2010-07-04 – Halo on the Clouds – Mildura – VH-BLQ (77)

This was my first flight with Pete Wright (my other instructor) and included a climb to 4,000′ AGL where we found ourselves above a thin layer of stratus, seeing our shadow on the cloud with a rainbow halo around the basket.

I was at Mildura as part of the Australian Ballooning Federation’s “The Lake 2010” event

Here’s my notes from the flight:

  • Intensity has stepped up as Pete’s working me towards a commercial level
  • “Fun” intro is over – it’s time to get serious
  • Pete has a different style to Paul so I’m changing to “step up”
  • Pibal on launch & use of compass to compare goals to wind direction
  • Pete’s “Top to Bottom” flow checklist / walkthrough
  • Building a 3D view of environment & awareness of other balloons
  • Setup & rigging of balloon & way to stand & hold ropes (plus getting them out of the way of pax)
  • Also consideration of instrument positioning WRT pax
  • My first inflation with Pete observing & guiding
    • Short burns
    • Position of flame
    • Wait & see how it reacts – let fan help
    • Watch for fabric stretching out
  • Climb up to get winds
  • “The voice” is still an issue but am pushing it back & focusing on the flight
  • Getting used to working the valve & burners
  • Descent & intermediate landing in a clearing
  • Discussion on the ground about landing & considerations for take off
  • Take off & ascent to about 4,000′ AGL to see what winds were doing above a thin layer of stratus cloud
  • Got to see shadow of balloon on cloud below with a halo around the basket – wow
  • Didn’t find the direction we wanted so came back down, skimmed trees & worked with what we had to get into a dirt patch between what seemed to be sown crops
  • Terminal descent again – 1,000fpm at one point – even more wow!
  • Getting the hang of descending towards that big, hard ground below is going to be “interesting” (& essential :)

Click here to view my log book entry at JetRecord.com

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2 Responses to 2010-07-04 – Halo on the Clouds – Mildura – VH-BLQ (77)

  1. JetAviator7 says:

    I always wanted to fly a balloon, only had a ride in one so far. When I was studying my Jeppesen Private Pilot Manual for my Private Pilot’s license I took a cross country to Phoenix and got to see a mass balloon launch – it was awesome!

  2. Falcon124 says:

    They’re an amazing way to fly and I’m definitely enjoying the challenge of learning how to fly them well :)

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