Mission Aborted

27 Oct

Saturday morning dawned with the promise of a beautiful day of sunshine and adventure,at a quarter to six eight intrepid flight aspirants gathered at a central location in the city to await the arrival of our aircraft and pilot. The craft soon arrived on a large trailor behind an equally large 4 wheel drive vehicle. After introductions and a head count to ensure we were all there,the Pilot then proceeded to fill a white balloon,slightly larger than a normal party balloon, with gas and released it into the dark night sky. This white balloon contained a red light which was easily visible in the night sky.For approximately twenty minutes, the Pilot and driver visually observed the flight pattern of the balloon, the purpose of this exercise soon became clear.

A hot air balloon ,once launched,is at the mercy of the winds and can only follow the way the winds blow, the exercise of the small balloon will dictate the launch site and possible landing site of the larger Hot air ballon with its entourage of passengers on board.There are approximately 14 launch sites around the city environments and approximately the same for landing sites,that have been pre ordained from years of the Pilots experience of the wind patterns for our area.

Having decided the launch site and the potential landing site,we climbed aboard the 4 wheel drive vehicle and headed off to the the launch site approximately ten miles outside the city limits.

Once at the launch site we unloaded the wicker basket from the trailor and laid out the envelope that fills the balloon with gas,the envelope is much like a funnel.The basket can only hold 9 persons,the Pilot and gas bottles and 8 passengers.

At this stage the Pilot then released another balloon, this time it was black with a white light inside, this exercise was to determine the level of cloud cover,with sunrise appearing on the horizon cloud cover could be seen hovering overhead, the balloon quickly disappeared from sight indicating the cloud cover was low.The Pilot decided to wait half an hour to see if the cover would pass, the day before was a beautiful cloudless sky and today was forecast the same.

To fill in time we were then given our inflight instructions, first rule was to not leave the basket at any time, no smoking on board,no inflight refreshments provided, no toilet on board,there are no seats so there are no lifejackets underneath, there are no overhead compartments so dont expect a gas mask to fall in case of emergency,upon landing we were informed to adopt the half crouch position and take hold of the two safety straps before us.

By this time the sun had now appeared over the horizon and showed low cloud cover giving no sign of abating, after a few more minutes the Pilot professionally erred on the side of safety and decided to abort the mission.

We packed the basket back onto the trailor and headed back to our meeting site and our cars to return home to bed.At least we had an idea of what to expect on our next future Hot air Balloon flight adventure.

By the time we climbed back into bed the bloody sky was cloud clear.

A great experience all the same with a great professional Pilot.

Aussie Emu


Posted by on October 27, 2012 in Uncategorized


52 responses to “Mission Aborted

  1. gpcox

    January 18, 2014 at 4:24 pm

    Just wanted to thank you for my enjoyable visits to both your sites and for being a loyal friend to mine.

    • The Emu

      January 27, 2014 at 9:18 am

      My pleasure my soldier mate, I enjoy reading your articles, cant believe that my 20 years in the army and Vietnam, that my history of Korea was so lacking.
      Emu aka Ian

  2. Sue Dreamwalker

    November 25, 2012 at 10:12 am

    I dont know how I missed this post Emu, and the others too dont seem to have come into my inbox strange things keep happening on WP at times my friend,…
    I once went up in a tethered hot-air balloon at a local festival day, and its on my to do list for the future .. Sorry you didnt get to go up, but it sounds as if the pilot knows what hes about and Health and Safety First….
    Great that you will be going again,..

    • The Emu

      November 28, 2012 at 9:31 am

      Hi Sue, great to hear from you, do hope all is going well in your life, thanks for visiting and commenting.
      Been checking a few of my friends on wordpress too and seem to not be getting thier blog updates also, even though I follow and subscribe by email.
      Pain in the arse as I hate not following my friends and giving them the same courtesy as they give me.Such is wordpress life.
      Wishing you well Sue.

  3. Renee Espriu

    November 21, 2012 at 2:39 am

    Just that you even thought of going up in a hot air balloon…well, I commend you, because it is something I would never do. I don’t eve like airplanes. Wonderful write.

    • The Emu

      November 22, 2012 at 11:51 am

      Good evening Renee, lovely to hear from you and thanks for dropping by and commenting.
      We are rebooked for another flight after Christmas so hopefully the weather will be fine.
      Looking forward to it but must admit a bit aprehensive, hope you are doing well in life and happy.
      Keep smiling girl.
      Aussie Emu

  4. Zen and Genki

    November 17, 2012 at 5:40 pm

    One of my very earliest memories of fear was feeling like I had almost just fallen out of the basket in a hot air balloon. In retrospect, I’m sure my father had a firm grip on me, but I was terrified! It took a long time, but eventually, I did get into one and it was wonderful! Wishing you happier travels next time!

