Balloon Repair Station

News 04.03.17

Jumpin’ Jack Wallaby? – Cameron BA012 goes to issue 31
Cameron Balloons TCDS BA012 has went to a mind boggling 31 on the 19th January 2017. Apparently, according to the list it’s a Wallaby-42. A ’42 isn’t that big but for a Wallaby that’s bigger than a Kangeroo. Then again maybe it’s the Wallabies Team Balloon? We await a picture one of these days.

Meanwhile, although not on our normal radar, French company Balloons Chaize, who have had a very up and down existence, have raised their TCDS for types CS, JZ,JZX and DC to BA015 issue 06. The initials, rather imaginatively, stand for Cloud Surfer, Dawn Chaser and Zephyr Joyrider (probably the other way in French). Two items on their website made us chuckle as clearly something is lost in the translation. They have a ‘Pimp my Balloon’ heading, most excellent and they use ‘strapless technology’. Enough said. We should go visit them in Annonay, where Monty the Golfer took off under a paper bag. Lovely simple little website at

BBAC Instructor training Days
Posted this before but a reminder that the next Instructor training days are this coming Sunday, 12 March 2017 (no Six Nations matches) at Turweston Aerodrome and Saturday 10 June 2017 also at Wellesbourne Airfield. There are no plans for a day in Autumn this year. The subjects to be covered are Power Lines, Human Factors and altitude flying, Avian Flu update, ISA and the load chart and Basket Management. Although primarily aimed at existing and current and prospective instructors the courses are open to all and would be of benefit to all those that train or assist with the training of pilots.

For further information contact the BBAC Training Officer Dave Court To book a place, please use the BBAC Shop at

Little rules for little balloons type championships
Now then all you hopping people here’s a thing. The 9th Montgolfiade de Thouars, held from 1st to the 3rd September is going to include a new hot air balloon competition being the 1st European One-person Hot Air Balloon Championship (Cloudhopper). The idea is to bring together Hopper pilots for flying competition tasks following the international Model Event Rules. All normal expenses in Thouars will be covered by the organizers as in no entry fees, free gas, free accommodation and meals for two persons per team. The championship will be organized in the spirit of friendship and sportsmanship. Four competition flights will be programmed during the championship. Friday evening, Saturday morning and evening, Sunday morning. The Sunday evening flight will be a free (non-competitive) flight. The championship is open to balloons up to 42,000 c/ft (1,190 m3). Fiesta flights will be open as usual to all other balloons, including Special Shape Balloons and Hot Air Airships. All pilots invited and registered must commit to taking part in the five flights of the event from the Friday evening flight until and including the Sunday evening flight. Aeronautical radio VHF and GPS will be allowed only for safety purposes. For further details contact Jean-Pierre Clergeau or Lionel Metayer Full details are on the website Sounds like it could be jolly good fun.

Bonkers Hopping record attempt in Metz
Latest up from the Camerons Press Machine is their sponsorship of a world record-breaking attempt to fly the most, solo, hot-air balloons simultaneously, in one place. The Cameron Balloons solo, Hopper record-flight attempt will take place during the 2017 Mondial Air Ballons meet in July. Event organiser, Cameron Balloons’ Hopper Brand Ambassador, Steve Roake will be supported by the Cameron Balloons Team. “A huge thank you to Steve Roake for all his behind-the-scenes work. We at Cameron Balloons are delighted to support this… another significant, ballooning record-event.” explains Craig Moore, Director at Cameron Balloons. “It’s great to be associated with the world’s most successful Hopper manufacturer in recent years.” reports Steve Roake. This event is open to all balloonists with a few, small and some obvious conditions… the balloon must be a solo aerostat up to 42,000cu.ft in size, entry to the balloon meet is also a requirement, details of which can be found on the Mondial website but please ensure that if you are interested in flying your Hopper there, that you please also contact Steve Roake too by email at The minimum requirement to beat the current unofficial record stands at 30 Hoppers

We already have 30 participants who are committed to the record-attempt but we would like more, to really ‘smash it’! The previous unofficial record in 2006 at the ‘One Man Meet’ in the UK was 29 Hoppers. The infrastructure is in place, the rest is up to you, please join us on this historic and epic adventure whose main aim is to promote the fun of flying and in this case solo flying. More details and how to register for the 2017 Cameron Balloons’ world, record-breaking attempt, to fly the most, solo, hot-air balloons simultaneously, in France are on the website and in Newsletter 92

