Balloon Repair Station

News 04.04.17

EASA bollix bi-weeklies
As some of you have already discovered the EASA bi-weekly site is now apparently only going to open during working hours. This is a brilliant idea that is going to upset a lot of users especially Airbus who have an Airworthiness Directive (AD) issued every ten minutes! Whether this is temporary or permanent we have no idea but I am certain others will be challenging the decision if one has been taken.

Graham Hallett has already sent out a notice to all Inspectors which covers the subject pretty fully but, just so you know, we agree. For inspectors, if you have an inspection coming up at the weekend then please check the Bi-weekly number during the day on the Friday and use that. We subscribe to all the services offered, including the manufacturers, so if something unexpectantly pops up over the weekend then we will let you know or just mail us on the address. Bi-weekly numbers change on Tuesdays so it actually shouldn’t be too much of a problem. We make reference to ADs and SBs in our pages bit, which are checked daily, and will consider putting the current Bi-weekly reference number there as well.

We have tried to get a response from EASA but clearly there isn’t anyone behind the non-existent door. If you do go to the EASA AD bit of their website over the weekend or in the evening then you will told it is closed! The EASA ‘Safety Publications Tool’ is, for the moment, only available during office hours 09:00-18:00 Central European Time which, now the clocks have changed is 08:00-17:00 here.

Come to think of it, I don’t recall seeing a Consultation on the matter. So much for EASA’s concern for their ‘shareholders’ eh!

Lindstrand Jetstream Burner: Service Bulletin SB23, Revision 2.
We published this as News Update 15.03.16. so just in case you didn’t see it here it is again.
Following on from the issue of Cameron Service Bulletin SB23, and the results of the report on wear to the affected parts, EASA have deemed it a textbook “potential for an unsafe condition” and an EASA Airworthiness Directive is likely to follow. Cameron SB23 Revision 2 is split into two parts both of which remain ‘Highly Recommended’. The first part recommends stripping the assemblies at the annual/100hr inspection and the second part remains as the recommendation to fit the stem mod kits. Its rumoured that EASA may make the first part of the Bulletin ‘Mandatory’, which would mean that an Airworthiness Directive would be issued so you would have to strip down and inspect the affected assemblies every year should you choose not to fit the replacement stems. The fitting of the Mod would remain ‘Highly Recommended’. It doesn’t take much to realise that it would be prudent to replace the valve stem assemblies, unless you wish to have them stripped down every year as part of the Annual/100hr inspection, should EASA decide to make it ‘Mandatory’. Lindstrand ‘squeeze action’ main valve assemblies are not affected however all toggle-type ‘whisper’ valves are. As a result of the decision Cameron Balloons advise all owners of Jetstream Burners to have the modification done at their earliest opportunity as the demand on spares may mean a lead time of up to four months to fulfil orders. Please be aware that both parts of the Service Bulletin are, and will remain, ‘Highly Recommended’ until further notice. This means that currently replacement is not mandatory. We will update this along with the Airworthiness and Service Bulletin page if it changes.

Cameron Balloons have issued the following statement:

In January 2016 Cameron Balloons released Service Bulletin 23 to address a design deficiency in the Lindstrand Jetstream burner. This bulletin called for an inspection to see if a potential wear issue that could lead to an uncontained leak of liquid propane was a occurring in service. A modification kit was also made available at that time which rectified the original design defect. The inspection results from the initial issue of the bulletin indicate that wear of the Seat Carrier does occur in service; the amount is not well correlated with flight hours and wear could lead to an “unsafe condition”. For this reason we have up-issued SB23 to Revision 2.

Revision 2 contains two parts.
Part 1, which EASA are expected to make Mandatory, calls for inspection of the seat carriers for wear at every 100 hour / annual inspection unless fail-safe valve stems have been fitted.

Part 2, categorised as “Highly Recommended”, proposes fitting of the fail-safe valve stems (mod C650). The purpose of the 2-part approach is to avoid grounding balloons using Jetstream burners should insufficient stocks of the C650 modification kits be available.

