October 25, 2017

Carolina Balloon Festival 2017 Jasper Engines & Transmissions

This past weekend the Jasper Engines & Transmissions Hot Air Balloon participated in the Carolina Balloon Festival in Statesville North Carolina   Friday morning,  the Jasper balloon flew in the Media flight for the Carolina Balloon Festival. We flew with from the intersection of I 77 and  I 40 during peak rush hour with a lot of exposure from both interstates and the city of Statesville.   Friday afternoon, the Jasper team flew from, the festival site over Statesville during peak rush hour for a lot of exposure. Estimated crowds for Friday evening were up to 25,000 plus.   Saturday morning, the Jasper team flew over Statesville into the Festival site with an estimated crowd of 10,000 plus.   Saturday evening, the Jasper team flew from the Festival site over the Statesville area with an estimated crowd of 40,000 or more. After the flight the balloon was inflated for a glow at the festival site for over an hour for the largest crowd in festival history, with an estimated crowd of 60,000 plus.   Sunday morning, we flew the  balloon over the Statesville area and into the festival site with an estimated crowd of 10,000 plus.   The Jasper Engines & Transmission  team finished 11th overall out of 58 total balloons and was one of only 7 balloons that made it to all the targets at the festival. It was an outstanding weekend for the Jasper Engines & Transmission Hot Air balloon team in Statesville with a lot of great […]
September 13, 2017

Oliver Winery 2017 Indiana Balloon Festival

This past weekend was the Indiana Balloon Festival. Approximately 20 balloons were in attendance for this event. Friday evening was a flight and glow. Our guest for the flight were Whitney Meeks and guest. The winds were very calm for this flight. We flew for about 45 min and landed at the airport. We then hurried back for the glow . Saturday morning our guest were Julie Beasley, her mother Ann and grandmother Terry. A beautiful morning to fly. For Saturday evening the plan was the same as Friday evening. Fly and glow. Our flight guest this evening would be Jim Seaver and his guest. We had a good flight to the South West. By the time we got back to the field some of the balloons were taking down so we did not get back in time to glow.     Sunday morning’s VIP flight was with Tim Lam, his wife Barbra and Son Tim. We had an epic flight of 16 miles to between Freedom & Worthington. Sunday evening our flight guest were to have been Paul Mui, Casey Thompson and her mother. The winds would not cooperate for this flight to take place.
September 7, 2017

Jasper Engines Plymouth Blueberry Festival

This past Labor Day weekend was the 51st annual Blueberry Festival in Plymouth Indiana. This event is very well attended with over six hundred thousand in attendance last year and with the perfect weather I would guess this year’s attendance will equal or better that of last year.   We had 20 balloons in attendance for this year’s event. The pilot briefing was held at 5:30PM Saturday evening. The weather looked good for the evening flight. We assembled on the launch field in front of a very large crowd. This evening’s completion flight would be a hare and hound race. The hare launched and the other balloons followed. We flew to the East South East. Not many landing spots as it was still in crops. The hare laid out the X and 5 balloons scored on the target. The Jasper Engines Balloon was the closest to the center of the X with our throw and was good for 1st place.   The Next morning’s pilot briefing was held at 6:45 at the launch field. The winds on the surface were calm but the winds above were a little zippy. The decision was made to hold a three part competition this morning. The Jasper Engines balloon scored on all three targets.     Sunday evening was the big main event. The festavil was packed The weather was perfact. The events tonight called for a balloons to  glow and after the glow fireworks from the same field. The glow was a huge […]
August 25, 2017

2017 Jasper Strassenfest

Our next stop for the day would be Jasper Indiana. The skies had cleared but the winds had followed us to the Strassenfest balloon race. The pilot briefing was held at 7:00pm. With the wind still around 12mph it was pilot’s discretion to fly or not. Our flight guest this evening would be Lori Wigand and her twin sons Hudson & Colton. Sunset today was at 8:56. I waited until the winds calmed down and launched the balloon. We had a good flight and landed in a hay field about 3 miles from the launch field at 2mph. Our passengers did great!. Our next appearance will be over labor day weekend at Plymouth Indiana for the Blueberry Festival   256D31E7-0472-47FB-9DD9-260D1510BEB1 151568AD-B58A-4672-AA4B-0D854EA2B892 B4582A42-87F7-4E14-93DD-DD5833C4175A
August 25, 2017

2017 Oliver Winery Indiana State Fair

The master pilot briefing was held at 8:00PM Thursday evening. Safety and procedures for the mornings flight were discussed. The outlook for Friday morning’s flight did not look good. A cold front was sagging down across Indiana. While it would be bringing in cooler air, it would also bring in wind & rain. Friday morning’s pilot briefing was held at 6:15AM on the infield of the Indiana State Fair track. The cold front had brought rain and wind overnight. Surface winds on the field were 18 with gusts to 26.   Our flight guests this morning would be Jesse Barber and his wife. I had been in contact with Jesse both on Thursday evening and Friday morning.  Unfortunately the winds would not cooperate and the flight had to be cancelled.   Throughout the day, the skies cleared but the winds were gusting to 25mph. The glow briefing was at 8:00PM the winds had calmed down enough to allow some balloons to inflate.
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