CAA UK CPL (B) exam dates published
The dates for sitting the written examinations for the UK CPL(B) licence 2017 at sunny Gatwick have been published. Please note that there are closing dates for applications. 21 April closes 5th April, 16th June closes 2nd June, 18 August closes 4th August, 20 October closes 6th October, 15th December closes 1st December. All the exams are held at Aviation House, Gatwick. As usual the process of applying requires a degree in understanding. To apply you need to go on line and complete the form SRG1142 which can be found at The current fees per paper are £49 but going up a quid to £50 on the 1st April (no joke?) and need to be paid at the time of application on another form FCS1500 which is at Applications are then submitted to or, and probably easier, posted to Civil Aviation Authority SSC Scheduling and Exams, Ground Floor, East Wing, Aviation House, London Gatwick Airport West, Sussex RH6 0YR. If you’ve lost the will, full details are at

Tony Faulkner
Kevin Meeham very kindly sent a copy of his Obituary to Tony Faulkner who passed away on 27th January 2017. Our sympathies go out to all his family and friends.

Tony was an all-round aviator. He flew fixed-wing aircraft, gliders, microlights and balloons. He was a glider CFI and flew with the RAF reserves. Tony’s early flying days were in Derbyshire, with a small group of enthusiastic pilots flying Peak-a Boo (G-AZJI), a Western 65 which appeared at many local events in the 1970’s. During this part of his balloon career, he was also a chief flying instructor at the local glider club. In the 1980’s, he moved to the Midlands and operated a microlight school at Halfpenny Green airfield and started working with Lighter than Air. After this, he formed Aerial Promotions, a balloon operating company that was one of the first AOC operations for passenger carrying in the UK and he contributed to the writing of the first ballooning AOC manuals. In the early days of the AOC operations, Tony successfully challenged the HMRC, resulting in zero rate VAT for passenger flight tickets. This decision was reversed after 12 months, mentioned by the Chancellor of the Exchequer in his speech, but not before all of the AOC operators benefited from this “windfall” he won. In addition to the passenger operation, Tony operated a variety of commercial contracts including the National Express “bendy” bus special shape and had long-standing contracts with American Express and Vauxhall Motors. He also produced the Tornado inflation fan and operated other forms of aerial advertising including inflatables and blimps, which continue to be operated as Aerial Promotions today by his son Kevin. Tony was an experienced balloon pilot who was always willing to help and share his flying experiences. Amongst those present at the funeral were local pilots Andy Rawson , Jon Rudoni and Kevin Meehan and some of Tony’s crew, including Mike Hopkins and Brian Meeson.

Black Horse All Fools Meet – Bit Late
The long held All Fool’s Meet is back at Great Missenden over the Easter weekend, somewhat missing the 1st April it has to be admitted. This private meet will kick off midday Friday 14th (Good Friday) to midday Monday 17th April 2017. Entry Forms will be sent out by email to all current paid-up Members of BHBC. All welcome, especially PUTs. Gas will be available on site as will beer and grub from the excellent Black Horse pub. We hope to incorporate an activity to encourage prospective members to participate and learn a bit about our sport. For further details contact

British Women Pilots Association Scholarships – Now Open
This is something that comes along each year and really does promote aviation in all its guises. So if you are a lady learner or qualified pilot but want to move onto another form of flying then this could help you big time. The BWPA is now pleased to announce that Applications are now open for its 2017 Scholarships. We are awarding up to six Scholarships to successful women applicants this year. As for last year, all applications must be made through are the BWPA Website, and all applicants must be members of the BWPA (full or associate) at the time of application, and on the closing date (15th April 2017). There are two scholarships up for grabs, the BWPA Flying Start Scholarship and BWPA Flying High Scholarship. Both these scholarships are for £1000, and both are available for any type of flying, from ballooning through to helicopters, and all points between. As the names suggest, the BWPA Flying Start Scholarship is available for new and very inexperienced pilots to gain their first qualifications, whereas the BWPA Flying High Scholarship is available for more experienced pilots with at least a first qualification who wish, for example, to gain further qualifications or take part in significant competitions, or to undertake other suitable activities to help them further their personal flying aims.

