The Magic of Gas Ballooning – Episode 3

There is an air of excitement around the Clubhouse today. A movie crew are due to arrive from the United Kingdom to learn about the rudiments of gas ballooning. One of the stars had appeared in the movie Star Trek and would feature in this upcoming movie about the Early Aeronauts (or some such title – all supposed to be secret at this stage).

Benni Eimers and crew are inflating the gas balloon as the movie people drive into the field.

The Polish team are also getting their balloon ready for a planned 16 hour non-stop flight – hopefully taking them close to Poland thereby reducing their 12 hour drive back home.

Tanys and I set up our assigned gas balloon. The first step is to fill the individual sand bags – all 24 of them. I can’t recall ever playing in a sand pit but I am today. When I flew my last gas balloon flight there was a crew of 12 who filled the sand bags.

Willie reinforces the importance of our sand bags. Sand is gold in gas ballooning. Sand is the fuel and as long as a pilot has bags of sand on board he or she can keep flying. Sand is used to cause the balloon to climb or to arrest a fast descent. Throw 3 small spades of sand out, count 15 seconds then the balloon is on its way UP once more.

The activity at the launch site has resulted in the magic of gas balloon launches. We are off once more for a 6pm launch with a projected landing at sunset.

What will this flight bring?