This week has proved to be quite busy and today was no exception. After a successful office inspection form the Civil Aviation Authority on Wednesday this morning was time for our annual flight test. Every 13 months to maintain your commercial hot air balloon flying license you have to be tested by a type rated examiner TRE. Tony Hill had driven up from Kent to do to deed. The balloon and passengers was airborne a little before 6.00 am from or base at Wendling. Just above 500 feet we headed south towards Bradenham, however as the balloon continued its ascent we started to turn to the right, at 2,500 feet we were now heading to Swaffham at a steady 10 mph. We made to decision to climb a little higher, at 4,500 feet we were be calmed the GPS showing virtually no movement, up and up the balloon climbs. At 5,600 feet we start to head back to Dereham at 20 mph so after 50 minutes in the air we are now flying back past our launch site. Time to descend over Scarning at 500 feet our direction changes again and we are now heading back to Wendling landing in the village after one hour in the air travelling 15 miles. I must admit I was feeling well pleased with my self. Tony Hill gave me a thumbs up and a cheer from our passengers, what could possibly go wrong now!!!! Our retrieve crew already had permission for us to land and were driving across the old paddocks, then completely ignored the perfectly serviceable gate way and drove into shallow ditch which joined our paddock, within two shakes of a lambs tail the Land Rover & trailer were ‘buried’ I turned to Tony and said’ I don’t believe they have done that!!! One of our balloon crew Pete Matsell looked and replied I will be back in a bit, sure enough Pete returns with a tractor and chain and we are out in no time!
A quick email to thank you and your team for a great balloon ride this morning. I had now idea how the wind flowed at different directions as the balloon changed height. As you talked the whole thing through it was quite an education. Don’t be to hard on your ground crew, the Land Rover stuck in the ditch was amusing and your guys sorted it out very quickly. ( hope you own a pressure washer ) LOL