New for this year is the BWPA Saul-Pooley Renewal or Revalidation Scholarship, with a value of £500. This had kindly been donated by Dorothy Saul-Pooley, and as the name suggests is specifically towards the renewal or revalidation of a lapsed licence or rating, and is available for fixed wing or helicopter flying. The BWPA are again able to award this year the now ‘traditional’ BWPA CATS CPL/ATPL Scholarship, donated by CATS Aviation Training, Luton for the full value of their Groundschool CPL/ATPL (A or H) course, and this year it is joined by a further two scholarships donated by Bristol Groundschool, the BWPA Bristol Groundschool ATPL Scholarships, each for half the value of their ATPL (A or H) course. The BWPA CATS CPL/ATPL Scholarship and the BWPA Bristol Groundschool ATPL Scholarships are for applicants with at least a PPL (A) or (H), and relate to the ground school elements of a CPL or ATPL (A or H). Applicants must also be capable of obtaining a Class 1 medical. What is (and what is not) included in these Scholarships aimed at pilots intending to make a career in flying, is detailed on the application forms, along with the necessary qualifications for application.

The application forms, which include details of how to apply, are now available on the BWPA Website. As usual we are also advertising these scholarships as widely as possible, and in liaison with other flying organisations, to reach the widest possible audience. The scholarship selection panels will comprise BWPA members plus representatives from other relevant flying organizations The closing date for all applications is Saturday 15th April 2017, and the winners will be notified in late spring, ready for the 2017 summer flying season. All those awarded BWPA 2017 Scholarships will also be invited to the BWPA Christmas Lunch on December 10th 2017, the venue for which is yet to be announced.

We encourage all potential and current women pilots to consider joining the BWPA (if not already a member) and applying for a scholarship. Joining the BWPA directly helps to support their scholarship programme now and into the future. BWPA Membership is not restricted to UK citizens or residents, although the scholarships will generally be UK based. Applicants may apply for more than one scholarship, provided they satisfy the relevant criteria for each application. The BWPA Scholarship Team wish all applicants the very best of luck.

Ballooning going to York
Now there’s thing. Mass ballooning is heading north. Ear ‘oled for 29th September until 1st Oct is the York Balloon Fiesta. Flying will be from the Knavesmire Racecourse. Lot going for it has York. There is a pub for every day of the year in York along with a few micro-breweries. We flew a couple of times from the grass by the Minster. Probably the Archbishops pad. Really. Then, of course, you have the Railway Museum and the York Museum, the planets’ best museum ever. Did we mention York Station or the Wall Walk, especially the ghostly one? We went to a paintball place once and Ashpole fell out of the emergency exit door onto the street and splatted someone green, if I recall. Then, of course, there is a Betty’s. Smoked salmon and scrambled egg on toast for breakfast accompanied by a grand piano. Our Bazzers’ boy is at York Uni and rowing. Crew sorted. Should be a ball. Loading the car now. if that doesn’t work type in York Balloon Fiesta Facebook and that’ll find it. Further details from Linda

On the hurry up – BBAC AGM last call
Last minute reminder that the British Balloon & Airship Club AGM is to be held at the Flight Centre at Turweston Aerodrome on SATURDAY 11th March 2017, commencing at 13.00 o’clock. The meeting will be held in the new building this year which has only recently opened. The trades stands, Competitions Club AGM and the BBAC AGM will all be on the ground floor. There is a cafe on the first floor overlooking the airfield (accessed by lift and stairs), which sells lunches, cake and drinks, so no need for a packed lunch, thermos and sarnies. The BBAC Competitions Club are looking to organise a flyout (or fly-in), but that is still to be confirmed. Plea from the BBAC Secretary Wendy Rousell not to forget your copy of Aetrostat that has the reports to be discussed. England v Scotland Six Nations Rugby kicks off at 16.00 o’clock so you might have to miss the closing speech!

Wellesbourne Airfield under threat
Wellesbourne Airfield is facing the prospect of closure because the landowners have decided to demolish a large number of buildings and develop the site for housing. The BBAC have held Instructor and Inspector training sessions at On Track Aviation at Wellesbourne and would like to be able to continue holding these sessions. There have also been a number of balloon meets organised at the airfield including the Women’s Meet and a One Man Meet. Additionally, the airfield has always tried to accommodate balloon landings, sometimes on the main runway and has provided facilities for balloon inspections. Wellesbourne is a very friendly airfield and was voted the best light aviation airfield in the UK by the “Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association” last year. It also has the best café for miles and miles. Please sign their petition at

