The Magic of Gas Ballooning – Episode 5

Commitment & Patience – two admirable traits in a person.

We see that demonstrated with Team Poland. Yesterday morning there was a situation with the inflation of their White Eagle gas balloon. The balloon was deflated as I am sure was the emotions of the would be flyers. Willie Eimers promised to check it out on the return from our flight. After a few hours of work the balloon was corrected, inflated at 4.15pm standing ready for its next lift off – now due in 24 hours at 4am the next morning.

Secured firmly to the ground White Eagle buffers in the evening wind while throughout the night the cooler air causes the hydrogen gas to contract, the balloon looking a little soggy.

Team Poland hangs around the Clubhouse pouring over maps on Mateuse computer, marking projected tracks for their planned second attempt to fly closer to their home country – Poland. They move in an accepted energy of patience waiting till the clock hits 3am. The noise in the kitchen downstairs woke me. Both Tanys and I agreed we would get up to wave them off on their aerial journey scheduled for 4am.

We did. White Eagle rose into the night sky at 4.20am, the only evidence the balloon was there was its red strobe light blinking.

Team Poland were rewarded for their commitment to their passion to fly but also to their patience with the situation they found themselves in at Gladbeck. Go Team Poland. They landed after 25 hours and 610 kms in Zadrazany in Bohemia.

Team Australia – Tanys and myself – decide to take a few rest days. Our amazing instructor definitely needs a rest too.