Balloon Repair Station

Manuals and TCDSs

Seedy Guide to TCDS (Type Certification Data Sheet) & Manuals
Updated 15/05/2022 General tidy up of the stuff that is still be sorted following Brexit. Probably not over yet  (o:

This Guide is intended to assist Inspectors (and sometimes the more diligent owner) when it comes to completing the various bits of nonsense required to make a balloon safe. No apologies are made for non-technical-type talk but if you don’t have a bit of lightness here and there then it will bore you senseless. Having said that it is not intended as a light read! As I am not the best at links and interwebbing then it is, by nature, simple. Any problems or improvements please let us know. It will be updated weekly but please check the issue date at the top and remember that details can change overnight so use the links and double-check if you are in any doubt. All the links are summarised at the end. We do try to check and update every few days.

Type Certification Data Sheet
The TCDS is better known as the Type Certification Data Sheet and contains all sorts of useful stuff on all the Part 21 types (production balloons) including the details about approved types, manuals, Maximum Take-Off Mass, Minimum Landing Mass and what can be used with what.

Since the leaving of EASA on 31st December 2020 UK TCDSs are now approved by the CAA. Naturally (never that simple) the CAA refer to those that haven't transitioned as EASA TCDS but they are not necessarily at the same Issue number as an EASA issued TCDS found on the EASA website which isn't where to look anymore.

The TCDS doesn’t change that often! The exception is the Special Shape Balloons categories where individual (or a batch of) aircraft are usually added as built. However they should be checked prior to any reference to the appropriate issue number being made. If an amendment or new issue is made then the manufacturer should be applying for a UK TCDS and it will become a UK.TC.BA.xxxxx reference.

EASA TCDSs are defunct as a reference and the CAA list is king which is at;
You need to scroll down to Part 21 and click on that. Then a list of flying machines appears. Click on balloons (or anything else you fancy). This is a dead simple list of the TCDSs for balloons and their current CAA approved issue/revision number. If that doesn't work search 'CAA TCDS balloons' and you'll get the link. will take you to the CAA page ‘CAP 747: Mandatory Requirements for Airworthiness’ and a link to CAP 747 in all its glory. This page also gives the Issue and Amendment Number which is what is needed.

Another route to CAP 747 but not for the faint-hearted is This puts you straight into CAP 747 where you need to scroll down to pages 27 – 29 (airships are on page 30). These page numbers do change depending on other content. Heavy reading but you do come across the odd B17G and Catalina (not in the balloon bit).

There are basically two manuals required to operate a balloon.

Flight Manual
Amongst other things, it tells you how to make it go up and down, the bits and bobs that you can use with it and how many cylinders of gas you can cram into it. These usually have an Issue or Edition number along with a revision or amendment number. Additionally there are often Supplements that go with them permitting the use of different equipment not covered by the current manual. You do not necessarily need to be using the current manual. The appropriate manual to use can be found in the TCDS.

The easiest The way of finding out which manual is the current one, or which earlier ones you can use is to check the TCDS and visit the manufacturers website on a regular basis or sign up with them to receive updates. Downloads of the various Manuals and Supplements are free from the Manufacturers’ Websites.

Maintenance Manual
This is the manual that, amongst other things, shows you how to mend it after you have draped it over a telegraph pole, replace seals and contains the inspection schedule(s). Quite often there are supplements to go with them. Normally the current version must be used but finer detail can be found in the TCDS.

The best way of finding out which manual is the current one is to visit the manufacturers website on a regular basis or sign up with them to receive updates. Downloads of the various Manuals and Supplements are free from the Manufacturers’ Websites.

Mixed Components
Where a balloon envelope uses a bottom end, or components from another manufacturer, then it must first be established if they are approved for use with the envelope. If they are then copies of the other manufacturers’ appropriate manuals (and/or Supplements) will be required. What you need to have is all the information to operate the balloon and its components safely.

