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Balloon Flying Service of Oregon     |     PO Box 3305  Salem OR 97302     |     (503) 363-9799
April 14, 2012
Passengers: Jim & Amy Crawford

Today we only have 2 passengers and I would in-fill with a stand-by couple or some “gang”. Not today as I have no stand-by’s and all my crew is off doing their “thing” and I’m short on “boots on the ground”. I call for the launch site in West Salem (proved to be the wrong one) and the pilot balloon (a helium test balloon) shows me some speed at the lower altitudes but slow above 700 feet. Today we have a “Wedding Gift” fight purchased by a passenger from the past (early 90’s) and Barb wanted to share her fun with Jim & Amy. We get the balloon stretched out and pumped up on the parking lot. Once we are hot and standing I call for the passengers to come on board. We have a beautiful bright sunrise this morning as we lift off the parking lot to the north with the push to the east. We cross over the gravel operation next to the river at a “brisk” pace so I think we will go higher to find a slower breeze. At about 1500 feet I find a nice 4/5 MPH hook to the east and will use that for most of the flight. We continue our northeast drift and on this track we will be out of LZ’s by the end of the hour. The “gang” on the ground has been tracking the surface winds and report that the south push is still there so I will drop altitude and start looking for a spot to park before we get shoved out of town. I miss several shots as the surface speed is holding steady at 9/10 at treetop. After I miss the Indian school I’m out of options in town and we will be in the country and over “no land” land for the rest of the flight. We are coming up on a launch site that may work. It is a country school that has a large play field so the “gang” move into the yard for the catch. It is a ROUGH landing with a scrubby tree being the real “catcher” in the end. We get the balloon deflated and the “bag sit” is done then load up for the LONG drive 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:
Jim: “Awesome time! I went up with my new wife (wedding gift) and my first time in a balloon. Love to do it again!”
Amy: “ Great day to take a balloon ride, very sunny! We loved this experience. Thank you!

A BIG thank you to today’s Crew (I can’t get in the air or back on the ground without’um)
Dr. Todd, & the passengers with Barb & Brad too

TRACK
Average Speed: 6.0 MPH
Distance Flown: 9.1 Miles

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