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Balloon Flying Service of Oregon     |     PO Box 3305  Salem OR 97302     |     (503) 363-9799
April 22, 2011 (v)
Passengers: Mike & Pam Wilson, Reece & Jacob Dobmeier, Leah Bergen

Today is another “Birthday” flight and it is Pam’s day. Mike wanted us to get it in today and when we talked over two weeks ago I explained that the chance of doing it today was about 20%. Just show’s ya, what the heck does the pilot know. Mike may have the “inside track” on weather as he is a Professional Fisherman. The guys you watch on TV’s “Deadliest Catch” that’s what he does for crab season and then he has another boat in Hawaii for the big tuna season. Tough job that Hawaii gig, I bet.
We meet at 6AM out at Finney Lake airport (a private strip) out in the Brooks area as the wind forecast is NNE for this morning. We are still in the “long john’s”season as there is frost on the grass when we start the set-up. I get the passengers checked in as we put the cold air in getting ready for the up. I call for the passengers to climb on board and I think the burner heat was VERY welcome. We are off the field before 7AM and start a slow drift off to the south with a slight push to the east. We have a bit of fog over the water at the Knife River gravel pit and I drop low to maybe get our feet wet. I get close but pull out as Leah has a bit of a “panic” look and it may be bit early to have “wet” feet on a day as cold as this one. We continue off to the south covering some of the nurseries in the area and the various farm crops that are waiting for some sun to wake them up. We start to work toward Keizer but I looks like we will cross I-5 then we cut back to the west. This brings us past the Volcanoes ball park and lines me up to my proposed landing zone for today, the Keizer Little League fields. I drop down for the set up as we pass the new Keizer water tower and start to drift off the fields to the east. I wind up in the trees next to the fields so I add a bit of heat and we proceed more to the southeast. The next good LZ is the Oregon State Fairgrounds and I have the gang move that way as we work our way over the industrial area on the way. We get to the fairgrounds and clear the towers on our way and we are on the grounds, thanks to the gang. We are close to the ski lift but the gang gives us a tow and we drop the balloon on the pavement. We get the balloon deflated and ready to bag with the help of the passengers to get the “air” out the old fashioned way. We get the gear loaded up and head back to Brooks for the picnic.
I get the story started, the toast is done and the certificates are presented.

PASSENGER COMMENTS:
Mike & Pam: “Something checked off the bucket list a beautiful morning & Birthday, day. Thanks so much!!”
Leah: “What a wonderful time & so beautiful too. Thank you!”
Reece: “Better than going to school.”

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

TRACK
Average Speed: 7.0 MPH
Distance Flown: 9.1 Miles

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