Interweb Links:

Cameron Balloons
As of October 2013 new re-vamped, re-launched site. Dead simple, click on 'Support' and lo and behold its all there listed. Sky Manuals and the last Thunder and Colt ones are under 'Archive'. Service Bulletins are listed under...'Service Bulletins'. Everything is downloadable coming as pdf files.

Head Balloons
Basic tidy site but no Technical Information apart from specifications of their current range (nearly wrote ‘models’ there!). Contact them direct, or their representatives for information. On the left-hand-side of the Main Page is a link to all their International Representatives and below that is Other Links that has some useful QI stuff in it.

Kubicek Balloons
Easy to use site. Little box on the left. Click on Support on the drop down select Documents and then go for what you need on the next dropdown. If you click on Documents then the menu will appear on the next page that opens. You’ll need to download the documents to read them. Rather nicely, if you scroll down the Products you will find they do their own Champagne, neat. The Links under the Ballooning heading is quite comprehensive.

Lindstrand Technologies Limited (LTL) On the top line click on ‘Technical Data’. In the little box that pops up you will find LTL Manuals and the balloon ones are at the bottom. Also here are Service Bulletins & Instructions. Everything is downloadable.

Lindstrand Balloons Limited Support now through Cameron Balloons Ltd.

Schroeder Fire Balloons
The site is mainly in German but there is a British flag you click on and that’ll make things easier. Click on Service and to left will appear Downloads. Click on that and all the paperwork is there to download but most of the stuff is in German. If you click on Tour you can click on bits of their factory and have a look round. Canny.

Sky Balloons
Supported by Cameron Balloons Ltd. The manuals for Sky Balloons can now be found at;
Thankyou Camerons, can’t be easier than that then.

This was our favourite site but now has been made over and has changing pictures instead of bits to click on to keep one entertained. Shame. However it is a doddle to use. Click on Manuals & Technical Support and you have arrived. Scroll down and all is ready to download.

Cameron Balloons
Two TCDSs cover Cameron Balloons.

TCDS Cameron Hot Air Balloons UK.TC.BA.00001 issue 2
TCDS Cameron Special Shapes UK.TC.BA.00002 Issue 4

Flight Manual Issue 10 Amendment 17     28/01/2021
Maintenance Manual Issue 10 Amendment 4   19/10/2017

For FM and MM Supplements see Manufacturer's website

For the current use of Flight Manuals and Maintenance Manuals you need to refer to the appropriate manufacturers’ TCDS. Look under ‘Operation and Service Instructions’.

Flight Manual
The current Cameron Flight Manual and applicable supplements must be used.

Maintenance Manual
The current Cameron Maintenance Manual must be used along with any applicable supplements.

Please Note; If current manuals are being used on older equipment or balloons you must ensure that all the components are covered by supplements. Do not assume that all Cameron, T&C, Thunder or Colt Balloons are covered by the latest manual. If you are using the latest manual you may need supplements to go with it. For example Supplement 8.12 ‘Out of Production Envelopes’. This covers some Cameron H-type, Colt Bullet, Colt A-type, Thunder A-type, Thunder Bolt, Thunder Z-type. Supplement 8.22 ‘Out of Production Burners’. Amongst others it covers Cameron Mk 3 and 4, Mk 4 Super, some Shadow and Stealth types and the Colt C2 and C3.

Head Balloons
UK TCDS uses the US reference number A29SO.

Flight Manual is Issue 1
Maintenance Manual is Issue 1 rev1 01/02/08

One TCDS covers all Kubicek Balloons, BB-S and Aerotechnik AB, AB2 & AB8.. It takes a bit of getting used to!

Kubicek BB EASA.BA.003 Issue 51  19/07/2021

Kubicek used to have two Flight Manuals and two Maintenance Manuals which related to the serial number of the balloon. Both Flight and Maintenance Manuals are now combined regardless of serial number but the earlier Edition 2 (or Edition 1) can still be used where appropriate. Currently this applies only to BB series balloons. Older versions are no longer on the Kubicek website.

