Balloon Repair Station

(And here’s the) News 02.06.15

Ultramagic TCDS BA.014 to revision 18
Ultramagic’s Hot Air Balloon TCDS changed to EASA BA.014 rev 18 on 18/05/15.
Seems to be the addition of baskets CT-03 and CV-08 and follows through on applicability. The additions are shown as vertical columns in the main. TCDS are, as normal, mainly good bedtime reads as they will send you to sleep. Check the EASA website for full details. If you want to keep a copy its all downloadable. Free fun.

Dust settling on Lindstrands’ Closure?
Following all the shock-horror-rumour-control stuff surrounding the closure of Lindstrand Hot Air Balloons Ltd it now seems that the last traces will be gone following the auction at the Oswestry factory on Thursday June 11th.
The official blurb from the Liquidator is that Harry Ray (maybe himself) will hold the auction for whatever is left starting at 10.30. The auction will include a ‘52 Land Rover Discovery, P reg Jeep, W reg Toyota Colorado, Twin Axle Ivor Williams box trailer, 9ft single axle box trailer, Chess single axle flat bed trailer, Zun cutting machine, BSL cloth inspection unit, Highlead, Brother, Pfaff, Nemesis, Rimoldi, Brother electric sewing machines, metal band saw, cutting tables, pipe bender, pillar drills, welding equipment, metal work benches, 2 compressors, air tools, scales, metal shelving, belt sander, multi drawer tool cabinets, tooling, space heaters, Honda fans, metal racking, stock of leather and material, Lindstrand ready made logo products including: Jackets, first aid kits, kit bag, balloon photographs and banners, office furniture and equipment, tube stock and subject to certification several stock balloons, baskets, material and components. Viewing is planned for Wednesday 10th June from 10am – 4pm. For full or further details check out Harry’s website

Much has been discussed about the closure including the fate of many of the parts and part completed balloons and equipment. Hannah Cameron, a director of Cameron Holdings Ltd and Cameron Balloons Limited announced through the BBAC website that, “Only the intellectual property, which was owned by the Cameron Group, was removed. This was confined to paper, computer data and some jigs, samples and patterns. No stocks of raw materials or suppliers goods were removed. During May 2015, some of the jobs in progress have been purchased from the liquidator by Cameron Balloons Ltd – which we will be working on at the customers’ request, to ensure their completion and delivery, helping to prevent those customers suffering any financial loss. Some components of burners were also reserved at that time to complete work, under the strict control of the liquidator and are subject to purchase by Cameron Balloons Ltd. The liquidator has given an assurance that Lindstrand Hot Air Balloons Ltd past employees’ entitlements will be met, but the timing is in his hands.”
Cameron Balloons Ltd reckon that parts for Lindstrand Balloons should be available in a few weeks time, once all the CAA approvals are in place which will no doubt cheer up those awaiting spare parts.

Beer Day Britain
This ought to be at the top above the nonsense that is TCDSs! Monday June 15th is the official Beer Day in Britain. That’s handy as we don’t do Mondays and now best not do Tuesday but I have a sneaky feeling we may be in Germany so will miss it or just have to celebrate it at the local brewery (o: For more information, or to learn why lager isn’t beer go to

Short notice – Fire and First Aid course date
Sarah Bettin has organised a Fire and First Aid course on Tuesday 9th June at Dunsfold, Surrey. Its CAP 611 compliant. Cost is £90 + VAT per person. If you want to book a space please call Sarah on 07721 646831

Sackville Balloons – 2nd largest UK Balloon Manufacturer
7 G-CISBIts official Tim Wilkinson, whose Sackville Lodge Airfield hosts the Grass Roots Meet, has now completed his second envelope and is well on the way with the third. Having stitched himself into the middle of last Thursday rebuilding an old Annex II eight gore envelope, probably the most difficult of all, he is now re-creating the entire range of Airtour Balloons using the original patterns. It is also interesting to note that he is churning them out faster than any other manufacturer. His side-kick and production manager Barry Newman told us that he can’t rewind the bobbins fast enough. “’E’s a man possessed once ‘e gets behind them needles. I must say though that orange and blue does get tiring but apparently its our corporate colours now,” said Barry as he wheeled another barrow-load of load tape into the shed.

