European Balloon Festival ends in Tragedy
Sadly we have received news that, on Sunday 12th July, the last day of the European Balloon Festival held in Igualada, near Barcelona in Spain following what appears to have been a heavy landing the pilot of a participating balloon was killed and six passengers were injured one seriously.
The accident occurred in the town of Vilanola del Cami during the landing phase of the flight. Early unsubstantiated reports suggest the pilot and a passenger were thrown from the basket after it struck a fence or embankment. The pilot was carried aloft on a line before falling to his death. One of the passengers was seriously injured and taken by helicopter to the Bellvitge hospital. Four others were taken to the Igualada hospital and one was given first aid at the scene and did not require hospitalisation.
The weather conditions were reported as ‘very good’ and the two year old balloon was in very good condition. The pilot has been reported as a 51 year old from Sitges, participating in the festival for the first time and held a valid licence for operating the balloon. The cause of the accident is still under investigation.
Our sympathies go out to all those involved in the tragedy and especially to the friends and family of the pilot.
In case you missed it - Lindstrand Balloons TCDS updates.
All of the Lindstrand EASA TCDS issue numbers all nipped up by one Issue number on 18-19.06.15. The ones we are interested in are A-type (BA021) which goes from Issue 7 to 8, B-type (BA502) from Issue 3 to 4, C-type (BA503) from Issue 3 to 4 and Special Shapes (BA120) from Issue 3 to 4. A-type Cloudhoppers (BA501) goes from Issue 1 to 2, L-type (BA504) from Issue 1 to 2, S-type (BA505) from Issue 2 to 3 and X-type (BA506) from Issue 3 to 4.
All the TCDSs now show Cameron Balloons Ltd as the Type Certificate Holder. The revised TCDSs also make allowances to ensure that from now on any new ‘Lindstrand balloons’ will be built under the Cameron banner. The split will be on serial number. There is a bit of confusion in the manual status as the revised TCDSs make reference to the Cameron Manuals. For all existing Lindstrand built balloons there is no need to get a Cameron Manual but when the Cameron Manuals are updated it may be more convenient to switch if you use a mix of Cameron and Lindstrand components. New Cameron-built Lindstrand envelopes will be therefore be issued with a Cameron Manual.
We’ll have to wait and see how they sort out the inspection schedules but for new Cameron-built Lindstrand envelopes they will use the Cameron Schedule. Not to be confused with the Maintenance Programme which for now is unchanged, unless of course it’s a new Cameron-built one in which case it will come under Cameron. Simple. Latest from that fine fellow John Davies at Cameron Balloons Ltd and their links with the remnants of Lindstrand Hot Air Balloons Ltd is this :
‘The updated Lindstrand Type Certificate Data Sheets are now on the EASA website here: HYPERLINK "https://easa.europa.eu/document-library/type-certificates" https://easa.europa.eu/document-library/type-certificates. The TCDS’s now include the option to use the Cameron Manuals but is recommended that the Lindstrand Manuals are used at this time unless you have a combination of basket/burner that isn’t listed. The Lindstrand Inspection schedule should be used until the applicability of the Cameron document is updated. Lindstrand Service Bulletins and Service instructions are now on the Cameron Balloons Website here:
Service Bulletins http://www.cameronballoons.co.uk/support#service-bulletins-lindstrand. Service Instructions http://www.cameronballoons.co.uk/support#service-instructions-lindstrand. Other documents will follow in due course. If there is any documentation you urgently require please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.’
Bottom wotsit is that you need do nothing if you own a Lindstrand Balloon. It is all looking good. Airworthiness for current Lindstrand Balloons remains unaffected.
Cross London - best one yet
Over the years there have quite a few Cross-London Flights of one sort or another but the one organised by Exclusive Ballooning and appropriately named 'The Lord Mayor's Hot Air Balloon Regatta' in support of The Lord Mayor's Appeal which works to raise awareness and funds for the Charity and to promote the City of London and those associated with it was an outstanding success all round.
In a tight window the flight of 40 balloons launched just after 0500 from Shoreditch Park and climbed up and out over the River Thames flying between Tower Bridge, The Shard and Canary Wharf. The Lord Mayor's balloon was the first to take off, followed closely by well known City Corporations, who have also chosen to support the charity. Those included Aberdeen Asset Management, Fortnum & Mason, Stirling Ackroyd, Renishaw, Ricoh, British Airways, British Telecom and Universal Pictures. This is the first time a mass ascent has flown over London in more than twenty years and since then the skyline and airspace has changed dramatically.
