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Balloon Flying Service of Oregon     |     PO Box 3305  Salem OR 97302     |     (503) 363-9799
April 8, 2012 (v)
Passengers: Vance and Kendal Taylor & Josh Neal, Heather Hear

Another great spring weekend and we will get 2 days flying in, back to back. Today is “special” all around, a Birthday present (a bit late) for Kendal’s 5th and a betrothal for Heather (a surprise to her). I call for the south launch site as the forecast is for light winds out of the SE. The “gang” gets to work on the balloon as the passengers look on. We get the balloon pumped up and it is time to have the passengers get on board. After the usual safety briefing we are off the lot and heading off to the south down Commercial street, not a direction that I wanted. The pilot balloon (a helium test balloon) that I sent up earlier showed a push back to the NW at about a thousand feet so I climb up looking for it. When we get to Kubler I get the hook back to the northwest and will hold this track for the first section of the hour. We head toward the south Salem ridge and a direction that I prefer. The track is holding to the west northwest putting us over the top of the ridge and heading toward the Eola Bend river area. I call for the “gang” to go ahead and move to West Salem so they have to get downtown and make the cross at the bridges. It is time for Josh to spring his “surprise and ask Heather for her “hand in marriage” and she is surprised, but says YES. I really don’t want to cross the river so I take a chance that at lower altitude there will be some “drainage” from west to east close to the surface. When I get down there I’m right and we do a 180* turn around and we are backtracking to where we started from. We cross over River Bend’s gravel operation and toward IIlahe Country Club, a “friendly” spot to land. We miss the golf course and pass over some VERY WET “friendly” grass seed fields so we will keep on looking for our LZ. We cross back over the south ridge which is just too rough to build on but on the top of the ridge we cross over Kubler Mountain and wake up a lot of folks. We slip into the Croisan Valley which has NO place to land so once we get out of the valley we should have a school or a park that should work. I miss the school and the park so I tell the “gang” to stay close as I’m looking at a “street” landing soon. Once I cross Skyline Road there is a little valley with a small housing area with all the power underground and will work fine. The “gang” gets set as I slip in behind the tree line, then drop the rope and we fly down the rope for the catch and hold. We are down on the street, “safe and sound with dozens of “lookie loos” to greet us. We get deflated, then the pack up and have the passengers do the“sit” . We load up and head back for the picnic.

I get the story started, the toast is done and I present the “gift” that will be worth hundreds of Millions of dollars (in about 200 years) to our guests. A fun day with some really enjoyable folks, Thanks for flying with us today!

PASSENGER COMMENTS:
Josh: “Awesome morning! Thanks to all that helped with an amazing part of my life. I could not have asked for a better experience.”
Heather: “Thank you for everything! Best proposal EVER!! You guys were awesome.
Vance: “Crazy, awesome landing just had a blast! Thank you!”
Kendal: “Thank you, Captain.”

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

TRACK
A close up look at the “turn around TRACK-B Average Speed: 5.0 MPH
Distance Flown: 8.1 Miles

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