July 24, 2017

2017 Ohio Challenge

This past weekend was the 2017 Ohio Challenge Hot Air Balloon event and festival. 30 Hot air balloons were in attendance for this event. The master pilot briefing  was  held at 6:15PM. The discussion was safety and the weather.  A line of storms had formed 20 miles away. They were moving away from Smith Park but the hot dry calm winds at the time of the briefing was replaced with breezy hot outflow winds from the storm. The evening flight was canceled. We would reconvene at 8:30 for a decision about the glow. We gathered again at 8:15 to look at weather for the glow. The outflow winds from the storm had calmed down but a line of showers about 20 miles west was moving in our direction. We were told it was pilots discretion whether to glow or not. We decided to glow as a very large crowd was on hand to see the balloons and a laser light show. Much to the delight of the crowd we were able to get the glow in before the rain. Overnight,  the line of storms continued to develop. The Saturday morning flight was canceled. Saturday evening we met in hopes of a flight. Once again, it was a carbon copy of Friday night. The flight was canceled but we were hopeful for the glow. A huge crowd was on hand for the evening’s festivities. The winds had calmed down and the glow was a go. Storms were in the area but […]
May 1, 2017

2017 Kentucky Derby Balloon Fest

This past weekend was the 2017 Kentucky Derby Great Balloon Festival. This festival always brings in a large crowd for the events.   Thursday evening was the master pilot briefing for this event. The task for this evening was a glow on the Ohio river front Great Lawn. The forecast had been very windy all day but it was trending down. Some balloons were on the North side of I64 by the Ohio River and some balloons were on the South side of I64. The wind did drop off some and allowed us to get in a windy glow. A very big crowd was on hand and this event. It was covered by all of the local Telavision stations.   Friday morning’s pilot briefing was at 5:00 AM the weather looked good and the flight was a go. We drove out to Bowman Field to wait for sunrise and assemble the balloons. It was a beautiful sunrise. The task this morning was a Hare and hound race. The winds this morning would take us to the West over downtown Louisville. The Rush Hour Race was on.  The Hare balloon flew to Shawnee park, this is a park at the Ohio river. We found a nice landing site just on the other side of the river in Indiana.     A short YouTube video of the flight over downtown Louisville…. A luncheon was held for us at Poppa John’s stadium. This was for position draw for tonight’s glow. The glow is […]
January 8, 2017

Long Jump

Saturday January 6th 2017 Big Red Balloons, SkyCab Balloons, TJV Balloons, AeroForce Balloons and two others participated in a mini long Jump. The weather was cold ( 6 degrees on the surface ) but perfect for a long flight. 7 balloons launched from Spencer Indiana and flew to Shelbyville Ky. 110 miles. I had a max speed of 50mph. The Balloon Federation of America has a long jump contest from October to March every year to see who can fly the farthest on 40 gallons of fuel. Munch planning goes into these flights. This was just a tune up for a much longer flight if the weather cooperates. Thanks to all of the pilots and crews that participated in this fun flight.
September 8, 2016

2016 Blueberry Festival Oliver Winery

This past weekend was the 50th anniversary of the 2016 Blueberry Festival. The weekend weather was awesome and much cooler. The Balloon Festival started Saturday evening with a flight from the festival grounds. The task this evening was a hare and hound race. Only one balloon made it to the target. We had a good long flight and landed in a yard. With all of the rains, the mosquitos were out in full Force. Sunday morning We drove to Riverside School. This would be our launch site for this morning’s flight. The morning was cool and looked to be good flying. The task was a hare and hound with another task of a maximum distance drop. We missed the target about 100’ to the right and was over the corn and could not throw. It was “freaky fall flying” at its best. 21mph just above the trees but calm on the surface. We landed in a big hay field. Sunday evening was the “Big Night” at the festival. Approximately 80,000 -100,000 would show up tonight for the balloon glow and fireworks. We were to fly out from the festival grounds and hurry back for the glow. I was never able to touch base with our passenger’s. I left a message on the number I was given but never heard back from them. With no passenger’s to fly, I made the decision to just stay and glow for the huge crowd. The field was bursting at the seams.   Monday morning […]
August 10, 2016

2016 Indiana State Fair Race Oliver Winery

This past Friday was the opening of the Indiana State Fair. The Hot Air Balloon race was back on schedule this year for opening day A pilot briefing was held the night before to update all pilots on safety procedures. The Friday morning pilot briefing was held in the infield at 6:15AM. A decision was made to delay the launch by 15 minutes to see if some rain up by Lafayette would dissipate. It did. The decision was made to launch the balloons. This was to be a hound and hare race with Matt McClinton as the hare balloon. All of the balloon were stood up. Shortly after the balloon was launched a decision was made on the ground not to launch any other balloons due to reduced visibility. The compatation was canceled The glow for Friday evening was canceled due to rain in the area and windy conditions. Our next event will be the Plymouth Blueberry festival coming up over Labor Day weekend
August 10, 2016
Jasper Engines & Transmissions - Hot Air Balloon

