Sunday, 28 May 2017

Test flight in G-DKGM from Ashton Court

getting ready for take off
Following a couple of frustrating cancellations due to weather conditions, Phil and I finally managed to get airborne again.
G-DKGM inflated in Ashton Court
Today we wanted to test the improvements made by Cameron Balloons to basket, poles and hoses.
fabulous views over Ashton Court and the Bristol Channel
We inflated the balloon at 6.20am and were airborne over Bristol by 6.30. Cruising along at 4kt Phil steered G-DKGM towards Hengrove and managed to land her in the park.
Phil coming into land at Hengrove park
Caroline Fox - our brilliant driver - was there on the spot and since it's such a 'baby' in terms of weight and size we were packed away in no time and enjoyed a delicious breakfast at the Lockside cafe in Bristol (the landlord even opened up early especially for us, thank you!).
Caroline and Phil enjoying their well-deserved brekki
G-DKGM in matching colours to Betty the Beech

A visit to RGV to see progress on Betty's annual maintenance inspection

A couple of days ago we went to see the Beech at RGV Gloucester. 

Betty being thoroughly examined
She's now sitting in a nice hangar but stripped down to her bare bones again. This bird is certainly keeping all of us involved on our toes as there is still so much to sort out and prepare before the start of the big trip on the 20th of June! Keep fingers crossed the old lady behaves!

Phil and Tom the engineer putting on a contemplating face
The day we visited four young chaps were working on her - looking at the maintenance manual myself, I wondered how anybody in the world would know how to put all those parts back into place! I am glad some people know...

Beech 18 G-BKGM maintenance manual
We finally retreat for a nice lunch outside in 25 degrees hot sunshine with Roger and Richard - a newly qualified UK balloon PPL (but former ex-Luftwaffe fighter pilot!).

More to follow soon! Watch this space!