Fog, Balloons and some Lilydale Airport Action

Fog + sun = spooky :)

Fog + sun = spooky :)

The other morning I was crewing hot air balloons out in the Yarra Valley. It was very foggy so the drive out was “interesting” and we spent a couple of hours waiting for it to lift. While it was very thick horizontally, it was only about 150′ high so Ronnie (the pilot) thought it would burn off after sunrise.

We gave the passengers their breakfast while we waited (usually they eat after the flight) and it paid off as by 8am the fog was breaking up and sinking further into the valley. By 8:30 it was sufficiently dispersed to make for a great flight so we piled the passengers into the vehicles and went to the launch site. Today was very close – actually just across the road from the winery restaurant in a clear patch near some vines. Throw in a bunch of kangaroos coming over to investigate and the passengers were ecstatic.


Balloons always look good

Balloons always look good

As usual we were too busy getting the balloon inflated & launched then packing up and starting the chase for me to get any pictures, which was a shame as there were some spots I would have loved to have been able to pull over and take a few. We stopped in Yarra Glen to get a drink and I managed to get a couple of shots there.

The rest of the flight went well and we retrieved them from a dairy farm’s field. Fortunately no cows had been in the field for a while so there wasn’t much need to “mind where you step” :)


On the way home after cleaning, refueling and packing up, I noticed a small aircraft with an interesting colour scheme doing circuits at Lilydale airport (YLIL). Given the road I use goes right past the threshold of RWY36, I decided to stop and get some photos. So, do you think it was worth it? :)

VH-CDF - Stinson L5B on very short final

VH-CDF - Stinson L5B on very short final

Tandem jumpers about to land

Tandem jumpers about to land

Jump aircraft about to land

Jump aircraft about to land

I’d seen “Grumpy” once before at the Lilydale Airport Airshow late last year so it was great to get a flying photo (especially one like this :).

While I was waiting for another circuit and photo opportunity, a Piper Warrior taxied out, did a run up and then entered the runway & took off. Not long after I watched a pair of parachutes land (looked like two tandem jumps) and, of course, a few minutes later their jump plane landed. By then “Grumpy” had finished flying and things were quiet, so I got in the car and headed home.

So, is Lilydale airport always this good around 1pm on a beautiful Friday afternoon or did I just pick the right 10 minutes to take a few photos? The sun wasn’t in a perfect spot for some of the photos, but it certainly seemed to be the right place, right time and right incentive to stop and watch a great aircraft – gotta love it!

I’ve uploaded the photos I took while crewing and the photos from Lilydale in my photo gallery.

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3 Responses to Fog, Balloons and some Lilydale Airport Action

  1. Jeffrey Synk says:

    Pictures like yours are what aviation is truly all about. When you strip away all the technology, flying around country airports in tail draggers as the foggy mist is lifting is wonderful.

    I think it is truly one of the things that draws people to aviation and flying.

    I hope you post many more pictures.



  2. Falcon124 says:

    Thanks mate – it was a perfect day to go flying and I was so lucky to be there with my camera. I’ve got a few more photos from recent crewing sessions in the city but haven’t had a chance to load them yet. Check out my Gallery for the stash :)

  3. Pingback: Nice Hangar! :) | Fly Me Friendly

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