Modification kits can be purchased from Cameron Balloons. Note that the modification kits do not include replacement seat carriers, which should be ordered separately if required. Modification kit part numbers, prices and a valve type identification are available on the Cameron Website or by contacting Cameron Balloons. Cameron Balloons apologise for any inconvenience that this may cause, but this action is necessary to ensure the long-term safety of the Jetstream burner.

Full details are on their website under ‘Support’ please Further details tel 0117 963 7216 and ask for Nick, Craig, Simon, Lindsay or Andy or email

Top Tip – Working on the Lindstrand Hopper burner
Wondered how to work on the valves of a Jetstream II hopper burner. Geoff Lescott sent us some pictures of his solution to holding the Cloudhopper burner whilst he got the valve bonnets off. He explained, “Just doing the SB23 rev 2 updates on my Jetstream II burner fitted to my LBL Cloudhopper III. Picked up the kits from CBL (nice day out on the train in sunshine last Tuesday) and then Andy frightened me silly by telling tales of some valve bonnets being glued in and having to use a long bar to get them unstuck. Anyhow, I hit on the (to me, anyway) brilliant idea of fitting the burner upside down on the seat unit with a full cylinder for stability, giving me a nice work platform, which is much better than chasing the gimbals round with nothing much to hang on to the demounted burner. Bit of plastic tape round the bonnet and a good heave and both came free nicely. Some sort of white PTFE paste used, I think. Absolutely sod-all wear on the seat carriers – not even truth marks. Replaced the bits and reassembled it all, the bonus being that it holds it steady while you engrave the sordid details on the block for posterity and for leak testing. Don’t recommend doing a live burner test in this configuration though…..”

We would just like to add that there have been cases of the bonnets being very tight as a result of a Loctite product being used. Geoff mentions wrapping tape around the bonnet. Wise words. A couple of wraps of insulating tape will protect the bonnet as will using a correct sized good quality spanner. Heaving on a long bar extension is not the way to undo it. If extreme resistance is felt then the simplest way to loosen it is by putting pressure on the ring spanner as if you are undoing it and give it a sharp tap with a hammer.


A sharp tap is just that, not slogging the seven bells out of it. If you do use this method please ensure that you minimise any twisting moment onto the supports or frame. Its therefore probably a good idea to get someone else to assist and get them to use the phrase, ‘When I nod my head you hit it’. If there is sealant in the threads then it needs to be cleaned out before re-assembly and fit a new copper washer. You will need the work signed off by an inspector if you are not one yourself and don’t forget the Form1 when you order the parts.

Airmap updates
Although it has to be said that flying on older airmaps does mean that there is more airspace available it is mandatory to carry some sort of current airmap. Once upgraded they generally remain’current’ for about a year. A couple have just been upgraded which is handy with the season upon us. With 1:500,000 series Southern England and Wales went to Edition 43 on 2nd Martch 2017 with the next issue expected around 29th March 2018. Northern England and Northern Ireland went to Edition 40 on 30th March 2017. Scotland is still on Edition 31 but will be re-issued on 9th November 2017. For all the latest mappy news check out the NATS website page at

Red Arrows Practise Day – Flying Restrictions Linton-on-Ouse
Fancy going to see the Red Arrows carry out their Out of Season Rehearsal? A NOTAM has been issued covering the Red Arrows Display Practise at RAF Linton-on-Ouse, Yorkshire, on 25th April 2017. Airspace is closed to all aviation not under the control of RAF Linton-on-Ouse’s Air Traffic Control in a circle with a radius of six nautical miles, below 8100ft amsl centred on RAF Linton-on-Ouse between 1000 and 1400 hours. This includes any small balloon, any kite weighing not more than two kg, any small unmanned aircraft and any parachute including a paracending parachute. Details are in AIC M008/2017 NATS website is at

Skippy? – No Flipper, it’s a Wallaby
Following on from our discovery that there was a wallaby about, Dave Boxall sent us an official picture of the little darling. Does look quite sweet actually but has it got a tail we ask? Nice to see a full on special shape, there haven’t been that many in the past couple of years. It is indeed a Wallaby-42 and I thought I had some more info on it somewhere but it seems to have wandered off into recent history, anyway I seem to think it went to france. Now either it was inflated on the side of a valley or it was windy and the picture rotated to get it upright, whatever, showed it to Polly who wants to chase it as she reckons it looked a bit like a giant squirrel. Well the eyes maybe and its grey.

