29th Annual Hot Air Balloon Rally

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29th Annual Hot Air Balloon RallyAugust 2010 : 

29th Annual Hot Air Balloon RallyAugust 2010 Pittsfield, NH

Slide 2: 

Getting ready to inflate balloon with large fan

Slide 3: 

This process attracts many photographers.

Problem: : 

Problem: Just before coming to the Pittsfield rally, our pilot had a minor mishap with the balloon. While landing, the balloon came down right next to a fence. The problem was a nail in the fence that tore a large rip in the balloon. The balloon was fixed but needed to be looked before a flight. This was done Friday evening. In doing so, it was noted that the skirt (yellow bottom) was attached upside down. So, our next prcedure was to untie and retie the ropes that hold the skirt on the balloon. Notice it required laying down in the balloon and retying each rope. ;-)

Slide 6: 

Lots and lots of knots …

Slide 7: 

A view inside the balloon. Big isn’t it?

Slide 8: 

See the repair? Nope, not me, good job!

Slide 9: 

Friday night was much too windy to fly, so all we did was check the balloon after the repair. Since we were the only balloon that was inflated at all, we attracted lots of people. They asked questions and took lots of pictures. The balloon was packed up to be ready for the Saturday morining flight. The weather promised to be great.

Slide 10: 

Red sky in the morning! Maybe bad for sailors but looked great for flying. (Carnival rides all locked up)

Slide 11: 

The sun came up and was shining brightly on the trees at Drake Field. Launch was on!

Slide 12: 

Morning brought more photographers.

Slide 13: 

Launch starts with the big fan. Then the propane burner heats it up.

Slide 14: 

Everyone else is inflating too. Going to be a great launch today.

Slide 15: 

Balloon is inflated and upright, time to get people in the basket. Looking good!

Slide 16: 

Up, up and away!

Slide 17: 

Here go several of the 16-18 balloons

Slide 18: 

And a couple more are ready.

Slide 19: 

OK, we are ready to “chase” the balloon

Slide 20: 

With such good weather, it was planned to find a good spot to land, near a road where we could change passengers. After a good flight, our pilot found a small space to land. Some get out quick and then others get in quick. Then off again.

Slide 21: 

Landing in a small space and changing passengers

Slide 22: 

A nice quiet morning allowed the balloons to stay close and hover over the town. Great views of Pittsfield.

Slide 23: 

You can’t see them but our 2 grandkids got to go up in the second batch of riders. (9 and 5 years old) They loved it!

Slide 24: 

Last landing for the morning. Couldn’t see the “Keep Out” sign from the air.

Slide 25: 

Basket is being “walked” to a better place to lay the balloon down on the ground.

Slide 26: 

People just walking by, stop to help. Many hands make light work.

Slide 27: 

Squeezing the air out.

Slide 28: 

Even the littlest help hold the balloon up

Slide 29: 

Next, putting the folded balloon in the bag

Slide 30: 

“I’ll hold it open for you”

Slide 31: 

OK, kids. Get on top and push the rest of the air out of the balloon and bag.

Slide 32: 

and a quick NAP Back on the field for breakfast

Slide 33: 

Fixing a broken temperature gauge wire. Pilots need to be jack-of-all-trades.

Slide 34: 

View from Saturday evening’s landing

Slide 35: 

Chase vehicle and trailer in field and everyone helping to get the balloon away.

Slide 36: 

Getting ready for the last flight, Sunday morning

Slide 37: 

Beautiful busy morning. Everyone is going up

Slide 38: 

Another successful launch.

Slide 39: 

Sunday morning was so still that you could hover over the field. Our experienced pilot, knowing the air currents, was able to change levels and go in different directions By doing so, he was able to return to the field and land in almost the spot he left So, again we were able to change passengers.

Slide 40: 

So, on Sunday morning, the Irish Rover returned to Drake Field on the first leg of the morning flight. Didn’t have to “chase” far this time!

Slide 41: 

Up again. And now off to find a nice dry place to land for the last flight.

Slide 42: 

Nice quiet morning allowed some of the balloons to get close to the Suncook River next to the field

Slide 43: 

Calm reflections

Slide 45: 

School yard fit the bill of a nice dry landing

Slide 46: 

Others thought it was a good place to land too

Slide 47: 

A regular gathering!

Slide 48: 

Walking the balloon over to the dry asphalt driveway.

Slide 49: 

Advantage to landing close to others is that other crews come to help. Even our pilot (yellow coat) got into the fun

Slide 50: 

The weekend came to an end with a Champagne Breakfast. For several reasons (new pilot, new license, or what ever strikes them) people are doused with Champagne. Most just drink it. See you next year for the 30th Annual Rally.

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