Greetings to you all and thanks for trotting by. You are at the opening bit of an organisation that looks after the continuing airworthiness of hot air balloons for some smashing super people. Now you may well be forgiven for wondering why there are articles on stuff as far from balloons as you can get but that is the way it is so if you like a bit of diversity please have a wander round and we hope you leave with a smile on your face much like we do when we float off into the wild blue yonder. If you click on the piccies they should get bigger. That’s the introductions done and in contrast to what we just said there are two balloony articles up this time one on Base and Line Checks and the training requirements for them, something that has been a long time coming in print. We found some nice pictures so if you have a CPL and are hoping to earn your living ballooning we hope this helps. We intend following it up with a description of the Base and Line Check itself. It will most likely get updated! We also have thing from Rob Cross on this year’s Sackville. There will also be a bit of a trial which, to avoid confusion with Inspector’s Info that we started years ago for the BBAC, will be called ‘Notes from the Inspection Sheet’ which I’m certain will be replaced by a better title. Up and coming is a bit on the filming of Baskets and Burners which I am still scribbling along with a few other, as yet unfinished, articles. Time seems to have literally flown by which is strange as things have started to slow down as the winter nights draw in. Sadly we haven’t had the opportunity to do as much flying as we would have liked recently but once the frosts set in all will be well.
HS2 rumbles on and delays and uncertainty on the sale of Hartley Farm seems to suggest we may have a bit longer here which will be nice. Sadly the Luvvies have all but departed to ‘somewhere in Devon’ so its starting to get a bit lonely but never fear, the chickens are really upbeat and have taken to wandering into the workshop about an hour before sunset demanding a handful of grain. They are strange even for chickens. The clear out is going marvellously, we even found enough stuff to build a Cameron Mk4 single, more on that later like it will appear in the for sale section eventually! Next up we are going to look at building a couple of burners for Annex 2 balloons which ought to be fun. I’m pleased to say I have also now got sufficient bits to get my trusty Colt C3 working again so that’s quite high on the list of round-to-its. New pilot wise we’ve had Bradley Lewis from Oxford in to do his exams (well done to him) and who is learning in a 160, five up most of the time. That’ll be an interesting solo then. I can see it now, four blokes left in a field following an intermediate while the student ascends to 12,000 feet without burning. Maybe we’ll just go with him and hide in the basket.
In the dark barn we managed to get the side-stand sorted on Peter Gooch’s Guzzi. Despite a hefty bracket it managed to slowly heel over but a couple of braces soon put a stop to that. We used a bit of respectable solid bar which we think came from the window of Aylesbury Prison. It’s a fine bike and the side-stand means I can now get on it without the aid of a crate but stopping on the highway is not an option. The Velocette’s tinware has returned and I have to say it is marvellous. Omnikote have done themselves proud and the frame is well on the way to starting to look like a bike again. There do seem to be a few bits missing which are going to take a bit of tracking down though. Barry’s Colorado is now back on the road (again) and behaving more like a diesel than a steam car but it did have to have a new radiator. The pickup needs welding up here and there so it’s got pride of place in the other workshop at the moment. We do actually get a lot of interest in the rusty stuff that lurks in there from visitors many of whom pronounce that they have one, or had one, of them so we are thinking about having an Old and Rusty day before we leave the farm. Well that’s about it until we put something together for a Christmas Special (unlikely!!!) Thanks again for visiting. The piccie of John eating a minature Christmas cake disguised as a very light perfect chocolate cup cake was kindly sent to us by Andy Austin’s missus Jane. We think it was to make up for getting our Mary to get a trap for Dangermouse the pony that all ended up in the hedge. Whatever we were most grateful and they were so lovely Dotty didn’t get any. All the wotsits from Dotty, Alice, Jane, John, Chris and the chickens.