    • The Emu

      November 22, 2012 at 11:48 am

      Greetings my friend, thanks for dropping by and commenting, well at least you have been up in a balloon, we are rebooked for another attempt after Christmas so hopefully the weather will be great,you must have been young on your flight by the sound of it.
      Did you actually enjoy the flight after you got used to it ?, you got me scared now.
      Aussie Emu

      • Zen and Genki

        November 22, 2012 at 1:38 pm

        I enjoyed the view…but never lost the jelly-legs and washes of panic that came when I looked down or realized how little I was in that great big sky! (I’m sure it had something to do with my age…I’m sure you’ll have a ball! Would love to see a post once you do it!)
        Good luck and have fun!

        • The Emu

          November 24, 2012 at 2:02 am

          Sounds like the first and last time for your Hot air ballooning career Anne, pretty scary I would think for a little girl.
          Hope to take many great pics on our next ballooning attempt.Hot Summers day here in Mildura with the temperature reaching the 40s.

  5. WordsFallFromMyEyes

    November 17, 2012 at 2:40 pm

    Buggar. That is a shame – and so EARLY…

    I actually saw a balloon come down in suburbia – at the local oval. I was so afraid for it – as while driving I saw it coming down, down, down. You wouldn’t have wanted that. The people were standing up in the basket, and passersby looking. It really was a shame.

    • The Emu

      November 22, 2012 at 11:37 am

      Greetings my friend, Thursday evening here in Mildura, hope you and Daniel are doing well and all is going okay in your life.
      Hope the balloon you saw coming down was intentional and not an accident, we are going to try again after Christmas.
      Keep smiling girl
      Aussie Emu

  6. Androgoth

    November 11, 2012 at 3:42 pm

    It is always better to be safe rather than sorry Ian and the experience of hot air ballooning needs to be a positive one, after all once you are up there it isn’t going to be enjoyable if the Pilot got his calculations wrong or that the weather took a different trail, I think a parachute could be useful though or failing that, at least a clean pair of undies 🙂 lol

    I can’t wait to see your photographs whenever you do get the opportunity pf flying the basket 🙂


    • The Emu

      November 13, 2012 at 9:33 pm

      Good morning Androgoth, yes we are rebooked for after Christmas so hopefully we will get lift off this time.
      Just been watching the total eclipse of the sun here, not visually naturally but on the TV for safety reasons, quite a sight to see.
      Have a great Wednesday mate.

      • Androgoth

        November 13, 2012 at 11:29 pm

        Thank you Ian and
        do enjoy your Wednesday 🙂


        • The Emu

          November 22, 2012 at 11:32 am

          Good evening Androgoth, Thursday night here, I have been away travelling for the last week and will write on my journey soon.
          Do hope you are well and suspect I have missed a few blogs since being away but will catch up again soon I hope.
          Keep smiling mate, it all gets better as we get older, I think.
          Aussie Emu

  7. chicasl10

    November 11, 2012 at 2:08 pm

    Last year June we had a balloon fligth But also 3 times cancelled. cos of to much wind.
    But finally a day without windforce 4 and we went up.
    its an amazing experience I will advise u…Its not cold upthere and so silent.
    Enjoy it Ian time will come.
    be well.

    • The Emu

      November 13, 2012 at 9:30 pm

      Good morning my friend, you were unlucky to have it cancelled 3 times.
      Thanks for letting me know its not cold up there as I presumed it would be.
      We are rebooked again for after Christmas.

  8. Sabina Brave

    November 8, 2012 at 9:29 pm

    Wish you more luck another time 😉

    • The Emu

      November 9, 2012 at 9:27 pm

      Good morning Sabina, a great sunny day here, hope your weather is to your liking,we are rebooked to do another hot air ballooning flight after Christmas, the weather should be stable by then.
      Wishing you well and a great weekend.
      Aussie Emu

  9. kate58

    November 1, 2012 at 6:13 pm

    I would love to go up in a hot air balloon for my 55th birthday…. 🙂

    • The Emu

      November 3, 2012 at 1:38 am

      Good afternoon Kate, lovely to hear from you and do hope you are well and your life is trouble free,
      we are into our Summer here where I live and the temperatures are climbing, we are rebooked for another flight after Christmas.
      Maybe Kate you could make your wish come true and go Ballooning for your 55th ?
      Wishing you much love and happiness.
      Aussie Emu

  10. giselzitrone

    November 1, 2012 at 12:49 pm

    Lieber Gruss und einen wunderschönen Tag wünsche ich dir Gislinde.