The event was initially proposed in 2013 by Andrew Holly’s company Exclusive Ballooning to raise £50,000 for the charity. With the help of Phil Saunders of the City of London Corporation they actually raised nearly £80,000 which was presented to the current Lord Mayor, Alan Yarrow, at The Guildhall the following week.
The official video from the Regatta is at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AshBUiVFSHg
Full story and pictures at http://www.exclusiveballooning.co.uk/news/2015/06/07/the_lord_mayor_s_hot_air_balloon_regatta/0/0/
Picture courtesy Ed Lubbock
Inspector ratings to go all EASA
Currently UK Balloon Inspectors are appointed through the British Balloon & Airship Club under an Exposition approved by the CAA. It is proposed that in the future Inspector Licenses will be issued by EASA under what is to be known as Part 66-L (L for ‘Light’). Discussions have been ongoing on for years on how Balloon Inspectors could be incorporated into the EASA system. In the rest of Europe most balloon inspectors (where they exist) are issued with a National rating from their National Aviation Authority. With the announcement that the EASA Comment Response Document (CRD) to the NPA and an Opinion (Opinion 2015-05) has now been issued it means its not if, but when? The current implementation date is set to be 2016. No mention of costs have been issued and it is likely that existing current Inspectors will be ‘Grandfathered’ however it is currently unlikely that the separate ratings we in the UK enjoy will apply and the rating will be a cover-all. It is also unclear what actual hands-on training will be required. The documents are available on the EASA website and make heady reading. The CRD is available at http://easa.europa.eu/document-library/comment-response-documents and the Opinion at http://easa.europa.eu/document-library/opinions
CAA introduce new proposals for simpler medicals-missed this one
Sent in by Geoff Lescott and definitely a must-do we missed on account it was headed up SurveyMonkey so went in the bin. Come on CAA/EASA surely you could think up a title of a survey that isn’t going to get trashed. Geoff received it via a Newsletter from Bicester Gliding Club, so it's from a British Gliding Association point of view, but substitute "BBAC" for "BGA" and it should be something that we should all support via our own Representatives to CAA/EASA-land. The link to CAP 1284 should be read first as it shows the underlying thinking behind the proposals. Your responses via the SurveyMonkey link then become easier. It doesn't take long. 10th July was the cut-off date, but perhaps mitigating circumstances mean it could still be submitted by sending your views to the CAA direct. The UK CAA has published a consultation document (CAP 1284) on the simplification of medical licensing for recreational pilots. The BGA was represented on the CAA working group and the proposals essentially reflect what the BGA introduced some fifty years ago. It is important that those who agree with the CAA proposal responded positively to the consultation. You will note that this change once adopted in the UK could be proposed to EASA as an acceptable European model. The BGA is working towards that outcome. Sorry the news on this is late but try writing directly to the CAA. You can read the consultation at www.caa.co.uk/cap1284 then click on the small pdf symbol to view the document. The Survey Monkey response tool at www.surveymonkey.com/s/GAmed or you can submit a response to the CAA by email. Details are in the consultation document.
This is what the CAA released:
PROPOSED CHANGES – MEDICAL REQUIREMENTS
In the latest move to make the regulation of the UK’s General Aviation (GA) sector more proportionate and evidence-based, the UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) announced at the major Aeroexpo GA event a new training syllabus for pilots and proposed changes to some private pilot medical requirements. We have also worked with a number of aviation medical experts in the UK to develop a consultation on medical requirements for some private pilots which aims to make them more realistic and reduce bureaucracy. No changes are proposed for pilots with commercial licences. It proposes that the medical requirement for UK private pilot licence and national private pilot licence holders are to hold a current DVLA Group 1 Ordinary Driving Licence (ODL). Existing medical options (for example a UK declaration with GP counter signature) will remain available. The proposal will bring cost and time savings for pilots and, in most cases, remove the need for General Practitioner (GP) or Authorised Medical Examiner involvement. Currently pilots with an NPPL licence are required to comply with DVLA group 1 or 2 standards and have their self-declaration of fitness countersigned by their GP. Holders of a UK PPL currently need an EU class 2 medical or the NPPL medical requirements if they only use the privileges of an NPPL licence. The proposal is based on a study of the risks associated with GA flying and also comparing that to other recreational activities like horse riding or canoeing. The consultation also reviews the causes of light aircraft accidents and the likelihood of these being triggered by a pilot being medically incapacitated. The risk to third parties is considered and the regulatory approach taken by the Federal Aviation Administration in the USA, which mirrors the UK proposal, is also reviewed.
