Crewing on a Hot Air Balloon Team
Quote of the Day, Week, Month, or Year .....
"A Pilot without a Crew is just another Pedestrian"
Something for Everyone
WHAT'S NEW ON THIS SITE - since 4/08/2011
This site is just beginning ... your feedback will help determine what else would be helpful.
--Please send me an e-mail (you will not be put on a mailing list)--
Newest first ....
...Added Remembering Pilot Preferences (thanks to crew person Barb M.) - also a sample.
...Added PowerPoint on Pilot/Crew/Passenger/Spectator - Safety.
...Sports Bra --feedback direct from one of my new crew members (who wants to stay anonymous).
...Additional team communication tip
A QUICK OVERVIEW OF A BALLOON TEAM
Start off on the right (or left) foot: - Always communicate with the pilot, he is responsible.
hot air balloon team consists of a pilot and enough crew persons to
help set up and launch the balloon for flight. Then the fun begins....
As the pilot flies off, the crew drives the chase vehicle to follow on
the ground, trying to keep up as the balloon floats on its merry way.
This can be very challenging as the balloon sometimes heads across areas
where the road doesn't go.
there when the balloon finally lands gives you a great sense of
satisfaction. Now it's time to help pack up the balloon. Sometimes there
is an enthusiastic crowd of onlookers ... most times we will invite
them to join in and help. As the saying goes, " the more the merrier,"
and also the easier it is to pack up.
the balloon is back in the bag, the next step is a traditional
"champagne toast" and socializing with all those around - passengers,
landowners, extra hands ...... A good time is had by all.
GENERAL RESPONSIBILITIES of the CREW TEAM
HOW DOES ONE BECOME A CREW MEMBER?
simple .. just ask. Most pilots are more than willing to take on new
people as crew. Just ask any pilot or crew member. You can even send me
PERKS FOR THE CREW
enjoy ballooning as a sport and derive a lot of pleasure out of flying.
This atmosphere adds to the overall enjoyment of all those involved
(yourself included). So, even though you are "working," it is still a
pleasurable experience (why else would anyone want to get up at
often form lasting friendships with other crew and pilots. You may also
have the opportunity to attend various balloon festivals.
I've saved this one for last, your pilot may also offer you a "free"
ride for all your "work." They may base it on amount of time crewed
since last time you flew, or the need for added weight in the basket, or
Something for Experienced Crew (and possibly the novice)
USEFUL TIPS FOR CREWING
HOW DO YOU KNOW WHICH ROAD TO TAKE WHEN YOU RUN OFF THE MAP?
HOW TO STOP LOSING GLASSES IN THE FIELD (reading or sunglasses):
FINDING THE BALLOON IF YOU LOSE SIGHT OR RADIO CONTACT
If this is towards the end of the flight (and prior to calling the lost balloon telephone number):
CROWN LINE AND A LITTLE WIND (balloon rolling from side to side)
It is very important that you work out your methods of communications beforehand:
REMEMBER A PILOT'S PREFERENCES
You may find yourself crewing for a single pilot, or multiple pilots - occasionally or on a regular basis. An easy way to increase your value, and reduce overall stress (both yours and your pilot's) is to remember the little things.
- For each pilot you are crew, capture the particular requirements/steps for setup, pack-up, etc. This:
- Helps you anticipate a pilot's needs
- Helps the pilot spend less time instructing and more time for his flight prep tasks.
- Helps you to do things the way each individual pilot prefers (i.e.: particular fan placement, etc.)
- Some things you may want to include in the list(s):
- What does the pilot take with him in the basket? (sunglasses, water, radios, medications, etc)
- In what order does the pilot prefer things to be done? (on setup, on take down, tailgating, etc.)
- Where does everything go? (fan placement, cooler orientation, stays in the passenger area, etc.)
- If, when, and where are tarps used?
- How are they arranged?
- When packing up, preference for folding/rolling and in what direction?
- Where is the spare vehicle key? Emergency contact numbers? etc.
- Feel free to add and organize the list(s) for your ease of use and maintainability.
- Over time, preferences, etc. can change - please tale a few moments to update your list(s) as necessary.
- Use your list(s) - refresh your memory if you haven't crewed for a particular pilot in a while.
- Sample list:
- Pilot Name: I.B.Pilot Bday: Nov 16 Balloon (Make/size/name): _Cam/O-90/SkyThing
- Location of extra set of keys: Emergency info red folder in center console
- Use radio/check on field.
- First aid kit - in sidewall back seat driver side
- Gloves- under passenger seat. Instruments- in center console
- Go over waivers/pre-flight checklist - 3 signatures per passenger, return to front console
- Everyone have gloves?
- Envelope bag - flap away, straps in bottom, fold/roll/stuff into burner bag for flight
- Pilot prefers to 'do the top'
- Takes along - Pilot pack/cell phone/water/hat and sunglasses most days.
- Secure fan back left corner. Put tie-off in red pouch on right wall.
- make sure gate is in upright position before departing the field.
- Grab squeeze-ez when exiting the vehicle upon landing/strap every 6-8 ft.
- Place cooler on left facing window for easy access from side hatch.
- Remove tarps from truck before packing anything; load tarps into empty basket.
- Roll bag to pallet, cover with green tarp
- Rollers are placed on gaite to aid loading the basket. Red one is closest to door.
- Be sure to get back all gloves.
- Allergy to nuts (helpful if baking a snack), likes dark chocolate.
- Pilot always has OJ with champagne for toast.
HELP ON HANDLING SPECIFIC SITUATIONS
is doing tether rides in a field after landing. A number of spectators
(young and old) abound. Basket lands; you put weight on; the passengers
quickly disembark (without pilot consent) and the basket begins to rise
before new passengers are ready to get in. You find your feet are no
longer on mother earth (maybe a foot or so off the ground and rising).
What should you do?
How could this have been avoided?
More situations will be coming soon
PILOT-CREW-PASSENGER-SPECTATOR - SAFETY POWERPOINT
[click here for the Pilot-Crew-Passenger-Spectator-safety PowerPoint presentation]
It will open in a new window and is well worth reviewing.
NOTE: the document is Copyright 2009 - ClipAway Ballooning LLC
contact us for permission to distribute or profit from.
on this web page are intended for general interest only. Crew
participation will vary due to your level of experience, number of
people involved, weather conditions and, of course, the methods followed
by the pilot.