Military Civil Aviation Safety Days (MCASDS) announced
You’ll need to be quick to join these very interesting and worthwhile events. Registrations are now open for two confirmed MCASDs. The days are supported by military aviation authorities and the CAA and provide the opportunity for General Aviation Pilots to visit military air bases and receive briefings on the flying activities undertaken there, as well as other topical safety matters, and meet military aviators to exchange views and promote better understanding of both communities. There is invariably the much-prized opportunity to fly into the host air station with the added bonus ofa landing fee waiver. In addition to the flight safety briefings host stations normally arrange for a tour or display of one or more station activities or historic connections of interest. Lunch and Refreshments are provided for a modest charge. The two dates are Saturday 22nd April 2017 at RAF Linton-on-Ouse. In addition to the presentations and information exchange described above the day will also feature a static display of aircraft based at RAF Linton-on-Ouse and nearby RAF Leeming. There will also be a chance to visit the The Memorial Room which was created to honour all those who served at Linton-on-Ouse and its satellite airfields in peace and war since 1937. It commemorates all those who have died whilst serving at these airfields and especially the more than 2000 air and ground-crew of the Allied air forces who died during the Second World War and contains hundreds of exhibits, photographs and first-hand accounts from that period. Registration forms for this MCASD are now available from the The list will be closed on Friday 7th April.

The second is at RAF Shawbury on Saturday 6th May 2017. Registrations for this MCASD have now opened. The day will include a presentation by the Defence Helicopter Flying School (DHFS), RAF Valley, a tour of the ATC Tower, a hangar visit to see the DHFS aircraft and a visit to the new Military Flying Training System accommodation under construction at the base.

Operation of a Small Unmanned Aircraft Form updated
For the attention of all you hoverers out there, the application for Operation of a Small Unmanned Aircraft (SUA) in UK Airspace, SRG1320, has now been revised to Issue 7. From 1 May 2017, Issue 6 of this form will no longer be accepted by the CAA and any application received after this date using Issue 6 will be rejected and sent back to the applicant. Naughty people. (o:

CAP 1434 – UK Flight Information Services
Hot off the press is a reminder that CAP 1434 which was published last year and endearingly entitled ‘UK Flight Information Services: Guidance from the CAA’ is there to help all aviators. The leaflet provides guidance to pilots on the types of air traffic services that are available to all flights operating within Class G airspace and, where notified, to VFR flights operating in Class E airspace. CAP 1434 leaflet supplements CAP 774 ‘UK Flight Information Services’.

New Cameron Dealer for Eastern Europe and the Czech Republic
Hot off their website is the news that Michael Suchý, a name very well known in ballooning circles. He has been around ballooning for ages and is a qualified a balloon examiner, instructor and keen competition pilot having won the Czech National Champion an impressive six times. Michael explained, “Ballooning has been as huge part of my life for the past 35 years. Now, I can also proudly say there are less countries in the world where I have not flown in a balloon than those where I actually have! For me, ballooning is not just work, it is one of my main missions in life. I am also happy to say I have been crowned 6-times national balloon champion and all that time I’ve been a member of the Czech National Team competing at international standard and lastly, until 2015, I worked as sales manager at the Czech balloon manufacturer.” Michael’s new role will officially be as Cameron’s Czech Republic / Eastern European Cameron Balloons’ Representative. To contact Michael through his company Skydea s.r.o. Prague, Czech Republic email or visit his website at

