Posts Tagged ‘ballon’
A month or so ago, Ian Welsford became part of Phil’s Balloons, and brought with him G-SNOW. A new purchase of the 1989 V-77. On Tuesday 19th June we took it to the skies for the first time. As this is Ian’s balloon, and Ian is learning to fly – he did the entire flight.
Unfortunately the wind had changed direction to the originally forecast, and was now going towards the River Severn. As the winds were so light though, we still decided to fly, and did a nice 20 minute flight to the golf course at the top of Ashton Court. Ian is only at the start of his training, but he soon got control of the balloon and nicely skimmed some trees and took us to the golf course. Flying low over some of the fairway’s, we landed at the last moment before the trees!
We then had to drag the balloon back across the golf course to avoid driving over the fairways. This proved like too much hard work for me, although I did give it a good try, I decided my skills were better suited inside the basket and Ian did the hard work of pulling the balloon across the golf course! I did, however, redeem myself and sausage the balloon up and help pack away! We are all looking forward to many flights in G-SNOW and lots of training hours for Ian as well.
Phil’s Balloons was delighted to bring the BWS balloon along to tether at the side of the road for when the Olympic Torch came though the Flax Bourton area of Bristol. We were on site for 5:30am to make sure we got the prime spot for all the media. We were there along with 3 other balloons and we had a fantastic view as the torch came past.
Crowds started to gather amd lots of police on motorbikes rolled through. Then a whole convoy of sponsor’s vehicles with nice loud music and lots of people on the back dancing and shouting! We managed to get on the live BBC News streaming of the torch relay, both local and national BBC and ITV news, along with a mention on BBC Radio 1 and printed local media too.
Well it’s been a while since I’ve posted anything in here! We last flew on the 2nd October 2011 and then the weather decided to go against us and stopped us flying all through the winter! Every week I would check the weather to see if it would be flyable at the weekend, but each week it turned out that it would be unflyable! Finally… 4 months later… there looked like a flyable weekend – hurrah!
We decided that we would go out nice and early as it was due to be snowing later that morning and the wind to be increasing. Also, due to the cold I would bring the fuel tanks into the house overnight so that they could keep warm and we would get good pressure for the flight!
The alarm went off really early and it was really cold, I had that thought of “what am I doing!?!” A couple of snoozes on the alarm later I got up and loaded the fuel tanks into the van and set off to pick up the crew.
We arrived at the launch site in Bath, where we met another balloon team. It was just becoming light but we had plenty of time, so we took our time in getting things ready and remembering what went where seeing as it had been a while since we had all been out! It was about -4 degrees celcius so it also gave us a chance to warm up!
I inflated and took off at 8:05am and drifted slowly back towards Bristol – not ideal but I knew from the weather forecast that the wind higher up would take us more towards the north.
We went up to about 1000ft and we did get a slight change in direction, but not much. The other balloon team decided to land. We flew on and followed the edge of Bristol towards the North and as we got further North I decided to go up much higher and see if there
would be any direction change further up. We went up to a maximum height of 3,700ft and got a change in direction of just over 90 degrees! We were now going directly East! The temperature had now dropped to about -10 degrees celius at the height!
We carried on as we could see there was a common on the edge of the village of Yate, I decended and we suddenly increased in speed to around 18kts! We weren’t going to land on the common at this speed as by the time we got down to the right height we had already flown over the far edge of the common.
We had plenty of fuel so I wasn’t worried, we just carried on at a few hundred feet until we came across a nice big field with a gate at the side of the road. I just brushed the tree as I came in to land and once down, Ian got out and towed me towards the gate.
John, who was following in the van, was only just down the road so we started to pack away and soon warmed up, almost to the point of taking my coat off! Once everything was back in the van it was on to find some breakfast, and a Weatherspoons pub in Kingswood did the trick nicely.
Thank you to both Ian and John for coming out in such cold conditions. I had gread fun and the video turned out really well (you can see this on the video page).