More on CAA radio requirements and dosh!!!
From the CAA comes the latest communication on how the changes are progressing and how to get a sub for your new radio. They say that the concerns raised by the revised LA301375 Approval (Third Edition) have now been mitigated in so far as UK ballooning operations (Class D airspace and Public Transport) using hand-held 8.33 kHz portable transceivers is concerned. The LA301375 Approval – Fourth Edition may be found here: They also advise that the form to claim back 20% off your 8.33 radio purchase is currently in final legal review and should by on the CAA website very soon. It will be located on the “8.33 radio” page in the General Aviation section of the CAA website. Please follow the instructions on the website rather than contacting individual CAA staff members. Be aware that in order to qualify to make such a claim, you will need to present your valid aircraft radio licence for a handheld 8.33 radio for airborne use. This costs £15 for a three year validity period. The CAA Radio Licencing Section manages this licence on behalf of OfCom. Please note that this is the equipment licence, not the pilot’s FRTOL.

Devon Meet announced
The Devon but not Tiverton Meet will be held in Lydford, Devon from the 7th until the 9th July. Organised by the BBAC Western Region the meet will only be open to BBAC members and limited to 20 balloons. Onsite camping is available with facilities. First flight will be on the evening of the 7th pm and the last on the morning of the 9th. Hope the wind is going the right way! Details from Chris Hathaway

Possibly Meet of the Year Award
A reminder from Ralph Shaw that the Sagrantino Cup 2017 held in Todi, Italy, runs from the 21-30 July. This will have to go on the to-do list if we get a chance as there are 20 bottles of wine per balloon promised for starters. Following the enormously successful second event held in the Sagrantino wine-valley area last year, and still described as the World’s Number One Ballooning Holiday, balloonists are invited to join, what is probably, the most “relaxed” event in the International Ballooning Calendar and enjoy all the very best that ltaly has to offer! All our customers that have visited have loved every minute. The list of reasons to go are pretty impressive. Deep breath…Friendly pilot / landowner relations, free gas, pilot pack & pilot check-in buffet, convenient trailer parking with 24 hour surveillance, over the past 29 years we have averaged 95% of slots flown, on-site balloon envelope repair facility, convenient local international airport (Perugia) operating regular Ryanair flights allowing team members to come and go, free pre-flight continental breakfast plus official evening buffet for all team members, much improved launch-site facilities and quick hassle-free refueling, rich social programme, 20 bottles of wine, polo shirts and caps for all teams, accommodation available to meet everyone’s needs including excellent camp-site nearby. Balloon flights every morning allowing teams to enjoy their day to the full exploring the beautiful Umbria Region which is apparently the ‘Green heart of Italy’. You can fly for fun or take part in the various competitions as you please. Do you what all that is for free as in nothing. Can’t say fairer than that. Full details and entry forms from the impressive website at and its in English!

Bedale a GO-GO
Confirmation is in that Bedale is on again this this year and will run over the weekend of 23rd to 25th June. Although this is an invitation meet spectators are welcome and can make use of the camping facilities for £10 but are requested to stay outside of the fenced off launchsite areas. Further details are available from

Happy Times
Always nice to see the younger folk enjoying a flight but especially so when it is the family of a Commercial Rides pilot. Now I often quip about runner beans and Christmas and for a lot of the Ride’s pilots time off is always looked forward to but there are some that do still actively enjoy fun flying. Russell Collins, better known as pink Russell, sent us this cracking picture of a family flight taken well out off season. He described it as a beautiful family flight, seeings as it was youngest Mylo’s first flight at age four and he loved it. Along with Harrison, now seven, and his missus Emi, they sallied forth on the 4th February in G-PMSL from Shipston-on-Stour after lunch and wobbled along for an hour and twenty, gently plopping down near the Chesterton Windmill near Harbury.

Cracking Croatia Meet Announced
An invite to go ballooning from Tom Miklousic & the Balloon Club Zagreb staff in Croatia is in. The Croatia Hot Air Balloon Rally is back! This year, their fun and relaxing ballooning event will run from 28th of April until the 1st of May 2017 in the Zagorje County, just minutes away from the capital Zagreb. The views are stunning, people are friendly, and they promise to do their best to give you a great event. Secure free camping for everyone and accommodation discounts for all looking for a bit more comfort. There is a generous social program, prizes and many more things prepared for this year, and flying can be organised in other parts of Croatia if you would like to stay after the Rally finishes. Application forms need to be in asap as the spaces are limited. For details check out their website at telephone Igor Miklousic 00385989048991 or Email: