Spent some time on Saturday with Darren from TroubleChute Rigging learning how to make repairs to parachute/balloon material. Basically, it involves using an industrial strength sewing machine, strong materials, lots of measuring/marking/cutting and some funky ways of folding bits of material around other bits. The end result is a strong patch that covers the area where rips/burns/etc were made in the fabric.
To say that my first one was a dog’s breakfast is being kinda nasty to dog food. The second one, though, was pretty good and, although not up to Darren’s high standards, would have passed inspection if done as a real balloon repair. It’s a good start but there’s still so much more to learn.
This is all part of my studies towards my Maintenance Authority for balloons, an official certification from CASA that will allow me to make, and sign-off on, repairs to balloons. More on that in another posting.