    • The Emu

      November 3, 2012 at 1:39 am

      Good afternoon Gislinde, Saturday here and a hot beautiful day.
      Enjoy your weekend dear friend
      Much love to you
      Aussie Emu

  11. natswans

    October 30, 2012 at 3:44 pm

    I have never fancied a trip on a Hot Air Balloon , you are a trooper and brave.
    You must have been very disappointed . Hope you get another chance.
    Enjoy your next adventure
    Sheila Take Care and wishing you well.

    • The Emu

      October 30, 2012 at 11:26 pm

      Good morning Sheila, do hope you are well and life is being kind to you.
      Thank you for visiting and commenting, we were a little dissapointed but have rebooked for a flight after the Christmas season.
      Wishing you much love and happiness.
      Aussie Emu

  12. giselzitrone

    October 29, 2012 at 10:18 am

    Tolle Bilder Fliegen ist schön.Wünsche dir eine glückliche schöne Woche mein Freund grüsse lieb Gislinde.

    • The Emu

      October 29, 2012 at 10:56 pm

      Danke liebe Gislinde zum Lesen und kommentieren, war so froh, dass du gern die Bilder, ein wenig enttäuschend, aber wir umgebucht, um Hot Ballonfahrten nach Christmas.A sonnigen Dienstag hier versuchen lieber Freund und Sommer hat definitiv arrived.I hoffe, Sie sind gut und glücklich und senden Ihnen viel Aussie Liebe.
      Aussie Emu

  13. Red

    October 29, 2012 at 12:12 am

    Better safe than sorry. Next time, you will be an old pro, and everything will go off without a hitch.

    • The Emu

      October 29, 2012 at 10:38 pm

      Good morning Red, it was a little dissapointing but we are rebooked for after the Christmas season is over.
      Must admit the pilot was exceptional with his safety precautions, hope all is well in your world Red
      Wishing you much love and happiness
      Aussie Emu

  14. prenin

    October 28, 2012 at 2:23 pm

    Better safe than sorry Ian – Maybe next time, hey? 🙂

    God Bless!


    • The Emu

      October 29, 2012 at 10:35 pm

      Good morning Prenin, yes it was a little dissapointing but we are rebooked for after the Christmas season
      Suppose you are enjoying the winter weather over your way, we are definitely into Summer now with high temps,
      just hope we have no bushfires this season.
      Aussie Emu

  15. Angelwings6

    October 28, 2012 at 9:37 am

    I wouldn’t be so keen these days, as I’ve gotten older I don’t like heights that much. I bet you’re glad for the experience….

    • The Emu

      October 29, 2012 at 10:14 pm

      Life is one big adventure for me Lady Jude, we are booked to try Ballooning again after the Christmas season is over.
      A beautiful sunny morning here and Summer has definitely arrived with temps climbing each day, I suppose your weather will beginning to warm up now as well, do hope you are well.
      Take care
      Aussie Emu

  16. suemacarthur

    October 28, 2012 at 3:43 am

    Next time Ian, you will have a great time
    and dont forget the pics lots and lots of pic
    hope all is well on your side of Aussie
    Take care

    • The Emu

      October 29, 2012 at 10:11 pm

      Good morning Sue, a beautiful sunny day here and Summer has definitely arrived, we are booked for another go at Ballooning after Christmas, next week we are going down to Marysville so I can show Ana my old trout stream fishing spots and the great mountain ranges and rainforests down there from my army days, you might remember Marysville was the town that was wiped out in the 2009 bushfires.
      Say hi to Ross for us both and I promise one day Sue we will all meet up again, your a beautiful girl Sue.
      Emu and Mrs Emu

      • suemacarthur

        October 31, 2012 at 3:23 am

        I know we meet again Ian, hope you and Ana have a great time in Maryville , dont forget the pics , wish i was coming too, stay cool, as i see it very hot over your way
        Take care my friend

        • The Emu

          October 31, 2012 at 8:49 pm

          Good morning Sue, thank you very much for the gift you sent me, it truely is appreciated, not only does it recognise 50 years since Vietnam but also 50 years since my unit the AATTV was formed in Vietnam, I have only seen one other cap like that this years, you are a dear thoughtful friend I am proud to know, a big thank you to you and Ross.
          The weather is certainly giving us hot days lately and I love it.

