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September 30, 2000 - Pleasure flight

Christine's ride

[Click on thumbnails to see full size pictures]
[Pictures coming soon] We're back at Panthorn Park this morning, the first cold and frosty morning of the fall. By the time we're laying out the balloons (there are 5 this morning) it's not yet 40F.

We spend most of the flight traveling roughly northeast at about 5kt. After about 30 minutes, I start to plan a landing at a school we're approaching. As we descend, though, we catch a strong turn toward the south, so we abort that approach and climb to backtrack toward the north northeast. We overfly the school, figuring on reversing direction yet again when we descend. On descending again, the south drift is still there, but quite a bit slower now. So, rather than go all the way back to the school (a few hundred yards), we land in a nice cut field behind a neighborhood. By the time we land, we've been working the light and variable winds for about 20 minutes to get to our landing spot.

As we touch down, Claude and Al are already getting permission to walk the balloon from the field through a yard onto the neighborhood turning circle, where we deflate and pack up.

Our GPS track for this morning's flight. Ten minutes before landing I accidentally turn off the GPS while repositioning it on the padded basket edge after it shifts and ends up hanging from its lanyard inside the basket. I've reconstructed the missing section roughly from memory; that's the yellow line with no dotted black center.

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