Balloon Repair Station

Welcome 15.01.24

Well now here we are again. Saturday saw the British Balloon & Airship Club Special General meeting, somewhat forced upon them to explain why it appeared that they had not been representing the BBAC membership (and balloonists in general) in supporting a return to the old UK PPL/CPL licensing system, take place in Northampton. The turnout was very impressive both in person and online. It was made very apparent that this was the membership wanted the BBAC to promote. At the end of it I think they understood that but there were some puzzling statements made by some of the Main Committee members. We will now have to see how they respond and if some trust can be recovered. In the mean time we will continue pushing the CAA as hard as we can through our group. Time is of the essence in all this and what has been agreed is another Special General Meeting to take place in Towcester, and again available online, on 11th February 2024. The venue is Greens Norton Community Hall, Towcester Road, Greens Norton Towcester NN12 8BL.

It needs to be noted that on Friday Philip Howarth resigned as the Chairman of the BBAC Main Committee and that Paul Spellward did not attend. Whether he was on the Zoomy meeting channel or not I do not know but it was unfortunate as some questions would certainly have been directed at him. The meeting was chaired very professionally and amicably by Paul Burrows with help from Wendy Rousell and John Tyrell.

Following a very courageous stand by Colin Butter (Chairman of the Flying Committee and Main Committee member) on the situation so far, other prominent members in the fight to get the old licence system, or to try and make the BPL licence fit for purpose, got the chance to have their say.

Ian Chadwick (whose piece is on the site now) gave a most enlightening talk, Cary Crawley and Steve Richards gave their honest opinions from the point of view of the Commercial Ride Operators and both Mark Stelling and Andy Austin in their capacities as Safety Officers spelt out quite clearly the shortfalls in the proposed BPL. Sean Simington and others lent their support to the re-introduction of the old licence including a surprise piece from Don Cameron who I am pleased to say endorsed my view that civil disobedience should be a consideration if the BPL comes into force.

As I have already mentioned Ian’s piece, ‘A Dissenting View’ is up and hopefully, when the carrier pigeon arrives from Chile, we will have Cary’s words. The rest will follow along with Work Strand 1 in the next day or two. Again I must stress that the CAA papers offer proposed questions that they seem think are appropriate. We are hoping to influence them and add alternatives if possible. It is worth noting that the final questions therefore may be different, depends on you and I and the pressure we put o the CAA and the BBAC Main Committee to fulfil their promises of reviewing and publishing their position.

Thanks everso Chris

Categorised in: Ballooning, Easy Balloons