Don't Have 100 Roubles Have 100 Friends
Great photos!! this is what I picture when I think of flying as a newbie pilot wanna be.
Dang I gotta go learn how to fly for real now lol!
Btw did I read correctly that you are in NJ? If so that is a whole lotta flying in the good ship Vlad
From a fellow NJ resident.
Keep flying for us dreamers!!
100 saga continues
... trip south planned to be terminated at Spaceport America or in close proximity. But first let's get there.
Weather shiny terrain spectacular life joyous.
On my way to Spaceport I had to visit Red Square.
It's very unique place. In 2 minutes according to turn and bank indicator you visit FOUR states. Still not believing? Go and check don't forget your chronometer.
From Red Square you can see The Rock "THE" being the key word.
It's so captivating I don't remember how many circles I did around it.
One can get closer unlike Devil's Tower there are no Indian army with spears.
An hour or so later, passed those stone poles I landed somewhere. To say the airport was so so means to say nothing. It was fenced and secured but hostile. Dogs were running around like crazy. I had to deplane far away, walk to the terminal, (paragraph empty insert your quotes) then depart within minutes.
From unfriendly airport I picked up a road
and it brought me very close to Spaceport.
Restricted were still hot and I waited a bit. By the time they cooled the weather moved in. Don Jones, a CFI and fellow RV-9A builder told me about it couple hours ago. No joy this time. Heading north. Will be back in couple days.
From Truth or Consequences up to Albuquerque the home of Balloon Fiesta. I had solid connection there made via the very VAF forum.
Some say there is nothing to see on the grounds in New Mexico. They are wrong.
Landed at Double Eagle Airport and was met by Carl Martin, a NASA engineer, a Balloon Fiesta Command Center volunteer and overall nice guy. Do you see brand named jacket? Tomorrow it will be mine :D
Carl set everything for me so perfect I couldn't even do it myself. Part of his success was knowing a guy. No, not this one
the other guy. Guy Feltman, an Enterprising Guy.
This day ended at VIP banquet the above gents had access to. I didn't bring my camera this time. There was good company, fireworks, plenty of drinks and tons of quality foods. I was shocked when I saw the value of that free for me pass. Thank you Carl and Guy. Now I know why French ladies are always around you :D
This was my limo for two days.
We were invited to a house warming the night before. So we jumped into Guy's pickup, bought huge stack of peppers (forgot the name for it) and headed to an address well off Albuquerque.
We religiously followed a track by an Apple product and ended up in the boonies of NM far from civilization. A NASA engineer, a retired ATC guru and a Russian who practiced navigation for more then a decade.
After NASA rep figured out the glitch in iMaps we turned around and headed back. The house being warmed was not far from here.
The hostess was cool and chilly hot. Or vice versa :D
Great Photo Journal!
Guess I am off to the airport... I have work to do... can't wait to go on my own adventures.
Looks like a great trip, I hope to do a similar one next year. Need to make more VAF friends to mooch spare bedrooms off of first... :)
Great photos Vlad, and a wonderful trip. Keep posting.
Peter when I was building my wings I kept your website bookmarked. Then you slowed down a bit...
Anyway it's Fiesta Time! What an incredible event! Morning glow.
Guy and Carl got me in sequence for a ride. I was lucky a gent from Friendly Administration missed his slot I filled right in. The pilot was Ralph Kayser the Chief of all balloonist things at the Fiesta. They have a position for that I forgot which one.
It's a lot of work to assemble, stretch and inflate the craft. But it was rewarding experience.
Three of us pilot Ralph, Carl and I got inside the basket and prepared to ascend. Zebra, an event official, did his theater.
Up and up we go. Complete silence only dragon breath of burners once in a while.
Ralph Kayser the long time balloon pilot was also a CFI. I got 15 minutes of dual in hot air balloon. I have to send my logbook to Ralph to fill for those minutes. It's very very unusual operation who has flown hot air balloon knows.
Thanks Carl for pictures.
We spent more then one hour in the air thoroughly enjoying it.
Time to land. Good morning people!
Boy it's a lot work deflating and packing that big balloon. No wonder the chase crew consists two dozen people.
Some younger balloonists were not so lucky. Chase crew walked them out of a ditch.
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