CAA reminds AOC Holders and CPL(B) about crew training
The CAA have issued a reminder to all AOC (Balloons) holders and all UK CPL(B) holders to please see the recently issued CAA General Exemption number E 4031. This is published in the CAA Official Records Series 4, as no.1099. It may also be found at The purpose of the General Exemption, which is a re-issue of ORS4 no.1015, is to extend the periods given in the Air Navigation Order (Schedule 8) during which balloon flight crew must have had training, experience, practice and periodical tests. Without this exemption SEP Fire and First-aid training would need to be undertaken annually and parts of the company line check [OPC] would need to be undertaken every 6 months (and we don’t want that). The exemption extends these periods to 36 months and 13 months respectably, as per Chapter 9 of the AOC Operations Manual. AOC (Balloons) holders should retain a copy of this General Exemption.

Anthony Smith Memorial Service
3 anthony smith gordon bennett 2010Robin Batchelor, Anthony’s long time minder, has informed us that a Memorial Service will be held at St Bride’s Church in London on 18th June at 11.30 followed by a Wake to celebrate Anthony’s life and the opportunity to raise a glass to an amazing man. The venue is yet to be decided. Anthony’s son Adam looks forward to welcoming all who remembered his Father. The details will be posted on the BBAC website forum and Faceache page in due course. So that’s Thursday 18th June at 11.30 am at St Bride’s Church, Fleet Street, London, EC4Y 8AU. St Bride’s Church is located just off Fleet Street, London by Ludgate Circus. By Bus, take a 4, 11, 15, 23 and 76 which stop on Fleet Street opposite the church. By Train, First Capital Connect services run into City Thameslink and other operators run services to Blackfriars.
The closest tube stations are St Paul’s (Central Line) and Blackfriars (District & Circle). Picture courtesy of Rob Bayley taken at the Gordon Bennett Balloon Race in 2010

100th Anniversary of the downing of Potters bar Zeppelin
4 gravestone L31In the early hours of 16 October 1916 a Zeppelin L31 was shot down over Potters Bar, England. Jon Littman, a resident of Tempest Avenue, Potters Bar, named after Flt Lt Joseph Tempest (the Avenue not Jon) who shot down the airship L31 flown by renowned commander Lt Heinrich Mathy, is hoping to organise an event to mark the 100th Anniversary in Oakmere Park the site of the crash. Jon writes, “As a resident of the town my proposal would be to have a commemoration event. I have investigated the possibility of the Royal Air Force Band attending and an RAF fly past. It could involve the local museum, drama society and re-enactment society.” The BBAC and any other interested parties are invited to become involved with the event. If you are interested or can supply any information on the downing or Flt Lt Tempest please contact Jon on
07884188954. For more information see

New editor for Aerostat Magazine
The British Balloon & Airship Club’s flagship publication, Aerostat, has a new editor. The BBAC Main Committee at its meeting May meeting decided to appoint a new editor for Aerostat. Last December committee member Brian Trowbridge agreed to take on the role of editor when the previous holder of the position had to resign for personal reasons. Brian has decided that the editorship is not a role that he wished to retain on a long term basis. Last year they had an application from a very experienced editor/writer and publisher, but had been unable to consider his application at the time. The BBAC have stated that, ‘In the circumstances now arising we have decided that it is very much in our best interest to take advantage of that application which has been renewed to us. The new editor is Richard Wiles of Lewes. Richard has been a member of the BBAC since 1992 and is also a balloon pilot and owner’.

CPL(B) Exam dates announced but best check first!
The CAA have just released the dates for the CPL(B) written examinations. The examinations dates are – 12 June (now closed), 14 August, 16 October and 11 December 2015. There does seem to be a bit of confusion with these dates so you are recommended to call them first. All the dates are Fridays which will be great if you need to trot round the M25. Application forms are available from book at

Yippee – Germany backs down on licensing requirements
Seems all is not lost for in a recent CAA Information Bulletin on EASA Developments, dated 18 March to 11 May 2015 (IN-2015/039), it is reported that Germany has confirmed that with regard to the Recognition of National Balloon and Sailplane licenses issued by other Member States that, although they have already implemented EASA licensing rules and regulations which they are not opting out of, they will continue to recognise National Licences issued by other Member States. Bless them.

India Balloon Meet announced
Now this will be worth a look we reckon. The Ballooning Club of India, based in New Delhi, has announced the holding of the 31st India International Hot Air Balloon Mela 2015. Quite a mouthful that. Anyway it is to run from 13th to the 18th November. According to the schedule the first flight will be on 14th at New Delhi’s Damdama Lake, Sohna, Distt Gurgaon, Haryana. Then the plan is to truck off to Agra on the 16th for an overnight stay and hopefully a flight and visit to the Taj Mahah. If you fancy getting there ealier the Diwali Festival takes place on 11th November. For further details email: or try Send them a postcard if you like to The Ballooning Club of India, 8-B, Bahadur Shah Zafar Marg, New Delhi-ll0002, India. If none of that works try the jelling bone +9111 23716665 & 23329968

Splish and nearly splash – Channel update
1 Channel crossing mapFollowing the story at the end of last year (or might have been the beginning of this) about the long flight of the Swiss and French balloons that nearly floated rather than flew across the La Manche here is a copy of their track. The Swiss balloon was HB-QPV, an Ultramagic M-145 Eco, and spent 5 hours 20 mins covering 127km over the sea with pilot plus three aboard. It used 59kg of the 120kg of propane carried! The other balloon, F-HPMA a Cameron Z-105, flown by Olivier Cuenot and Nicolas Mauricetook 5 hours and 40 minutes and it is believed that they did in fact make a sea landing to either pick up more fuel or dump weight. Both balloons landed in Criel sur Mer north east of Dieppe. The following weekend three more balloons crossed, F-HMEC, F-HRPP and F-GZDS, successfully going the correct short route. All of the balloons were booked into the big, French organised, Cross Channel event but had apparently got fed up with delays caused by the organisers so decided to go for it alone. Good on them all.

Colt 90A – Price reduction
Chris Smart has dropped the price of his tidy Colt 90A G-IRLY built in 1989/90 with 265 hours on it to £5000. This will get you absolutely everything you need to get in the air including a nice 2.5m Westfalia Trailer, Autogas & tank-to-tank hoses. ‘Mighty Widget’ Helium cylinder (big one). Leather flight & crew bags with compartments. Many OS maps (laminated) with SA’s. and Land Ranger maps for the retrieve. Quite a good deal we reckon. For full details see the ‘For Sale’ page or contact Chris Smart telephone 07949 623773 or by email at Full export documentation can be supplied if required.

Bucks venue for Women’s Balloon Meet
Organised on behalf the British Women Pilots’ Association at the invitation of the lovely lady owner of Finmere Aerodrome that this year’s venue for the 6th Women’s Balloon Meet is indeed to be held at Finmere Aerodrome in North Bucks over the weekend of 25-27 September. No coincidence, one would imagine, that Bicester Village is just down the road or that there is a Sunday Market held there! This is the meet for female pilots and PuTs to gather for fun and flying with a friendly no-pressure atmosphere. Blokes can go but the rule is that you need a female P1 or PuT in the basket! Entry fee is £25 per team if you book before 25th August (£30 after). First briefing on Friday afternoon. Free camping and a party Saturday night in Buckingham. Propane will be available from a bulk tank about 25 minutes away. Further details from or visit the very comprehensive website at If you’re a Facebook user, join the event on the ‘Women in Ballooning’ page for further updates.

Sticking the Nut on a building
2 harvest drive family innBit of footage on Ubend made us chuckle as fortunately no real damage was done to passengers or the building when a Head balloon matched up to a Cameron bottom end failed to take off. Just goes to justify the Americans feelings on what a waste of time Quick Releases are! Looking at the video I reckon they may have got away with it had they hit the burners but then again that may have made it even more spectacular! It reportedly occurred near Lancaster, not the up north (for us like) one but its USA cousin. After a bit of detective work we think it may be the Harvest Drive Family Inn, Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Now if this is the case it is in the heart of Amish Country so presumably the retrieve would have been by horse and cart. What really made us chuckle that it came after an advert for Virgin Media.

Sad news on the doorstep
It is with deep sadness that we learnt that Anne Smith passed away following a serious debilitating form of arthritis. Her funeral was held on Friday 29th May, at the 1st Twyford Scout HQ, Loddon Hall Road in Twyford, Berks followed by committal in Ruscombe. Afterwards, everyone was invited for refreshments, exchange stories and reminisce at one of Anne’s favourite Friday lunchtime destinations, Buratta’s at The Royal Oak in Ruscombe. Those attending were asked to wear something purple in memory of Anne. Our condolences go to John, family and friends.

