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Balloon Flying Service of Oregon     |     PO Box 3305  Salem OR 97302     |     (503) 363-9799
April 28, 2012
Passengers: Margaret & Jared Barber, Ryan & /Elizabeth Kackley

I call for our West Salem launch site for today, but overnight a shift in the lower level winds make me change my mind and I move us to our South Salem site as the west push has gone away. The “gang” gets the gear off the van and we get hooked up. We get (mov-1) the fabric pulled out, the top in and get the fan started pumping in the cold air. Starship is “full” and ready to stand. It is time to add the heat and wake the gentle giant from its sleep. Time to have the passengers come on board. The gang has one more chore, get the plank” attached and the retrieval line secured to the basket just in case we need to pull it in during flight. Now we add a bit more heat, soon we are off the lot and our adventure begins. As we gain some altitude I find that we are drifting to the south, not a direction that I like, or that was forecasted. With a little more altitude we back track and now I’m happy as we are drifting to the northwest, as planned. This is the 5th flight with the “plank” our new camera platform that we invented and today we are flying it on the opposite side of the envelope (burner side). I check in with the tower as we are in Class D airspace and under their control. I call in a “pilot report” about the low clouds that we have to the west, but with luck this track will keep us clear of them. As we proceed more to the west up the south Salem hills the ceiling continues to build and thicken, my biggest concern is can we get the hour in before we loose the clearance? Today we have the Barber’s celebrating their anniversary and the Kackley’s with Ryan sharing some of his crew “bank” with his new bride of a few months. The deck is dropping in on us as we climb higher into the south ridge and I have the gang move to Judson Middle School for the landing. As we fly over the last group of trees I see that I have missed the school by about a block or two so I call the tower for a “missed approach” and Cindy informs me that the airspace is going IFR (instrument flight rated) soon and I should be down. This area has most all the power lines underground so I call for a street landing ASAP. The gang sets up on Nina for the shot. Once over the trees I set the shot for the street, drop the bag and fly down the rope to the waiting “gang”. Needless to say but we have gotten the whole neighborhood up and on the street to watch the pack up and the “bag sit”. We load up and take the “short” drive back to the park for the picnic.
I get the story started, the toast is done and the certificates are presented.

PASSENGER COMMENTS:
Margaret & Jared: “We had such a great experience! Lots of fun with the Captain and the Crew! Beautiful views, a great morning and a great way for us to celebrate our anniversary.”
Ryan: “Many thanks to Jim. My first time in a balloon and it was GREAT! Thanks!”

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

TRACK
Average Speed: 2.0 MPH
Distance Flown: 2.3 Miles

An article by the local paper StatesmanJournal made the Sunday paper too…take a look http://www.statesmanjournal.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2012120428013
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