Because of this communiquˇ group, and our ballooning community, yesterday we had a successful, safe, well-received cluster balloon flight!
Thanks to the community of balloonists I have worked with over the course of the last year, I achieved everything I dreamed of in this flight. I benefited tremendously from the mentorship of experienced gas pilot Troy Bradley, and the guidance and advice of commercial hot-air pilots that I launched with, Tom Tomessetti and Brian Hoyle. All three of these experienced pilots were with me, on the airfield, and throughout flight.
We achieved success because of the 20 people supporting me in person, on the field. These are dedicated individuals who arose in the middle of the night to be at the airfield by 3:00am, to safely inflate and assemble the 50-foot cluster.
We achieved success together because of The Reflector, XLTA, The Cloudhoppers Yahoo Group, the BFA and the BFA convention, and the committed e-mail support of dozens of devoted balloon enthusiasts.
We achieved success because of the foundation in safety laid at Beth WrightÕs flight school in Albuquerque New Mexico, Airborne Heat.
Those are the most important details of this flight: that this community built a project that was safe, wonderful, inspiring, and achieved this unusual dream.
The other details pale in comparison to the contributions above. For those of us in love with all balloon details (me included) IÕll send a separate e-mail later. For now, I will attach a couple photos, and there are two wonderful, positive news stories that cover the flight nicely:
Thank you all,
Jonathan R. Trappe