Balloon Repair Station

Welcome 12.09.2020

A very warm and happy welcome to you wherever you are and whatever adventure you are having. Thank you for dropping by. Been nice to see the occasional balloon floating about and all in all we haven’t heard of any incidents. This edition is intended to be a triffic foray into stuff new. We have gone to working three days a week which means the other two days are quietly uninterrupted and we can get even more done! Outside of working, the workshop lottie has just gone bonkers and many a customer has left with runner beans, courgettes, marrows, toms and pretty much whatever is going mad. John is sick of courgettes. Its great. News is also in that we have been getting a lot of outstanding things of interest like me old lathe, the wood turning lathe and heaps of roundtoits all ticked off or are nearly done. Love it. Stewpot, a wizard called Graham and I took full advantage of a longer weekend and safely distanced walked the Malverns last week. We went south to north which probably wasn’t the most sensible route! Just when it couldn’t get better we have also all been given an extra two years of using our National Balloon Licences. In a recent Pilots’ Circular we were described as ‘excited pilots’. Excited! I am ecstatic, so much so that I was moved to have a rethink about retiring from examining and ballooning in general. I read up on all the stuff from EASA, the CAA, the BBAC and asked about to discover that it appears that the BBAC are really hell bent on going down the route of the EASA BPL licence that will probably be called the UK BPL. Whatever, come 2021 we are gone from EASA and so the playing fields are open. The deal struck by the BBAC, had we remained in EASA, was about as good as you were going to get but that is no longer the case so I’m thinking, ‘why are we still going to shadow EASA thinking’. We won’t have a jot of influence over anything they decide once we leave EASA. That’s bonkers and as a result we have set up ‘Love your UK Licence’. Lot more elsewhere.

Stuff that ought to be in this edition then…
Starting to sound like an old LP with a scratch this! Top of the pile is ‘The Ups and Downs of the BPL’ what I think is a very important read albeit (love that phrase) a bit too long for Aerostat and it didn’t have any pictures. Anyway over the Malverns and far away, it is all about my take on the BPL versus the UK PPL/CPL licences and why we ought to have a serious rethink. Please have a read and let your thoughts be known, whether for or against, email addresses at the end. There is precious little point in discussing it formally with the CAA until we are actually out of EASA next year but we ought to get a plan into place and politely let them know along with the BBAC. There are plenty of pilots, both commercial and private, crew and potential pilots who are not in the BBAC and they should all have a say. Rather than try and get the BPL to match the UK licences let us take the opportunity to tidy up the UK licences and really make them the best in the world. Enough of that for the moment. I will get Jane’s dad’s Dunkirk stuff up and a piece from Mr Roake’s quill. The Events Pages have continued to turn from going ahead to Postponed or Cancelled. Bristol Balloon Fiesta managed a sneak flight and virtual Night Glow which by all accounts went extremely well although not quite over Bristol. Fair play to them. I’m sure there will be something else but the sun is shining and all is lovely apart from me dog that has been invited to a dog agility jump off thing and doesn’t do dog agility anymore but you never know, there may be a picture later.

In the Dark Barn
Shock, Horror. The Harley Chopper is on the move next week so a huge clear out and re-arrangement is about to take place. Stuff being sold and hopefully the old Standard will be getting resurrected. All very exciting. We were sorting out the steering gear and refitting it to Dunkirk Little Ship Riis1 which involved a fair bit of rebuilding with braze, turning on Edward’s old lathe which was constantly trying to fall through the end of his shed and trips up to Mersea Island which I have actually become quite fond of. Its about 1973 there. Its all now temporarily installed and the Riis now back on the water after nearly a year and has now ‘taken up’, as they say, after a few leaks! The saga of the new Corsa has been put on hold in favour of putting some new suspension in the light blue Timmy one that has stood on stands for the past two years on the concrete. Trev’s boy took off in it and broke the lots of bits underneath, including the sump, which we repaired and also took out a spring and shocker which we discovered later!! Needed a bulb, handbrake adjusted and windscreen washers and wipers sorting and flew through the MOT. Clutch sounds like a bag of nails on account of it being a dual mass thing but we’ll see how it goes and it did go down and back to The Malverns so all is well there. In fairness recent work and tidying in the Dark Barn has been slow on account of the lottie taking up a lot of time. But the first of the tomatoes are coming to an end and the runner beans slowing. We put in more spinach on account of the last lot bolting off down the field and leaks which are so and so. The Brussels are a bit full of holes on account of taking a twelve bore to the cabbage whites but looking like the Brussels themselves will be ready end of October ready to go on the boil for Christmas. The sweet corn survived the gales we had a few weeks ago and are nearly ready. Courgettes, cucumbers and marrows continue to surprise. Stewpot has a couple hanging in his loft (from the home grown plants) that are destined to produce marrow rum or cured ham (can’t remember what he said). Now I’m looking forward to that in a year or so whatever it is. As for the first potatoes (knicked chatted ones from Budgens), they are magnificent. Godders has gone on a fact finding mission on trees to the Outer Hebrides so our pace round the woods has slowed a little and we get a chance to look at things including the first of the mushrooms. So once again thanks for visiting please read the Licencing stuff and politely respond as you see fit. John, Jane, Chris and Polly. Top piccie is the small flotilla of balloons that was Bristol this year and very well done we say. Secret Squirrel at his best and a smiley face borne aloft. Next up is Stewpot and the hermit in the Malverns then a piccie of the freshly MOT’d BBM&L balloon G-MUSM somewhere north of us and finally no description required.