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Balloon Flying Service of Oregon     |     PO Box 3305  Salem OR 97302     |     (503) 363-9799
June 5, 2010 (v)
Passengers: Brian Kelly & Jennifer Love

Today we have two very “patient” passengers as this couple has been booked several times starting with May 1st. It is a “Private Flight” and we have a great forecast, finally! I select a site in Keizer that has been on hold for a couple of years for the construction of the New City Hall and Park we use for our launch site. The gang and I get to work on the balloon and it will take a bit more time than normal as the gear went through the “annual” (required FAA) inspection last week and it usually comes back in a bit of a mess with lines tangled and takes some sorting out. After a bit of work we get the air into the balloon and get closer to getting it off the ground. The balloon is up and I call for the passengers to get on board. The gang gets the gear picked up as I put in some heat and we are off the park heading out to the south. The winds aloft forecast for this AM were light at 3 MPH and the pi-balloon (small helium test balloon) showed me the same. But the extra time it took to untangle the balloon changed the heat index and I have more upper air breeze than anticipated. As an after thought I think I should have used a launch site further north as I will need the extra 5 miles. I will miss more LZ’s (landing zones) than I will hit today with the speed being between 5/10 MPH up top. We cut across the Keizer area at a good clip as we approach the river. We cross over to the river and West Salem at River Park (LZ-1) then into the rural area west of the river. It is into Wallace Marine Park and the ball fields with a chance to check out an Osprey nest on one of the light poles. The chicks are being kept warm by “momma”. We wiz by the soccer fields (LZ-2) and are again on the river passing over the Willamette Queen in dock. It is past Riverfront Park (LZ-3) and a look at the Carousel and the outdoor theater. Still moving along at a good pace the “gang” is having a fun time keeping up. It is past the Condos. and into South Salem. It is up the slough and past Minto Park which was my last landing spot (LZ-4) that I was considering this morning. Now I’m REALLY looking hard for a place to park. I spot Tim’s daily haunt, South High and I give it a thought (LZ-5) but we are to far to the west. Mother Nature takes some pity on me and hooks us to the west a bit more and this track puts me in line for Sprague High and the football field. It is going to be a tight fit as we are still clipping along at about 12 MPH, way to fast to hit a hundred foot field. I tell the passengers that the plan will be to use a tree top to slow us down, thus getting me the shot for the field. I pick my tree and we get some pine cones in the basket. It works as planned and we are caught by the gang and on the field safe and sound.(LZ-6) We get the balloon deflated and in the bag for the trip back north for the picnic.
I get the story started, the toast is done and the certificates are presented.

PASSENGER COMMENTS:
Brian: “Wonderful ride…The tree landing was awesome!”
Jennifer: “It was well worth the wait, Thank You!”

A BIG thank you to today’s Crew (I can’t get in the air or back on the ground without’um)
Jan, Tim, Cecil, Susan, Todd & son Mitchell

TRACK
Average Speed: 9.0 MPH
Distance Flown: 8.2 Miles

See the video of today’s Flight! NOTE: You will need Adobe Flash 9 to play this video
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