North West Region sorts new Hawarden Radio Mandatory Zone
After much hard work and negotiations by Steve Donkin with much help from Kevin Meehan, the NWBAC (North West Region Balloon & Airship Club) has agreed a Notification Procedure with the airfield for non radio equipped balloons to operate within, and enter, the Hawarden Radio Mandatory Zone (RMZ). The airspace was approved as an Airspace Change and became effective on 30th March 2017. The agreed procedure requires the pilot to inform Hawarden by phone, SMS or e-mail before entering or operating within the RMZ. Non radio aircraft should contact Hawarden ATC by telephone (01244 522012), email ( or by text message to 07786 208 291 prior to commencing any planned flights that will enter or cross the RMZ. The aircraft registration, type, estimates and points of entry/exit, planned altitudes and duration/activity in the RMZ needs to be passed to Hawarden ATC. On receipt of this information an acknowledgement will be issued. This gives you authority to enter the RMZ. If operating from a site within the RMZ.Conduct flight in accordance with valid Letter of Agreement with Hawarden ATC. Any feedback or clarification on this procedure please contact Steve Donkin The procedure for balloons equipped with radios is described in the Hawarden RMZ General Aviation guide. Hawarden is located to the west of Chester and the main activity is manufacturing the Airbus wings. For more details please see

BBAC Landowner Relation Seminar dates
Need to be quick to get onto one of these LRO Days. The Seminars are limited to 40 people per date and have been arranged at local level. It is always good to see a good mix of pilots, pilots under training and crew at these events so all are more than welcome. For more information contact the organisers direct please. On 9 April the Western Region BBAC have arranged one to be held in Keynsham. Contact Phil McCheyne and on 23 April the Eastern Region are hosting one at Needham Market. Contact Jo Scott

New Beginnings Meet begins again
Stephanie Bareford’s Fantastic New Beginnings Meet 2017 has been confirmed.
Primarily aimed at Pilots under Training its a combination of helping PUTs get experience towards their license, some fun competition flying for those who would like to try and see what it’s about or just have a practice for the bigger events (like Exclusive ). Above all it is a great opportunity to see what the sport is all about.
It will be held at Wolverley Secondary School, Worcestershire and run from 12-14 May 2017. All welcome, including instructors and examiners. If you would like to attend or want to know more info, please drop Stephanie an email at

Watch out Avian Flu is about
Although Trump, Brexit and the future of Scotland seem to have dominated the news of late Avian Flu is still popping up here and there and where it does some pretty drastic measures are taken to stop its spread. Prevention Zones are established around the infected site and birds destroyed. Wandering into, or landing in, one of these zones would be pretty disastrous. To keep upto date on it Farmers Weekly run an very good interactive map at There are plenty of Government sites that cover the outbreaks and how the spread is being dealt with.,

Looking on the the British Balloon & Airship Club (BBAC) website we couldn’t find anything about it which was a bit odd but apparently they do have a Code of Conduct in respect of Avian Flu although, unfortunately at this point in time, it cannot be accessed. The problem has been reported to the webmaster and hopefully it will be resolved soon?

All change at Exeter Airport – Consultation on Proposed Airspace Changes
Changes to airspace rules around Exeter Airport are being proposed to take account of the airport’s continued growth. Passenger numbers at the airport have increased by 20% in the last five years and total aircraft movements are forecast to grow. The changes would re-design the airspace around Exeter Airport and introduce new rules, maintaining safety for all air users and allowing for more efficient handling of aircraft. This could help achieve more continuous descents and climbs for inbound and outbound commercial aircraft, for example, reducing noise, fuel consumption and emissions. The airport has drawn up its proposals in consultation with a wide range of aviation users to take account of their varied needs, and is now consulting formally on the proposals. The consultation period ends on 9th June 2017. Exeter Airport will consider making changes to its proposals once all responses have been analysed. It will then submit a final scheme for consideration by the Civil Aviation Authority. Exeter Airport wish to engage with all aviation stakeholders that might be affected by this ACP. Constructive feedback will inform the development of the ACP, ensuring that any positive impact is enhanced and negative impact is minimised. The consultation period is 13 weeks incorporating the Easter and May Day Bank Holidays, during which all consultee responses received by Exeter will be recorded prior to consultation that closes on 9th June 2017. For the consultation to be effective, it is essential for consultees to be able to express their relevant viewpoints therefore Exeter Airport Management kindly ask for responses to be submitted in a timely manner. For any clarification or queries, please make it clear that you are requesting further information in the email subject. Email address: . A copy of the consultation document can be downloaded through their website at

