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Balloon Flying Service of Oregon     |     PO Box 3305  Salem OR 97302     |     (503) 363-9799
February 20, 2011 (v)
Passengers: Letitia (Tish) Mack and Zane Goodwin

We have a wind forecast below 10 out of the south on Saturday morning sounding. It is revised down for the afternoon so I call the passengers and tell them is a go for Sunday. This is the first flight of 2011 and what a fun couple to share it with. I call for us to meet at 7AM at our “picnic”place, when it’s this cold 32* at launch we have to move indoors. Our good friends at the Half Penny Restaurant have offered a table for us to party after the flight. There parking lot is a bit small so I move us down the road to the south and use the Rite Aid lot. We have landed here a couple of times so we are cleared with using it and since the store doesn’t open till 9 AM the lot is empty. The surface winds are calm so we get the gear unloaded, assembled and ready to launch. We get it all put together before 8AM and I hit the heat (feels real good) and we are in the air. We leave the “lookie-loos” and the gang on the ground as we drift slowly to the north. This lower wind is due north so we drift down Commercial Street past the new (soon to open) Trader Jo’s, then Walgreen’s, the Phoenix Inn. Then as I get a bit higher we start to hook more to the east and get a look at a beautiful sunrise. With the hook east we are headed over the Fairview area, a mixed use area of commercial, residential, schools and a park or two. We slip over the hill and toward the airport, so I call the tower for a “touch & go” on runway 13 just for the fun of it. The call is returned and there is no traffic so I get the go ahead and take my shot. I miss a bit as the lower winds are still holding to true north. It was fun and I rarely even get close to the airport let alone a runway. We cross Mission Street and it’s home to “auto row” with several dealers there. We are headed toward NE Salem and will cross close to the “Big House” then on to the State Fairground complex. The area is surrounded by grass parking lots that is goose heaven this time of year and we spook up a bunch. The weather is still holding as drift more north toward Keizer and I start looking for our LZ (landing zone) for today. The “gang” is right with us as we cross over the new Kroc Center where there are open lots all too far to the west for us to get into today. It is over the Parkway and I have the gang move to a large middle school with multi-soccer complex. As I drop lower that hook to the east grabs us and we miss the first selection so it is on to a hay field next door that we use a lot. I set the shot up as the gang has to move (rapidly) into the field as we meet at the same time. We have to move a bit and proceed to get the balloon down, deflated, packed and the “bag sit” done. We load the gear, and head back south for the party.
I get the story started, the toast is done and the certificates are presented.

Tish: “Wonderful flight on a beautiful. An experience I won’t forget”.
Zane: “Amazing!!”

A BIG thank you to today’s Crew (I can’t get in the air or back on the ground without’um)
Cecil Tim, Al T. & Edgar (new member “red hat”)

Average Speed: 7.0 MPH
Distance Flown: 8.8 Miles

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