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Balloon Flying Service of Oregon     |     PO Box 3305  Salem OR 97302     |     (503) 363-9799
April 9, 2011 (v)
Passengers: Shelly & Craig Dalton

Today is another gift from “Mother Nature” to be certain. We have a birthday boy, well kinda as his true BD is in September so Shelly is really early or awfully late. We met the gang and the passengers at our “winter picnic” place the Half Penny Restaurant. We move to one of our south launch sites the parking lot of the Rite Aid store on Commercial. These folks are “balloon friendly” and the store doesn’t open till long after we are gone. The gang and I get to work on “Starship” while the “Dalton Gang” look on. We get the air in, the heat added and I call for our passengers to climb on board. Just after 7 AM we are off the lot with a gentle drift to the north. The track will be north by east and at about 5 MPH. We cross over the east edge of the city, then across to the industrial area around the airport. There are a couple of old gravel pits out here and they have become some beautiful office complexes. One of the lakes even has some offices that “float” on the water. I called the tower for permission to do a “practice water landing” and they said okay. So I dropped down for the shot and Shelly said she would prefer to keep her feet dry, which “jinxed” the shot. We are rolling up on the hour and getting close to I-5 so it is either land on this side or continue across Lancaster toward Chemeketa College. There’s a couple of parks coming up so I set up for one, the gang is there but we are moving a bit too fast for this small a shot. We cross the freeway and I will have a shot for the school. I drop in for the gang on a lot and get a push to the west and will miss again. I pop back up and spot a friendly spot, The Peoples Church and have the gang move there as there is a lot of open space there. I drop down low to slow up a bit and the gang is in the closest lot. I am on top of the trees and still at about 5 MPH so I have passengers duck down as we brush through some limbs to slow us up for the catch. One of my vent lines gets hung on a limb which works out fine as a great break, but it takes a couple of seconds to get it loose. I pop over the last row of houses and we are over the church’s Family Center. The gang catches the line and we are down, safe and sound. We get the balloon deflated, tied up, bagged and head out for breakfast.
I get the story started, the toast is done and the certificates are presented.

Shelly: “Had a wonderful time even though I didn’t think I could do it! Thanks for skipping the water landing, but I have a new respect for trees!”
Craig: “Jim, thanks for a great flight! Had a blast!”

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

Average Speed: 5.0 MPH
Distance Flown: 7.3 Miles

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