New kids on the Block
The home-build boys have been hard at work again. This time Dave Stagg, in deepest Norfolk, spent most of the winter shut in the back bedroom knitting the latest home-built balloon. This is another Brian Mead design, designated as a ‘Mead BM-77’ and carries the registration G-TADS. Very fine it looks to. Nearer to home Barry Newman has built himself a rather delightful hopper in the same style as his old balloon. G-CJSY is Brian Mead designed and was sewn together at Sackville whilst Mr Sackville Tim was away scanning sheep so its designated as a Sackville BM-34. We have had the pleasure of checking it out and discovered that, just to make a bit tricky, the spots are all cut in, not an easy job that but done very neatly. Barry did admit it took a couple of goes before he got the hang of sewing in circles.

German Model Balloon Meet Dates announced
The 32nd Internationales Brigachtaler Modellballontreffen is up and running again form Friday 22nd September until Sunday, 24 September in Brigachtal, Germany. This is the worlds’ largest annual meeting of Model Hot Air Balloons and does attract some remarkable models. There will be two Evening Magic Glows, Competitions and social events for those participating. For full details see the website (in German) at or contact Modellballone Bölling, Richard Bölling, Im Belli 41, 78086 Brigachtal, German or just email

Re: CAP 611 Fire Fighting & First Aid Courses Dates
Just announced are the dates for Bristol Safety Ltd’s Fire & First Aid Courses. The courses are run on a single day starting at 08.45 and finishing in time for tea at 14.00. They are pretty comprehensive and cover all the things you need to know under CAP611, Basic Fire & First Aid Training, requirements. Now don’t think these courses are just for pilots, they are just as useful for crews and pilots under training. Two dates have been confirmed, Tuesday 30th May (08:45 – 14:00) and Friday 15th September (08:45 – 14:00). The courses will be held at The Batch Community Centre, 8a Park Road, Warmley, Bristol. BS30 8EB. In addition, as always, bespoke courses for group bookings of 6 – 12 can also be taken this year with a minimum of 4 weeks notice and facilitated in suitable venues across the UK and throughout Europe. To make an enquiry, or place a booking, please contact Justin Lane for a booking form.
Bristol Safety Ltd., tel +44 (0)7709 460992 or e-mail
Or visit their website at

Newbury Show – well, Royal County of Berkshire Show, actually!
Details are in confirming the dates for what most know as the Newbury Show. This is a truly ‘County’ show with a full programme of events, stalls and stuff for everyone. Best of the year probably. Balloons attend to fun fly in the morning and fly out of the Main Arena in the afternoon slot, all under the dutiful care of James Dobson. Dates for 2017 are the weekend of 16th and 17th September. Over the past few years the weather has teased them with a slot here and there and it’s fair to say they are due a vintage year, hopefully 2017 can be that year. James reported that, ‘As with previous years there will be flying both mornings from the usual car park and both evenings from the main arena. Discussions have already taken place to ensure any overrun of other ring attractions do not impact on the flying as they have in previous years and are continuing with regards ways in which the Show can revitalise and improve balloons’ involvement over all. Of course, four entry tickets per balloon for each day will be provided, but also, we are hopeful of having some (worthwhile) prizes to allow us to run numerous competitions over the weekend, as we used to do. Further though, we would welcome your thoughts on anything that we could add, change or remove from the way the show is run. So please, if you have any comments or thoughts, do let us know via email. Briefing notes will be sent out to all those who can make it at the start of September and as always, happy flying. See you on a launch site soon, Chris & James Dobson.’ For more info contact Chris Dobson at

One for the Rusties – Drive it Day 23rd April 2017
There are plenty of balloonists that fettle away in their sheds and garages throughout the wet and windy weather polishing the rocker boxes of their Morris 1000s or try to get that old Matchless to start but it is all for one thing The Drive-It Day. This event, which every year commemorates the 1000-mile trial that was run at the start of the 20th Century, gives enthusiasts a chance to drive their historic vehicle in celebration. For many it marks the start of a new historic vehicle ‘season’. Typically, events are organised as runs at local club level but destinations can include locations of national significance like Brooklands, the British Motor Museum at Gaydon, the National Motor Museum, Beaulieu, Bicester Heritage and Lakeland Motor Museum, as well as the local Pub! For students of history, the original event was covered by “The Autocar” in 1900. Drive it Day rally plates can be sourced from the FBHVC official supplier, Dragonfly, either via their website or by calling 0800 783 8634.

