper, Sky Chariot and basket bottom ends the success of the event in its first year was largely down to the wonderful group of people who supported it. As a result he is delighted to announce that the meet has been invited to a new venue for our 2015 event. This will be held at David Hopkins’ Lakeside Lodge Golf Centre at Pidley, near Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire will be run over the weekend Friday 29th (evening), Saturday 30th and Sunday 31st May 2015. The event is once again being organised by Dave Such with support from David Hopkins and John Tyrrell. The entry fee of £20 is held for next year’s event and the bollix paperwork has been revised to remove repetition of information where possible. Yippee! On the subject of entry fees he wishes to make it clear that if you are entering one or more balloons with only one of those balloons flying at any one time, there is only one £20 entry fee to pay. If you are entering two or more balloons and two or more will be operated at the same time by different pilots, it’s an entry fee for each balloon. Seems fair enough. For all entries he will need to receive an Entry Form and Balloon Entrant’s Declaration form for each balloon entered, plus a Pilot Declaration form for each pilot operating a balloon at the event but if a pilot is intending to operate one or more balloons during the course of the event, just one Pilot Declaration form is required. Phew.

There is a restriction of 25 balloons for this event (excluding model balloons), so please apply early to avoid disappointment. Lakeside Lodge Golf Centre’s Bar and Restaurant will be open throughout the event offering an extensive range of fud and drinkies (alcoholic drinks from 10am) and last food orders at 9pm (later if an evening flight has taken place) with the Bar closing at 11pm (promptish). For those not wishing to take advantage of the free campsite for tents, caravans and motorhomes, there are a total of 64 en-suite bedrooms located throughout the Lakeside Lodge complex. 30 twin rooms, 28 rooms with a double and single bed, 4 double rooms and 2 singles. To make a reservation for accommodation please call Lakeside Lodge on 01487 740540 or email For the forms and stuff please contact Dave Such by phone 01763 849287 (mobile 07989 988082) or better still email him at

What’s in your basket? – Cripes you might need to watch this
If you want to know what the airlines are doing about the Eboli problem then you need to read up ‘SIB 2014-28 – Safety Information Bulletin: Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) Operational Recommendations’ which is now out. The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) along with the traveller advice leaflet produced by the World Health Organisation (WHO) Global Alert and Response WHO Travel and transport risk assessment ‘Recommendations for public health authorities and transport sector International Air Transport Association (IATA) Air Transport and Communicable Diseases International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) CAPSCA’. The Agency (CAA) furthermore recommends that aircraft operating from or to affected countries and carrying passengers, are equipped with one or more Universal Precaution Kits (UPKs). Such kits may be used to protect crew members who are assisting potentially infectious cases of suspected communicable disease and in cleaning up and correctly discarding any potential infectious contents. The WHO recommendations for public health authorities and transport sector include operational recommendations in the case of a passenger presenting symptoms compatible with EVD on board of an aircraft, in accordance with IATA guidelines. To see the details of this Publication, please click or copy the following: URL: and also

Instructor day announced – BBAC to maintain the Status Quo
With a new unplugged album released the next British Balloon & Airship Club’s (BBAC) Inspector Symposium, organised by Kevin Meehan will be held on 31 January 2015 at NFU Mutual HQ in Stratford on Avon. As a BBAC instructor you are politely reminded by Mr Meehan that it is a requirement of maintaining your inspector rating to attend such a symposium at last once every two years. EASA is not here yet and so things remain the same. Further reminders will be sent nearer the time when he will be asking who intends to attend but for the moment please note the date and keep it free if you plan to attend. Be there or not be current.

Isle of Wight Challenge on red light for a year
Following a period of confusion and sponsorship problems, not to mention Southerlies when Northerlies would have been handy, organiser Richard Cardy apologises for the apparently failed IoW Balloon Challenge earlier this year and of notices of further plans to attempt this which came to nothing. The last notice for the attempt was pencilled in for the Spring of 2015 but alas, once more, this is not to be and he has decided to re-group and postpone until the Spring of 2016 instead. The build up to it all will now start in April next year (2015) but he is beginning the organisation now. Early doors suggest that there will be an entry fee, undisclosed figure at present but expected to be around £50/60. Any interested parties should please contact Richard Cardy at whether it be in relation to participation, assistance or even sponsorship opportunities. He can also be contacted by phone 01794 515733 or mobile 07902 524993.