The Great Norfolk Beer and Balloons Meet
As the season comes to an end where better to go than Wymondham (which is very tricky to pronounce but has a fine selection of pubs) where Pete Waller has re-instated the Norfolk Balloon Meet. The event will run from 4-6 September and be based at the Rugby Club because they have beer and you can camp on site. Pete stresses the meet will offer stress free flying, free entry and free camping on site. All are welcome so as Pete says, “Please join us in lovely Norfolk for a weekend of balloons and real ale.” Sounds pretty good to me and Wherry is one of favourite pints. For further details contact Pete at or on the jellingbone 07725 994494.

Squawking – Corrections to GA FEEDBACK
Following the issue of the May edition of the GA Feedback magazine they have acknowledged all the readers who had advised them that that they gave the incorrect Manchester listening squawk as 2677 when it is actually 7366 and that the Farnborough listening squawk is 4572 and not 4573. Both of these errors have now been corrected and re-loaded to the CHIRP app. Additionally it has been announced that from 28 May Bristol will have a listening squawk on: Code 5077 frequency 125.650. Ian Dugmore, the Chief Executive, has apologised for any inconvenience this has caused. A full and correct list of current listening squawks is available on the AIS website at para
0010 – This code may be used when flying in the vicinity of the Birmingham Control Zone/Area when the pilot is monitoring Birmingham Radar frequencies.
0011 – This code may be used when flying in the vicinity of Southampton/Bournemouth Zones/Areas and monitoring Solent Radar frequencies.
0012 – This code may be used when flying in the vicinity of London Heathrow/London City/London Gatwick Control Zones/Areas and monitoring Thames/Gatwick Radar frequencies.
0013 – This code may be used when flying in the vicinity of London Luton/London Stansted Control Zones/Areas and monitoring either Luton Radar or Essex Radar frequencies.
0440 – This code may be used when flying in the vicinity of Edinburgh Control Zones/Areas and monitoring the Edinburgh Approach Frequency 121.200 MHz.
2620 – This code may be used when flying within 40 nm of Glasgow Airport and monitoring the Glasgow Approach Frequency 119.100 MHz.
2677 – This code may be used when flying in the vicinity of Leeds Bradford Control Zones/Areas and monitoring Leeds Bradford Radar frequencies. Pilots should refer to UK AIP EGNM AD 2.22 – FLIGHT PROCEDURES for further details.
4572 – This code may be used when flying in the vicinity of the East Midlands Control Zones/Areas and monitoring the East Midlands Approach frequency. Pilots should refer to UK AIP EGNX AD 2.22 – FLIGHT PROCEDURES for further details.
4572 – This code may be used when flying in the vicinity of Farnborough and monitoring the LARS West Frequency.
6170 – This code may be used when flying in the vicinity of Doncaster Sheffield Control Zone/Area when the pilot is monitoring Doncaster Sheffield Radar frequencies.
7045 – This code may be used when flying within 40 nm of Belfast/Aldergrove CTR and monitoring Belfast/Aldergrove Approach frequencies. Pilots should refer to UK AIP EGAA AD 2.22 – FLIGHT PROCEDURES for further details
7366 – This code may be used when flying in the vicinity of the Manchester CTR and monitoring the Manchester Approach frequency. Pilots should refer to UK AIP EGCC AD 2.22 – FLIGHT PROCEDURES for further details. Feedback magazine AIS website

Martin Hinton
It is with sadness that we learnt of the untimely death of Martin Hinton who was Lindstrands’ Purchasing and Procurement Manager at Lindstrand Balloons where he had worked for over 20 years. Martin aged only 42, passed away following a heart attack on the 5th May. His close friend Kevin Pilsbury, former General Manager at Lindstrands, wrote, “To the Lindstrand Tribe and all who knew our Mart, As many of you will know our Mart, who was Lindstrand’s Purchasing Manager, tragically and unexpectedly passed away last Tuesday the 5th of May. For so many of us who knew him, the loss of this larger than life, one of a kind brother, friend, partner in crime has struck to the core and left a hole that I cannot imagine anything ever filling. Rest in peace my longest, closest friend, my brother and fellow member of the wooden spoon society.”  The funeral was held at St. Martins Parish Church on Wednesday the 27th May and afterwards gathered to celebrate the life of one of the most colourful characters any of us could hope to meet and know. Our sympathies to go out to all his family and friends.