Catch Up Corner

Pregnant Peg (The Flying Log) Geocache
Seems even more information is out there on the ‘other’ Liberator named Pregnant Peg. We have been told that there is in fact a Geocache (GC5HXME) on the site of the crash of B-24H 42-50328/D Pregnant Peg (The Flying Log) which crashed on take-off following engine failure. “The Flying Log” of 506 BS, 44BG crashed alongside the road at Birds Corner, at 1155 hours on 8 August 1944. Aborting the mission, Lt Jacobs attempted to get back to Shipdham but turned into the ‘dead’ engine and spun in. All 10 crew members were killed. The load was 46 x 100-lb frag bombs and about half of these exploded in the crash and fire. The pull in where this cache is placed was created by the crash and resulting explosion.

Dunkirk Little Ships Dates
For a few years now I have been privileged to take Jane’s dad on the Dunkirk Little Ships Veteran’s Cruise. This grand day out Grommit, run over two days, centres around the Thames Motor Yacht Club at Hampden Court and is held on 2-3 September. The first day sees the Little Ships head downstream to Teddington Lock with veterans from more recent conflicts and war widows. The Sunday sees the few remaining Dunkirk Veterans, Normandy veterans and Convoy veterans getting a trip up river aboard the Little Ships, often escorted by the Torpedo Boat MTB102, up to Weybridge Mariners Club where they get a slap up dinner (usually Shepherds Pie and peas). The route is well lined with spectators but the best viewpoints are the locks at Molesey (about 10.00) and Sunbury (11.30), which always has great period music playing. Other dates include the Thames Traditional Boat Festival 14-16 July at Henley and the Commemorative Cruise to Chatham on 26-29 May.

On a slightly different note, following on from our earlier reported, rather unknown, meeting with film director Christopher Nolan, ‘Dunkirk’ the Movie is due for release on July 21, 2017. The film stars a number of the Association’s Little Ships including Hilfranor, Nyula, Elvin, Papillon, MTB102, Caronia, Mary Jane, Endeavour, New Britannic, Mimosa and our favourite, RIIS I.

Research – Yes we do!!!
When we put together the article on Thermals we had some idea that Mike Moore who was at Cardiff Castle when the excitement with White label occurred had actually taken some piccies of the event so I dropped him a line to see if he had actually taken any pictures and if he still had them in his Happy snappy album. Sadly, or rather luckily he didn’t but did send a note on his take on the order of events which made us chuckle.

Hello Chris,
I remember the incident very well but unfortunately I didn’t take any pictures. For a few moments you looked in serious trouble and I obviously didn’t want to spoil my enjoyment by fiddling about with a camera. The scene progressed as follows:
1 Group of bored balloonists doing crossword at around 11 am on a September morning, everyone having “done something’
2 Sound of burner and a general awareness that “Dunkley is doing a quick hop in a cloud hopper”. Dunkley disappears down behind trees.
3 More crossword. Period of silence and more crossword.
4 More crossword.
5 Blimey! Dunkley is still airborne and he’s coming back. Fast!
6 No more crossword. Everyone observes spectacle of Dunkley now stopping suddenly and reversing back to original track. Fast.
7 Wallop! Dunkley’s burner is firing outside the envelope because the balloon is laying over sideways.
8 Ah…not yet the end of the season then! I decide to drive to the sound of firing. Mysteriously I am soon following an ambulance going my way, which as far as I know, nobody summoned. Probably they were at the show doing the crossword.
9 Neither me nor the ambulance find any scene of carnage and so we go back to the show.
10 You turn up eventually with your description of landing in a family get-together in a back garden.
Ballooning has given me a rich collection of memories but I haven’t pulled that one out for a while. Best wishes, Mike.