          • suemacarthur

            November 3, 2012 at 11:14 pm

            your very welcome my friend, im glad you got the cap, i got one for Ross too from the Army Museum in Perth, if you ever come this way you should take a look,it so big Take care

          • The Emu

            November 9, 2012 at 9:24 pm

            Good morning Sue, a great sunny day looming here, hope your weather is to your liking,will certainly visit the Perth museum, cant remember where it was when I was there, I was based at Swan barracks for a while, lived at Balga and then transferred to SAS at Swanbourne, used to go crabbing down at Mandurah, beautiful city Perth.
            Greeting to Ross Sue, have a great weekend and thanks again for the cap.

          • suemacarthur

            November 9, 2012 at 10:39 pm

            Hope both have good weekend, you would gone crabbing in the Mandurah inlet
            Take care my friend

          • The Emu

            November 10, 2012 at 10:01 pm

            Hi Sue,not a bad weekend so far just relaxing, yes it was the Mandurah inlet we crabbed in, bloody beaut spot.

  17. Angel O'Fire

    October 28, 2012 at 1:14 am

    😉 well you have lived and learned yet another one of life’s lessons just when you thought you knew em all, my old emu mate,
    I am sure you will take to the sky again soon, when the time is right and the weather decides to allow
    Until then feet safe and sound on the ground ((hugs))

    • The Emu

      October 29, 2012 at 10:00 pm

      Hi Tracy, life seems to me to one big adventure with everything happening one after the other, we are booked to have another try at Hot air Balloning after the silly season is over, next week we are heading down south to Marysville to the ranges down there, it was the town that was devastated in the 2009 bushfires with many loss of life, I used to trout fish all through that area back in my younger days and want to have another go before I turn my toes up, Joshy must be a bloody man by now and giving you headaches, so you want to buy a Datsun for him already.
      Hope you enjoy living in Toogoolowa, I have friends there you might bump into sometime, they are a family of singers called The Huntsman, the father is Glen Hunt, ask him for a copy of the CD called Shootin the Moon, about a Viet Vet, you might find my name on the cover label or credits label, hope your helping out with the chook raffles at the pub on a Saturday night.

  18. cat

    October 28, 2012 at 12:21 am

    Lovely .. Ian…. I miss you … wonder how we can make contact other than via blogs … Love, cat.

    • The Emu

      October 29, 2012 at 9:45 pm

      Thank you Cat for calling by, hope all is well in your life, the only two things I have running on my computer are my WordPress sites and my Facebook site, I find that enough to cope with and even then I still have trouble keeping up.The computer is a great convenience but sometimes it pays to have a break from the keyboard especially if you are a one fingered typist like me.
      Wishing you well Cat and much love and happiness.
      Aussie Emu

  19. appletonavenue

    October 28, 2012 at 12:21 am

    Sorry you didn’t get your balloon ride. Please let us know when you get to go, I’d love to hear about the experience!

    • The Emu

      October 29, 2012 at 9:40 pm

      Good morning my friend, thank you for reading and commenting on my blog, was a little dissapointed not going up but have plans to try again after the Christmas season, a beautiful sunny Tuesday morning here and Summer has definitely arrived
      Wishing you a great day and good happiness
      Aussie Emu

      • appletonavenue

        October 30, 2012 at 1:03 am

        What a happy holiday season you will have. Here’s hoping for another beautiful clear day for take off.

        • The Emu

          October 30, 2012 at 11:24 pm

          Good morning my friend, thanks for visiting and commenting
          We are rebooked for a flight after the Christmas season.
          Was a little dissapointing but looking forward to the next adventure
          Hope you are well and life is being kind to you.
          Aussie Emu

  20. cat

    October 28, 2012 at 12:09 am

    Wow, you are a brave oul, Ian …. I don’t think I would trust enough for any ballon adventure …. I’s enough for me to trust regular air traffic by plane … It’s a matter of being in control, I know … Love you a lot, moe than you’ll ever know, Ian … thinking about you a lot …

    • The Emu

      October 29, 2012 at 9:12 pm

      Thank you Cat for your great comment on my attempt at Hot air Ballooning,not so sure about the brave bit though.
      Probably wont go up in it now till after Christmas when finances improve after the Festive season, we are heading down south in the next few weeks to explore the mountainous areas of Victoria near the snow line,life is one big adventure for me.
      Wishing you well Cat and lots of love and happiness.
      Aussie Emu


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