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July 2022

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Can you believe it's July!

Happy Independence Day everyone. I hope your plans for the Fourth of July are with Family and Friends and doing activities you enjoy!  If you are attending a balloon event please be safe.  We hope the weather is perfect for you and you have the best time ever!

Drone Winds

As many of you know I have been working on the Drone Winds Project.  Last fall we uploaded a presentation on how to use a drone to get your winds aloft.  Drone Winds (Download is FREE for logged in members).  We are now working on a presentation for the FAA and for Pilots to procure a waiver for using a drone to go above the 400 foot limit.  Currently the presentation is nearly 60 pages and growing.  When finished we expect we can duplicate the waiver process just about anywhere in the country.  We will soon have the entire presentation online for members to use.  In the meantime here are a few apps we have discovered while doing our drone research that can be useful for Ballooning.

Finding the Airspace around you.  DJIFly app.  This is an app for drone pilots but it is actually pretty cool.  DJIFlyIcon.jpgWhen you open up the app you see a pretty picture and a bunch of option links at the top and bottom of the image.  Look up at the top left corner of the image and find “Fly Spots” Tap on that and watch what happens.  IMG_6055.PNG You can tap on the Maps Overlay button over on the top right to get a satellite view if you wish.  Now scroll around and zoom in and out and you will see all of the airspace around you.  Pretty cool.  


The next app we found is also another pretty cool app.  It is called ALOFT.  This app shows you the Airspace arounB4UGopage.jpgd you plus it has a AloftIcon.jpgpretty nifty weather bar at the bottom.     When you have time, download these two apps and check them out.  Log in to HotAirBalloonist.com and go to the Hot Topics category and leave a review of the apps.




The National Balloon Classic

221966213_10225391737531232_4258709650899556072_n.jpgSoon there will be pilots from all over the country heading to a little town in Iowa called Indianola.  This small town has a history in ballooning that stretches back more than 50 years!  For me Indianola is Balloon Heaven!  The event has a dedicated facility with a huge pilot compound, Spectator area capable of holding 10’s of thousands of fans and families.  The launch field is hundreds of acers of green grass and large enough to launch a few hundred balloons.  The flying area is beautiful country side with friendly land owners and smiling faces with kids waiving at you as you fly by.226022610_256007446336022_893002675700153099_n.jpgI learned to fly on the Simpson College soccer field back in the 1970’s.  The same soccer field where they held the National Balloon Championships back in those days. This event is still run by many of the same people and families that have run it for all these years.  If you have never been to the National Balloon Classic you NEED to put it on the list of events to go to.  It truly has something for everyone.  From the family pilot who loves to have fun Ballooning with their friends and family to the serious competitor who is honing their skills, this event is the one!  Here is a tribute video we pro174149841_10216677331120658_8433245958962755811_n.jpgduced shortly after last year’s event concluded.  It will give you a little idea of the “Feel” of this event. 


For those of you who are flying in the National Balloon Classic and are using the HotAir.app I will again this year try to have map downloads available for the PZ map, 3DPZ map, Targets GPX file, TARGETS KML file, and PZ GPX files.  We will also try to keep them updated as often as changes are made.  Make sure you are following the files so you receive instant email notifications.

For those of you who are heading to the “Classic” Be Safe, Fly Well, Have Fun.


Hidden Jewels

Sometimes I forget all the stuff that is on the HAB site.  There are literally thousands of files, articles, videos, downloads, presentations and so much more.  Much of this is on the Members Side of the site.  The other day I was on Facebook and saw a post where someone was asking questions about standing a balloon up.  Should you hit the burner and stay on it all the way up or should you do short blasts on the burner.  I thought to myself, there is an article about that on HAB.  So I looked around and sure enough there was!  But it was on the Members side of the site.  So I went in and “Unlocked” that forum so that others could see it and read about it.  Here is the link to that article.  I guess I would like to remind everyone that the entire HAB site was built so “WE” the balloon community could share our collective experiences and knowledge with each other.  Learn from our mistakes and share our ideas.  When was the last time you logged on and read a post and then replied to it?  Do you have a different way?  Do you have a better idea?  Do you have a question about something?  GET INVOLVED.  You can help us and help others!  When I was a kid I was super cocky. (I think it was a rumor)  I was very good at flying and I knew it and that is a dangerous combination.  One of the things my father used to say and it stuck with me forever.  “Even that guy who does 9 out of 10 things wrong, can teach you something.  The one thing he does right you may not have thought of.”  That is so true!  We can all TEACH each other.  So please dive in and participate.

To those who have donated

THANK YOU.  Many of you may know that we had a donation campaign for the Drone Winds project.  Many have donated to the project and we are happy to say that we are now equipped to finish the project.  We will be doing some inflight documentations for the FAA and finishing our presentation in just a few weeks.  Those of you who still wish to donate, you can.  There is a donation box on the main page of the HAB site.  Another way you can support the site is with a paid membership.  If you currently have a Guest Membership or a free membership you can get a General Membership on the site for only $20 a year.  This helps us keep the site up and running and allows you to have access to all the membership forums on the site as well as FREE downloads in the Download Center.  Just go to the store and hit memberships to find a membership that suits your needs.  There is a Video Tutorial about how to get a membership in the “Download Center”.

The Balloonetin Board

We mentioned this in the last newsletter but it deserves another mention.  We have a forum on the HAB site called “The Balloonetin Board”  It acts very much like the Balloon Reflector with one major upgrade.  You can insert links and images into your post (topic)  There is a video tutorial you can watch about how to create a topic in the Download Center.  You are required to be a logged in member on the site to use the Balloonetin Board.  You can even add a link to a YouTube Video and have it play right in your topic on HAB!  The abilities are pretty spectacular.  Plus when you create a topic in the Balloonetin Board, the HAB site sends out over 700 emails to pilots and crews all over!  So, Log in and have a look at the Balloonetin Board.

Speaking of hidden Jewels

Do you take videos of your flights?  Do you make movies?  Do you remember the program Movie Maker from Microsoft?  We have it!  It was a program offered back in 2011 and they quit supporting it in 2013.  The latest version of Movie Maker is nearly unusable.  But we have a copy of the old version on our server.  If you have never used the program it is fantastic.  You can easily make all kinds of great videos with sound and voice overs and music and fade effects and more.  I cannot even tell you how many videos I have made with it over the years.  Here is the LINK.  HOWEVER, there is a catch.  You must have a membership on the HAB site of at least a General Membership or higher.  A Registered Guest membership will not be able to download the file.  If you want to know what type of membership you have go to the top right hand corner of the page and log in.  Then click on your name at the top.  When the Drop Down opens click on Profile.  Right next to your name you will see the type of membership you have.  MembershipType.jpg If it is a Registered Guest you may consider upgrading it to a general membership for only $20 per year.  Many of the FREE downloads alone will pay for the yearly membership.



Thank you everyone for your continued support.  I love hearing about your flights and keeping up with balloon adventures anyway I can.  Be safe please; enjoy your time with family and friends this Independence Day weekend and…

Thank you for all you do for the Balloon World



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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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