BBC Documentary Series ‘Skies Above Britain’ – help wanted
Ed Lubbock sent us the following request from Emma Whitehead of Garden Productions which may be of interest to luvvie balloonists.
The Garden Productions is the documentary company behind BAFTA winning series ‘Bedlam’, ’24 Hours in A&E and more recently ’24 Hours in Police Custody’ for Channel 4. We have also have produced – amongst many other projects, the critically-acclaimed ‘Keeping Britain Alive’ (a day in the life of the National Health Service) ‘Inside Claridges’ ‘The Motorway: Life In the Fast Lane’ (about the life about one of the busiest Motorways in Britain) – all for the BBC. We have recently completed a three part series for ITV filming the staff and customers of Virgin Atlantic.
‘Skies Above Britain’ is a major new series that will be broadcast on BBC TWO at the primetime slot at 9pm in early 2016. This observational documentary series will take an unprecedented look at what happens in Britain’s airspace, filming the individuals and aircraft that make up the extraordinary yet invisible infrastructure in our skies –integral to business, industry, leisure and the emergency services. We intend to highlight the scale and complexity of Britain’s airspace by filming with a wide range of individuals, companies and institutions. We have secured access to the National Air Traffic Services (NATS) but we also hope to film with people from air enthusiasts piloting their first flight, building their own plane to filming precious cargo being flown in and out of Britain. As this is the definitive series about what happens in the skies above Britain I would like to find stories and people who are passionate about their own aircraft and have a story to tell. I would be grateful for any help you can offer. Best wishes, Emma Whitehead T: +44 (0) 20 7261 1252 F: +44 (0) 20 7620 6724 Email or visit the website at

Nearly got away bit

Cakes and Congratulations
5 DJ's babyBig ones go to grand-parents the nice Dave Johnson and his better half Sue on the arrival of their second grand-child Thomas Harrison. In readiness Sue baked about a dozen full-size stonkingly yummy cakes which lasted a very short while when they turned up at the workshop. It was touch and go whether we actually did the inspection on the balloon as they were on standby to charge off at the drop of a hat. Luckily their daughter hung on until they were all safely home. Congratulations. We have chosen to post a piccie of the little mite as the cakes were in a bit of disarray by the time the camera could be found.

Nice balloon story
8 stokoe road balloonAuntie Marlene, bless her, sent us a cutting from the Croydon Guardian, a must read if ever there was one. Senior reporter Chris Baynes reported on a balloon making a ‘spectacular landing in Coulsdon’. The refreshing article described how ‘the unexpected aerial arrival’ made a spectacular landing at a Coulsdon beauty spot coming to rest on a road in Farthing Downs after a controlled descent. Pilot Mark Stokoe (who we now know is 52) explained that the wind had changed after take-off and that he and his son Ben had taken off from Caterham intending to head for Oxted but, as in all things ballooning, they ended up having a ‘very gentle potter up to Farthing Downs’. Explaining the landing he said “That’s the life of ballooning, always fun. It wasn’t a crash-landing, it was a deliberate choice to land. It was lovely, beautiful weather. You could see the whole of London – absolutely superb. We pulled it down beside the road and got it all onto the grass verge between a gap in the traffic. I think one car had to wait about 20 seconds, but there were no traffic jams.” Nice one Croydon Guardian. To see the report and some rather nice piccies taken by Chris Sharp clearly demonstrating a very professional landing have a look at

Chiltern Region Midsummer Meet confirmed
After a bit of hither and zither the venue for the Chiltern Region’s Midsummer Meet has been confirmed as the popular Lakeside Lodge Golf Club, Pidley, PE28 3DF and will run from Friday 26th to Sunday 28th June. Lakeside lodge is a fantastic venue with great food and beer, toilets and showers for the campers or caravaners, propane at a good rate all onsite. There is B&B accommodation available but please book directly on 01487 740540 or online through their website
If you are intending going please let John Tyrrell know email

Well there you go
6 voyagerRob Cross sent us a piccie of Voyager setting sail with his parents aboard to the Faroe Islands to witness the solar eclipse. Well, somehow the clouds opened and they got a glimpse of the display which cheered them all up. Now the thing is that further down the deck was Jane’s cousin Miles and his missus also partaking of the jolly up and they don’t know each other. He is the bloke in the red hat waving. Funny old world innit? Actually I only put this in as I quite fancied finishing on the picture of a cruise ship.