2016 Jasper Engines State Fair

This past Friday was the opening of the Indiana State Fair. The Hot Air Balloon race was back on schedule this year for opening day A pilot briefing was held the night before to update all pilots on safety procedures. The Friday morning pilot briefing was held in the infield at 6:15AM. A decision was made to delay the launch by 15 minutes to see if some rain up by Lafayette would dissipate. It did. The decision was made to launch the balloons. The hare balloon was launched and reported back to the air boss that visibility was reduced to haze. The decision was not to launch the balloons. All of the balloons did a static display for the large crowd on hand. The glow scheduled for Friday evening was canceled due to rain in the area and windy conditions.
August 10, 2016

2016 Jasper Strassenfest

This past Friday was the Jasper Strassenfest Hot Air Balloon Race. The Balloonmister called around 12:00noon to say that Jasper was getting hammered with storms at that time. He indicated he would make a go-no-go decision at 3:00 and call me back. By the 3:00Pm hour most of the rain had moved out of the area and the decision was made to hold the event. We arrived on the field around 6:30 PM. The field was very wet from all of the rain. The pilot briefing was held at 7:00. The decision was made not to fly. Rain was still on radar. They asked us to do a static display for the large crowd that had gathered for this event. It was still very windy but we did manage to stand the balloon up and pass out some cards. We also gave the kids and parents some photo ops in the basket before the balloon was inflated Our next event will be the Indiana Balloon Fest here in Bloomington Sept 9th
July 12, 2016
Jasper Engines & Transmissions - Hot Air Balloon

2016 Ohio Challenge

This past weekend the Jasper Engines & Transmissions Hot Air balloon took part in the Ohio Challenge. This event is held in Middletown Ohio in conjunction with a festival. The weekend started Friday evening with a master pilot briefing. The task this evening was a fly out from the airport and return for a glow. The winds had been breezy all day as a cold front passed by bringing in cooler air. We were assembled in the field to fly but the winds were too strong and the flight was canceled. We were asked by the air boss if we would like to inflate the balloon for the crowd before the glow was to start. It was very windy but we did manage to get the balloon up. Only two balloons inflated and the strong winds canceled the glow. We had the crowd all to ourselves. The next morning the weather looked better and a 4 part task was called. We would be flying into the airport and then flying on. It was a good flight as we flew for over 10 miles over all of Middletown. The evening was to be a fly out and a glow. The winds were still strong and the competition was called off but we could fly out if we choose too. We had a good short flight and hurried back to glow for the large crowd. Sunday morning was a three part fly in task. The winds had died down enough for us […]
May 17, 2016

2016 Kentucky Derby Balloon Fest

April 28-30th  was the 2016 Kentucky Derby Hot Air Balloon Festival. The Festival had 25 balloons in attendance. The Festival was scheduled to begin with a new event. A Charity race with local celebrities flying with the pilot. The celebrity winner of the Charity race would receive $1,000.00 to be donated to their favorite charity. The race was canceled due to rain and fog. A drawing was held to give the money to one of the charity’s. The next event on the schedule was a glimmer on the Ohio River. The wind howled all afternoon. At 5:00PM the wind was 17kts/ gusting to 24kts. We gathered on the great lawn Waterfront Park for another briefing. The wind was forecast to die down. We were to glow from 8:30 to 9:30. It was truly amazing but the wind did subside enough to let us get the glimmer in. The next morning’s briefing was held at 5:00AM. The weather looked good for this morning’s Rush Hour Race. We assembled and drove out to Bowman Field. The race this morning was a hare and hound race. A little after 7:00AM the balloons were launched to chase the hare balloon.  We had a good flight and the Jasper Engines Balloon finished second. Friday night is the Balloon glow. It is held at the Kentucky Exposition Center. The winds were forecast to be light and the rain holding off until well after the glow. A record crowd of over 80,000 people were in attendance.  We handed out […]
September 9, 2015

Oliver Winery Blueberry Festival 2015

This past weekend was the 2015 Blueberry Festival in Plymouth Indiana. This was a first time event for the Oliver Winery Balloon The first flight of the festival was Saturday evening. A hare and hound race was called. About twenty balloons were flying in this event. The winds were light for this flight with not much steerage and we were not able to get to the target.   Sunday morning was another clear morning with beautiful weather. This was to be another hare and hound race. We scored second on the target and had a very good flight. Sunday evening was double duty for us. We were to fly and glow. This was a big night at the festival as upwards of 100,000 people were on hand to see the balloons and fireworks. No task was called for this flight. Only some of the balloons were flying out. The rest would stay on the field for the glow.     Monday morning was to be the final flight. The winds aloft were very fast in advancement of the approaching front. The flight was canceled. This was a good event for us with great exposure. Crowds estimated to be in the 300,000 range for the event. This festival is the largest four day event in Indiana.