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March 2022


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As Restrictions Ease,



I am sure many of you are looking forward to a great flying season this next year.  As the mandates and restrictions ease it is our hope that we can return to a more normal flying schedule.  We encourage you to sit down with your teams, pilots, and even contact a few of your landowners and talk about what everyone it comfortable with.  Talk about sanitation.  Talk about costs.  Talk about passenger management.  Have a good understanding about what is to be expected this next summer and how things will go.  Having a plan has so many benefits.  You never know what issues may be in the mind of your team.  Sitting down, even if it is in the garage or your pre-flight meeting location and having a pow-wow to talk about expectations, worries and needs, is a great opportunity for everyone.  We want everyone to have a safe year this year as well as being comfortable.


Passenger Briefings



How do you brief your passengers?  Do you have a pre-flight speech?  Is it written down or something you have just memorized over the years?  Do you have a written check list or briefing card?  When was it updated last?  During my 30+ years of flying passengers full time, I have had many types of briefing styles from Videos played on a big screen TV to briefing cards and passenger verbal briefings.  We have a section in the “Download Center” where you can view pre-flight check lists and passenger briefing cards.  AS A MEMBER you can also share YOUR items with others.  I am sure there are things that BriefCard.jpgYOU may have or use that we have forgotten or do not have on our card.  That is why I am encouraging ALL MEMBERS to share with each other. Did you know you can submit a file?  YOU CAN!  Log in and go to the Download center.  Click on Passenger Related Resources and submit a file.  It could be an image of your briefing card or a word document of your pre-flight speech or checklist.   Let’s create a great resource for everyone to use for passenger management.  I will be writing down my verbal passenger briefing and sharing it in this forum as well very soon.  In the mean time since the next newsletter will come out on or slightly before April 1st, I wanted to share with you the April Fools Briefing card


Here is the scenario; we would meet in a private area in the back of a restaurant.  Normally we would have 18 -20 passengers.  We would lay out 15 normal briefing cards and two of the “FAKE” April Fools briefing cards.  Then watch the expressions as the passenger reads the fake card and then begins to hand it around to others.  Every year we would look forward to April 1st.  Here is a link to the normal card and a link to the April Fools Card.




We have a new category with several new forums within.  Our new category is called The Nylon Telegraph This category is for communication between balloonists and crews.  Currently we have three forums within this category.  We will talk about the first forum last.  Forum #2 is “Equipment Transport”  There are many times when we need to get an envelope, or a fan, or sometimes a basket, or even a trailer from one part of the country to another.  This forum is designed specifically for those needs.  Post a topic here and include all your contact information and specifics about your needs.  Forum #3 is “Wanted”.  Are you looking for something?  An old envelop to use as a walk thru balloon?  A set of A-Blocks?  An old basket to make a desk or wall display?  A Pilot to fill a position?  Post a wanted ad in the Wanted forum.  The First forum is the best.  It is called “The Balloonetin Board”  This is a Ballooning Bulletin Board!  This forum is for Members Only!  The Equipment Transport forum and the Wanted forum are open for anyone to post a topic in.  The Balloonetin Board requires you to be a logged in member of the site to post a topic in.  Here is the best part of all of these forums.  As with all of the forums on HotAirBalloonist.com you can include as much content as you wish including emails, websites, phone, text and….  PHOTOS!  Not only can visitors to the site SEE your post but any member who follows the forum will get an instant email alerting them that you have just posted a new topic in that forum. 




Many of you are members of the Balloon Reflector.  The FOLLOW FEATURE on the HAB system works just like the Balloon Reflector with a couple of MAJOR improvements.  First is the ability to add hyperlinks and email links into your topics.  For example in this newsletter you will find many links embedded in the text of this newsletter.  These links take you directly to the topics or files we are talking about.  ON the HAB site you can embed links into the TEXT of your topics.  Then when you post a topic on the HAB site, the system will send out an email to everyone who is “Following” that topic.  The email that the follow feature sends out will include any links you have posted in your topic.  IN addition to that fantastic ability you are able to include photos, and/or even video in your topic!  The best part of the follow feature is that YOU get to choose what you want to hear about.  If you are a member of the balloon reflector you get emails about anything and everything that gets posted but with the HAB site you get to choose what you follow. You can follow an entire forum or just one topic inside a forum.  If there is a forum or topic you are no longer interested in you simply UN-Follow that topic or forum.    


The new forum “The Balloonetin Board” inside our new category “The Nylon Telegraph” is designed to work just like the Balloon Reflector.  You are receiving this newsletter because you are a member of HAB.  This means that you can log in and post topics in the new forum.  This also means that you can FOLLOW that forum.  Please take a moment, Log in, and go to the new category “The Nylon Telegraph”  Then click on the top forum FollowBalloonetin.png“The Balloonetin Board” and click on the FOLLOW button.  You can choose  the frequency in which you will be notified.  Then when other members of HAB post something you will be notified!  Remember if you are posting a topic you can add all sorts of information in your topic.  Before you post a topic watch the Video Tutorial about creating topics for a better understanding of what can be included and how to do it.


Registered Guest.



Please post this in your club emails, on your web site, and send this to as many Ballooners as you can.  WE are having open registration on HAB for new members for FREE for a year!  The Registered Guest membership is a limited membership but will allow someone to post topics and read items that the general public (a visitor to the site) cannot.  It takes only a few moments to register with the site.  All you need is a valid email address to validate your registration.  The registration process DOES NOT ask for a credit / debit card.  This registration is totally FREE for your first year.  This registration can also be used to “FOLLOW” the new Balloonetin Board forum!  At the end of your first year you may upgrade your membership to one of our other memberships or continue your registered guest membership for only $5 for another year.  The $5 just helps us with the server fees, email programs and virus protection services we use to keep the site up and running.  Let’s get as many balloonist (Pilots, Crews, Event Organizers and others) involved with this fantastic ballooning community.  Honestly it is hard to beat FREE.


Have I seen you in here before?



If you are new to the HotAirBalloonist.com we want to welcome you and let you know we are thrilled to have you as a participating member of our community.  A couple of things you may want to know about this site.  First there is an entire section in our Download Center dedicated to Video Tutorials to help you get the most out of the website.  There are dozens and dozens of videos you can watch to learn about many of the fantastic features built into this online Balloonist community.  We encourage you to USE THEM!  The Video Tutorials will help you get more out of the site.  If there is anything you do not understand let us know!  We are more than happy to make a video for you and to help others who may have the same questions as you do.  Share your knowledge!  WE can ALL help each other here on the HotAirBalloonist.com site.


In closing



I will pass along a wonderful pearl of wisdom my father told me when I was very young.  He said, “Just remember that the guy who does 9 out of 10 things wrong can still teach you something”.  “The 1 thing he does right is something you may not have thought of, 245030010_4729974377021709_1173859350173924564_n.jpglearn from everyone”.  Please become involved on the HAB site.  The entire site was build and designed so you could log in, Participate, Ask Questions, Share your wisdom, Talk about your experiences and HELP OTHERS become as good as YOU ARE, most of all…


Thank you for all you do for the Balloon World.


Jeff A Thompson



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Jeff A Thompson.  Admin@HotAirBalloonist.com 407-421-9322

44 year LTA pilot, BFA member since 1977, BFA Level DA-8, Ed Yost Master Pilot. 6500 flights, 5650 Flight Hours

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