A variety of options are proposed and views are sought through the consultation, which closes on 10th July 2015. The information received will be used to determine how to take this proposal forward. You can see the consultation at www.caa.co.uk/consultations
David Bareford, Deputy Medical adviser to the BBAC says “We should encourage all to respond. In their response it is always worth making the point that not all GA is the same and that if a pilot is incapacitated then a balloon will descend at a rate where it is likely to lead to a survivable landing.”
Launching the new initiatives at Aeroexpo, GA Programme Manager Rachel Gardner said: “The new syllabus, consultation on medical requirements and guidance for aircraft owners are the latest steps in our work to improve things for the GA Community and make regulation of GA more proportionate and evidence based. We’ve launched them at Aeroexpo so as many of the key GA organisations and individuals that we’ve developed this work with are present.”
Today’s announcements are in line with the CAA’s new top level principles for GA regulation: Only regulate directly when necessary and do so proportionately, Deregulate where we can, Delegate where appropriate, Do not gold-plate and quickly and efficiently remove gold-plating that already exists. Help create a vibrant and dynamic GA sector in the UK. More detail on the CAA’s GA activities and the work of the GA Unit are available at www.caa.co.uk/ga
Fire & First Aid Course Dates Announced
Dates for the next Bristol-based Basic Fire & First Aid Training courses run by Bristol Safety Ltd have now been confirmed as Thursday 23rd July, Thursday 17th September and Tuesday 20th October. The venue for all the dates will be The Batch, Park Road, Warmley, South Gloucestershire, Bristol, BS30 8EB. Courses will be confirmed as soon as they reach the minimum subscription of 6 delegates. For further bespoke dates or availability, please contact Justin Lane at any time by telephone +44 (0)7709 460992, E-mail at email@example.com or check their website www.bristolsafety.co.uk.
One Man Meet - Resurrection shuffle
As promised last year, when Phil Dunnington retired as the One Meet organiser, John Tyrrell and Wendy Rousell have announced the date and venue for this years’ meet. This popular meet, for the slightly more hardy (bonkers) balloonists, is returning to the Peak District, a rather lovely flying area with all kinds of attractions like Bakewell Tarts coming out of its ears. The venue is the rather splendid privately owned 17th century Jacobean Tissington Hall and the estate village of Tissington, just to the north of Ashbourne. The launchsite is at the top end of the village with some shelter and parking. The aim will be as it always has, to provide relaxed flying alongside a good social event. Entries are open to all balloons under 60,000 cubic feet and flown solo, unless it happens to have a Duo-Chair. There is plenty of local accommodation with a Premier Lodge in Ashbourne and a wide range of local B&Bs, hotels and self-catering in Tissington itself. Locally there is a fine collection of eateries and pubs. First briefing will be at 1500hrs on Friday 2nd October and run over the weekend of the 2nd-4th of October. Entry will be £20. For more information or an entry form please contact john or wendy through firstname.lastname@example.org. For a gander at the venue check out http://www.derbyshire-peakdistrict.co.uk/tissington.htm.
Lindstrand Auction - some deals!
We managed to resist the temptation of visiting the auction for the remains of Lindstrand Balloons as we have enough filing cabinets and office chairs. Probably would have shed a tear but many recognisable faces were spotted having a sniff about and seeing who else was there! Prices were described as high to nuts in many cases. There was nothing of any note in the spare parts except pilot bags and rawhide for baskets which Kim Hull ‘won’ along with the Union Jack balloon, a trailer, the very nice disabled basket and Simon Force’s old grab tester which he presented back to him. Nice touch. Rumour has it that Kim purchased most of the items but failed to win the ash tree nicely cut into basket runners. The Mighty Motorbike went to Tim Horne for a snip but they auctioned the handling equipment before it came up which went to someone else. Bit of a bummer that. Don Cameron was spotted with a notebook and pen adding up the winning bids. It isn’t thought he bid on anything or tried running anything up!!! Now if they’d still had the propane tower we’d have had a go at that!
Congrats to James MacDonald
That fine young fellow James MacDonald, well-known for organising Kentish Balloon Meets has managed to get himself successfully checked out and soloed with the brave Brian Smith. Brian posed momentarily by the basket before suggesting James went on his way for at least half an hour. Our congratulations to James.
