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Balloon Flying Service of Oregon     |     PO Box 3305  Salem OR 97302     |     (503) 363-9799
November 13, 2011
Passengers: Lucy & Dan Hilburn, Caroline Hilburn, Alison & Mike Olson

Lucy has been worried that the weather would ground us today and it was close, lots of rain last night by we are going to get the “lull” between the storms. I call for the south site and the lot is very wet but we can live with that as the gang gets started on the assembly of the aircraft. We get the cold air pumped in and once standing the passengers get on board. We are off the lot and heading out to the northeast just after 8AM. At about 300 feet we get a hook to the east and this take us over the south ridge and into the Airport industrial area. We proceed on at a good pace (about 6/8 MPH) over Webb Lake and the office buildings around the lake. I call the tower for permission to drop down over the lake for a reflection shot then start the climb back to altitude. The hook to the east carries us over the end of runway ‘13’ as we cross over Mission street and right over the “Bad Boys” house. The track starts to shift more to due north so we are now just on the west side of I-5 passing over Shilo Inn and my favorite “flag pole” that I use almost every time I fly out of the north to get an idea of the surface winds. We slip past Market Street and I have the “gang” move to the Indian school as that will be the LZ for this morning. I drop over a group of fir trees on the south edge of the school and we slow a bit (to about 5 MPH) as I head for the softball area. I set the shot and really “stick” us, then we drag a bit and clip the 4 foot outfield fence before we finally slow enough for the gang to grab the line. They get us back on the right side of the fence and good to as the tree farm was in the process of “harvesting” some trees with a helicopter and we would have been in his way for sure. He fly’s as LOW as I do. We got the balloon packed and loaded and headed back to town for the picnic, again inside today at Cokie’s in downtown Salem.
I get the story started, the toast is done and the certificates are presented.

PASSENGER COMMENTS:
Caroline: “Thank you for the beautiful adventure. A new Christmas tradition is born!”
Alison & Mike: “Thanks Capitan Jim for the great adventure! We might have come in a little hot & overshot, but it sure put us into the Christmas spirit.”
Dan: “I loved the adventure! I will remember that ride forever. The landing reminded me of approaching a dock from the windward side with the spinnaker flying!
Lucy: “Thanks for the flight, the fun and the history too.”

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

TRACK
Average Speed: 8.0 MPH
Distance Flown: 8.5 Miles

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