Parque Natural Mexiquillo


The Chase Crew's Job

Today Daniel is flying competition. For this competition the balloons must launch at least one mile from the field, fly to the field and drop a bean bag on a target with without touching the ground. It takes a lot of support to fly these balloons.

We are setting up just over one mile from the field. Daniel has picked this spot so that the prevailing winds will carry him back over the field. 

The tarp will protect the envelope from the dirt and stickers.

Daniel checking out the burners

The basket needs to be tipped over so the burners can blow heat into the envelope

Attaching  the cables connect the basket to the envelope.

After pulling out envelope the fan will be used to inflate the it. 

You have to hold the bottom of the envelope open to the fan can blow air into it

It just keeps getting bigger and bigger as it unfurls. 

 When the fan has inflated it as much as possible, the burners are used to stand the balloon up. This is why the basket needed to be on it's side

And the really great thing is I got to fly today. Yahoo!!!

See that big smile on my face?

We don't fly directly to the target from the launch site. The winds blow in different directions at different altitudes. We launched NE of the field and climbed untill we catch a wind that will blow us to the NW. When get to a point just west of the field (that green area) we drop down to catch a wind that will blow the balloon to the SE and hopefully right over the target.

We are lined up for the target and have great position when the orange smoke bomb goes off. That means the the competition is closed. :-( We needed just another 15 minutes.

Since the competition is now over we can land on the field.

Forcing all the air out of the envelope is call milking the balloon.

Then you stuff it back in the bag.

What might have happened if we had reached the target.
The balloon on the right is over the target. The pilot is trying to get as close to the ground as possible to increase his chances of being the closest with their bean bag. 

1 comment:

  1. Wow! How exciting and beautiful. Looks like good times. ;-)