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July 15, 2001 - Leaving it all behind

Flying with Carlos

[Click on thumbnails to see full size pictures]

Santo and shadow
I show up this morning with just Carlos as crew. Since Santo is flying alongside us, and the conditions are very gentle, we decide that Carlos will fly with me rather than chasing. We will leave our trailer at the launch site, the Aqua Turf, and have Santo's crew drive us back to pick it up after we land.

We climb out of the launch field to clear the neighborhood quickly. A little later on, we do a touch-and-go in a big farm field. After about 40 minutes, Santo and I chat on the radio and decide to head for a small park about a mile away. In this shot you can see our shadow in the foreground, and Santo's balloon in the background.

Santo landing
As I begin my approach I note a horse-farm off to my left, so I take the opportunity for a great practice session with the Whisper burner, and us it to fly the approach all the way to landing. For non-balloonists, all modern burners have the equivalent of the Cameron Whisper burner, a metering valve which produces a less-powerful but much quieter flame that can be used to minimize disturbance to livestock, etc. I make my chosen landing spot, the parking lot of the park, and we watch as Santo follows us to land a short distance away.

Here's a slightly more unusual shot. While Carlos is handling the crown line and I'm squeezing the air out of the balloon, he takes a picture of BG's crown as it deflates.

Today's GPS track. The flow was mostly north-to-south, although there was a bit of a left turn available down low.

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