An online skydiving logbook

August 29, 2009

Breda Ballon Fiesta

I had a great day saturday.

First a few jumps in the morning, and in the afternoon we left for the hot air balloon festival in Breda. It took our Caravan about half an hour to fly to Breda. We had to spot 'manually' because the coordinates in our GPS didn't match what we saw (= were wrong). There was quiet a bit of wind (some 10 to 15 knots, my estimate) but some oldtimers on the load worked it out perfectly: 3 runs, everybody landed in.

Late afternoon, the wind calmed down, and te balloons could go up. And we could make a balloon jump. A few balloonists started calculating with windspeeds, altitudes and directions. Checking google maps on their i-phones, and off we went. To some field about 15 km upwind. We unloaded our balloon, and 15 minutes later, we were airborne: 4 skydivers, 6 'regular' passengers and 2 crew. Imagine our surprise (and admiration) when their calculations proofed spot on: we were heading straight towards the festival terrain. We were going to jump 2 by 2. I was in the first 'run'. Altitude around 4000 ft, the balloonist gives the go, we climb on the basket. Ready set go. What an incredible feeling. The quiet, silence, and then the speed (and the wind) starting, getting louder. The forward speed building up (the track gaining effect). Whooaw. I never made a basejump, but I can sure see that this is addictive.

There were still a few balloons taking off or getting ready to take off when I came in to land. You really can not judge the vertical or horizontal speed of a balloon underneath you, so that was a bit tricky. But hey, a balloon fly-by with all the passengers waving at you, that's great, no? I gave a bit of show on landing, and I got quiet a big applause for it.

Free food and drinks for the rest of the evening. Thx everybody for a great experience!

This (plus many other) pictures were made by Lars Scheve, official photographer of the event.