Tiverton Balloons and Music Festival 2015 dates announced
5 Tiverton 2014 nightglowIts official, that master of successful relaxed meets Arthur Street has announced the dates for next year’s Tiverton Balloons and Music Festival as Friday 10th July – Sunday 12th July 2015. This lovely and warmly inviting meet will once again take place at the combined Tiverton High School and Petroc campus on Bolham Road, Tiverton EX16 6SQ. Hopefully over 30 balloons are planned to take to the skies on the evening of Friday the 10th inflating from approximately 1830, and from approximately 0600 and 1830 on both Saturday 11th and Sunday 12th of July naturally weather depending! Again depending on weather conditions there will be a Balloon Glow on Friday and Saturday evening followed by much music, entertainment and cider. Festival Camping has been extended for 2015 with additional space and facilities added to the campsite so things are looking even better than ever. The website page is now being redesigned in readiness for the 2015 festival and Pilot Enquiry forms will be available online from 01/12/14. For any other enquiries regarding the festival please contact us via the Contact Us page on the website

BBAC membership contact details – help requested
BBAC Secretary Wendy Rousell has asked British Balloon & Airship members to please check that their contact details are correct. If, like me, you tend not to visit their website so have not seen the request then please could you kindly check your details as they appear on the website. This follows a recent circular sent out by the BBAC Secretary that clearly did not reach all the intended recipients (including us). Following the mailing there were quite a lot of messages that ‘bounced’ back so Wendy asks, oh so politely, that you please check your details as soon as possible and let her know please. Contact

Aerostationary contact details change
Ahead of devolution for Wales and possible cross-border conflict Aerostationary, the fine fellows that provide the marked up maps and RAM mounts for PC type thingies that could be launched out the basket on landing without them, have announced that their contact details have now changed. Pleas note that the domain is no longer in use and they are now using domain instead. So now for enquiries and orders for maps or RAM-mounts from Aerostationery please use the email address For accounts enquiries for Aerostationery, please use the email address Additionally their email addresses have now changed to or and for Border Ballooning related matters, please use To contact Graham or Lindsay in connection the current BBAC contact emails remain the same and will be forwarded to the correct address.

The bits that nearly got away

Tank of the month has left the building
3 cylinder of the month farewellDeeply sorry but forgot to mention last time round that the famous tank of the month has now left the building. It passed its Proof Pressure Test with flying colours got some new bungs in it ensuring it was a truly robust slave and released back to service. We even managed to find a slightly better cover for the dear thing. It did spend a while by the door greeting visitors but its strong desire to get airborne once more meant that it was inevitable that it would eventually be collected by a thrilled Stumpy but not before admirers Mark Stokoe and family, John Viner and Sandy Mitchell bade it a fond adieu. We were slightly miffed to find it had run up a bar bill in the Swan and that there were a few taxi fares left unpaid. Stumpy?

Landrover Balloon update
4 landroverFinally the troops pulled together and a picture was sent by Pete Donkin of the elusive Landrover balloon tethering at Bury Museum of Transport on the 10th October. The picture is remarkable being out of focus and not really showing it in its true colours as it is a predominately green balloon but never mind the thought was there. Pete tells us that he still intends to fly it in the near future and he will update is Box Brownie as soon as he’s used up the old film he found in the back of the larder. In the meantime we will endeavour to take Rover for a flight seeings as its all legal finally!


Swedish Sue chats up Frank
11 Swedish sueWith the ongoing saga of Frank the Lorry and the lack of available spare parts the bullet has been bitten and a new lorry for Team Wellwick acquired. It’s a Volvo (John likes that) and is called Sue stalled for five. No doubt it will get a faceache page in due course but meanwhile the grandchildren have moved in and declared it very fine. Mary’s observation was that it had a heated seat and the radio worked! It is actually, at the moment, quite smart. It came from New Hunt Horses in Huntley a well-known tack shop in the Forest of Dean and still sports their details on the tailgate and doesn’t have Heavy Horses on it anywhere. We’ll need to sort the partitions out and put the access door back on that Mary swears she didn’t knock off!

EASA roadmapping – truth is out
It seems that not everyone thinks EASA is a bad thing, in fact Kevin the Tanner reckons they are truly the dog’s, so much so he has gone and got himself a personal numberplate. “I got it from a bloke at the CAA who couldn’t bear to look at it any more. He’d bought it a few years back when it all seemed like a good idea”, he explained. “Truth be told he ended up paying me to take it after being targeted by low flying gliders 12 kevs EASA numberplatewhilst driving over Dunstable Downs.” We asked him what the OGE reference was all about but no-one seems to know and we can only assume its something to do with CS-STAN or can be found by referencing CS-23/Part-29 under the sub-section MATWOS, the Generic De-icing requirements for STOL aircraft, which we all know has been developed from the EASA Roadmap instructions for operating the lifts in their Cologne HQ (Highly Questionable).