Flight Manual Edition 3 B3102 Issue13
Maintenance Manual Edition 3 B3202 Issue6

Lindstrand Balloons

Lindstrand Balloons are under the control of a Cameron TCDS.

TCDS Cameron Balloons Lindstrand and Skyhot air balloons UK.TC.BA.00003 Iss1

Flight Manual

The Lindstrand Flight Manual will no longer be updated and is now covered by Cameron FM Issue10 Amendment 14 along with Cameron Flight Supplement 8.46 which covers Lindstrand envelopes. As both TCDSs are on the 'current list its all a bit of a mess really.

For balloons registered or constructed prior to 28th September 2003 the appropriate Flight Manual issued may be used with any appropriate supplements that may be required. Bear in mind that equipment may be updated which may not be included in the earlier manual.
For balloons constructed or registered after 28th September 2003 Flight Manual Issue 1.35, or later approved EASA revision, may be used. Again bear in mind that supplements may still be required for older equipment.

Maintenance Manual
Inspection must be carried out using the Cameron Inspection Schedule. This means you must have access to the current CBL Maintenance Manual (and supplements where appropriate).

Cameron-built Lindstrand envelopes will require the appropriate Cameron Manual.

Lindstrand Technologies Limited (LTL)
TCDS LTL Hot Air Balloons  UK.TC.BA.00006 Issue 1   05/08/2021

TCDS LTL Series Special  EASA BA.030  Issue 05   16/05/2019

Flight Manual LTL HAB Issue 8.6 or later
Maintenance Manual LTL HAB Issue 7.2 or later

Schroeder Fire Balloons
Two TCDS covering all Schroeder Fire Balloons.

TCDS Schroeder Fire Balloons G EASA.BA.016 Issue 15     19/07/2021
TCDS Schroeder Fire Balloons S EASA.BA.010 Issue 09      03/08/2018

Flight Manual Edition 2016  Rev 4    08/2018
Maintenance Manual (English version) Issue 1 Amendment 1    Sept 2013

Ultramagic Balloons
Two TCDS covers all Ultramagic Balloons.

TCDS Manned Free Hot Air Balloons EASA.BA.014 Issue 24  23/07/2021
TCDS Special Shapes EASA.BA.517 Issue 11   19/07/2021

Flight Manual Edition 4 Revision 26   10/10/2020 embodiment of Supps 1, 16 &20
Maintenance Manual Edition 04 Revision 18  25/03/2019

The current manuals must be used however the TCDS is not date specific and discussions are ongoing but treat them as ‘current’ for the moment. Ultramagic state that for balloons manufactured prior to 28 September 2003 the original Flight Manual may be used.

Sky Balloons
TCDS All the Sky Balloons are now on UK.TC.UK.00003 Issue 1 19/07/2021 and under the control of Cameron Balloons Ltd.

Flight Manual Issue 1 Amendment 11    10/04/2017
Maintenance Manual Issue 1 Amendment 6  10/2017

Maintenance Manual available on the BBAC Website from 03/05/08, FM to follow but currently from Cameron Balloons on request. Inspection to CBL Schedule

CAA G-INFO – definitive information on all the UK registered aircraft.

BBAC Pilots Circular – published on line or by post via BBAC Membership Secretary. BBAC Technical Office CTO Graham Hallett Access to the site requires membership.
EASA Bi-weeklies – Summary of EASA ADs
EASA Website – could help here
EASA AD list
CAA Website – dreadful complicated site CAA CAP 747 covers all airworthiness issues. Lists TCDS including Sky & Head in 1.4.
CAA CAP 476 covers the older stuff (pre-Sept 2004) can take a bit of time to load (its really old!).

Link to all the EU aviation authorities (State of Design).

Cameron Balloons
Head Balloons or
Kubicek Balloons
Lindstrand Balloons site currently down following closure