Bristol Airport gearing up for more passengers
Just in time for the Bristol Balloon Fiesta, Bristol Airport should have its new £8.6m terminal extension open during early July. This is the first major expansion of the terminal building since it opened in 2000 and spearheads development plans to enhance facilities to handle ten million passengers a year. As well as creating space for hundreds of additional seats in the departure lounge, the extension will provide more than 1,000 sq metres for retail and catering units which will be occupied by a range of new and existing brands. Part of the plans include a restaurant with an opening roof. Very James Bond. In addition there will also be access to outdoor space by those not dining, with a rooftop garden featuring quirky sculptures which are expected to become popular, particularly during the summer months. Best we go check them out. www.bristolairport.co.uk.
The not the Newbury Balloon Festival
Following a lot of ‘is it isn’t it’ and rumour control going into meltdown and despite the illustrious 3-4-40 Balloon Club stepping in to try and help run the event The Newbury and District Agricultural Society made the announcement on Tuesday 7th July that the three-day event from 17-19 July at Newbury Showground booked by event organiser Richard Garvie was cancelled, because the terms and conditions were not met, including payment for the hire. Checking the Society’s website the following notice has appeared :
*****Newbury Balloon Festival: Cancellation of booking at Newbury Showground***** We regret to announce that we are no longer able to host the Newbury Balloon Festival at the Showground. We had been looking forward to this event which we thought would be a great enhancement to the local event calendar. Sadly and despite several extensions to deadlines, the organisers have not been able to meet the terms and conditions of hiring the Showground. In particular, although a deposit was eventually paid late, the balance of the hire fee has not been settled. We are also conscious of our responsibilities for ensuring that events at the Showground are safely and properly managed for the benefit of those who attend and to minimise the impact on our neighbours. The organisers of the Balloon Festival have been unable to provide evidence of appropriate insurance, and have not produced event and traffic management plans that we or West Berkshire Council regard as adequate.
Naturally, we are very sorry for those who had booked to come – and they should seek refunds from the organisers – but in the circumstances, and having shown as much flexibility as we could, we have been left with no choice but to regard the booking as cancelled.
The Newbury Balloon Festival website is informing the public that the festival will now be held at Northcroft Park in Newbury itself and that "Frozen Tickets remain valid" and "Parking only tickets will be refunded." Some monies, it is understood have been refunded. Whether the event goes ahead at Northcroft Park is unknown.
Diddly Austin announced
Big and huge ones to Andy and Jane (of the other cake fame) Austin who now have attained the status of grandparents. First time round. They have a lot to learn…As Jane put it, “Our gorgeous grand daughter was born yesterday 5th June 2015 and is named Chloe Austin. We are going to have such fun.” Little do they know but fun they will certainly have in gobloads. It’s a myth that you can hand grand children back. They want to stay! Our best regards and we look forward to the celebration cake to which we will absolutely, categorically enjoy. Now of course the nice Johnson’s had one so that will have to be another celebration. Bummer. (o:
Pat P gets a gold
Pat unpronounceable Pruchnickyj is best known in the ballooning world as a competition pilot and for organising the Silverstone Balloon Meet but it seems that he has been quietly climbing the ratings as a skater and just picked up another National Ice Skating Association of Great Britain Gold Medal. Pat told us that he competed at the British Adult Championships in Sheffield. at the lowest level (pre-bronze). With a grin he explained that in his class (age group) he was actually the only entrant and very bravely admitted to picking up the gold by default. Sadly at the presentation they gave him a silver by accident, which is why it is the wrong one in the press photo, but after a stewards’ enquiry and re-checking the results they popped a Gold in the post! Made us chuckle. He is actually doing quite well and did win a Gold (and actually got it) at another event and a bronze in Guildford where he was up against five competitors. “You see, its much easier to win medals in ice-skating than in ballooning!” he chuckled. Good on you Pat. Don’t take our word for it here he is at an International Event in France when he was clearly getting the hang of it and performing to a packed Rink. http://youtu.be/EX4bfhBzuvE
Swiss Hopper retires
We have just had a Lindstrand hopper bottom end for a bit of a check over following the purchase of the complete balloon. Turns out the envelope is Edy Witprachtiger’s Swiss registered Lindstrand LBL 31A Cloudhopper, HB-QAE. The envelope itself is now described as a bit porous so has been retired. In amongst the bits of paper were a few piccies of it including this one with two other Lindstrand hoppers. Built in 1994 (we reckon) the logbook shows it to have done 152 flights clocking up 120 hours. The bottom end will now go under Karle Grunauner’s G-BXUH, another Lindstrand 31A hopper, better known as the Baby Bel hopper.