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A Monthly publication of the Albuquerque Aerostat Ascension Association & Education


VOL 111 • ISSUE 10




SILVER schantz insurance agency Red Rock balloon Rally association IMC INSURANCE AGENCY THE NEXT GENERAL MEETING WILL BE TUESDAY OCTOBER 26, 2010 AT MCM ELEGANTE 6:30 PM


Board of Directors 2010-2011

President Elisa Trillanes Phone: 505.269.2503

Vice President Elizabelth Wright-Smith Phone: 505.604.2865

Secretary/Membership Tonya Griego Phone: 505.463.4318

Treasurer Lyn Kirkwood Phone: 505.897.1948

Flying Events John Hofer Phone: 505.506.6594

Education Garry Haruska Phone: 505.830.2225

Crew Development: Mike Garcia Phone: 505.659.2473

Community Relations Bud Hebrlee Phone: 505.401.9368 Special Events Paul Kress Phone: 505.818.8088 Ways & Means Debbie Reynolds Phone: 505.884.3136

Website Cloudbouncer Lori Pitman Phone: 505.890.8868 / 301.305.0141

The Cloudbouncer is a monthly publication of the AAAA Education Foundation. P.O. Box 90160, Albuquerque, New Mexico 87199-0160 Subscription rate: $17 annually; FREE to AAAA Members in good standing. The AAAA Education Foundations strives to provide the most valuable forum possible for the free exchange of information within the AAAA. Acceptance of advertising cannot imply endorsement of products or services by AAAA nor the Cloudbouncer Editor, Publisher or Staff. Opinions presented in Cloudbouncer in information contributions, articles, letters and editorials are solely the opinions of the authors and do not express the official view of AAAA. We authorize the reprinting of any original work in this newsletter with credit to the author and AAAA Cloudbouncer as the source. Please send articles and photos to our dedicated email address: Persons whose articles are published are eligible to receive a special Cloudbouncer appreciation lapel pin. Deadline for all submissions is the Friday after the General Meeting. Articles, photographs and advertisements received after the deadline will be publishes in a future issue, if they are still relevant. AAAA website:



Monthly Board Meeting: Monday October 18th, 6pm AIBF Office

Advertising Rates Full Page……$110.00 Half Page…...$55.00 Quarter Page.$28.00 Eighth Page…$14.00 Classified Advertisements $2 per 50character line; prepaid only. All prepaid advertisements – “All advertisements must be prepaid with a Credit Card. The deadline for advertisements is the third Friday of the month. Email advertisements to Lorie Guthrie @ An invoice will then be emailed as well as payment instructions.” Cover photo submitted by Lori Pitman.


Education Report – The committee is working hard on the Balloon Fiesta Safety Seminar.


Flying Events – John Hofer is proposing a dinner and dance to be held in January to celebrate AAAA’s 40th Anniversary. Crew D – The committee is working on Fire Extinguisher training at the Jingle Bell Rally.

My sincere apologies to the membership for the delay in your October Cloudbouncer. Our Editor in Chief was ready to go but the rest of us fell behind with Fiesta starting on the 1st of October this year. However, this late date gives me a chance to talk about this years Fiesta and the winner of the Sid Cutter award. The Board received eight nominations this year and though they were all deserving, in one way or another, the Board felt that one seemed to stand above the rest. This gentleman did many things for both AAAA and Balloon Fiesta serving as President for both organizations. He did much to increase the quality of our education seminars and worked to get AAAA qualified as a 501.C3. He was around as a volunteer for both organizations and knew how to ask to get others involved as volunteers. It was my great pleasure to present this years Sid Cutter Award to Arthur 'Art' Swenka. Congratulations also go out to AAAA's very own Peter Cuneo and Barbara Fricke for winning this years America's Challenge Gas Balloon Race with a distance of 1,350 miles and Bryan Hill for being the overall competition winner. Of course, it can't be said enough thank you to all our AAAA members that worked so hard to make this year's Balloon Fiesta such an amazing event. With 10 days of great morning weather I look forward to hearing the numbers for this year.

Community Relations – See attached report. Special Events – The committee is working hard on F&L’s. Ways and Means – has been focusing on the Raffle. New Business – The board voted and approved extending the deadline for Sid Cutter Award nominations. Garry Haurska spoke to the Board regarding the purchase of an AED, he will send out additional information to the board. Meeting concluded at 7:30pm

COMMITTEE REPORTS COMMUNITY RELATIONS Saturday November 6, 2010 is an important date for the New Mexico Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation upcoming Walk to Cure Diabetes. Several AAAA members have been extremely generous in the past by conducting tethered/static balloon rides/ display's at the Fiesta Balloon Park. I sincerely hope those who have contributed in the past will again participate and encourage other members as well for this extremely important event. Please call Joann Perrine at the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation for details as to time. Thanking you in advance.

BOARD MEETING MINUTES September 20, 2010 Called to order at 6:05pm by President Elisa Trillanes

Bud Hebrlee, AAAA Community Relations Director

Board Members Present – Elisa Trillanes, Paul Kress, Tonya Griego, John Hofer, Garry Haruska, Mike Garcia, Bud Hebrlee, Lyn Kirkwood and Beth Wright-Smith

CREW DEVELOPMENT On Saturday of the Jingle Bell Event, Ron Sanchez, will be helping us by teaching about the proper use of Fire Extinguishers and how they relate to ballooning. We hope to see everyone there since I am sure there are some of us out there that don't know how long we have had or how old our extinguishers are...either in our baskets or trailers.

Visitors – Lichelle Peete Treasurer’s Report – The treasurer’s report was reviewed and approved. VP Report – September’s program will include the AIBF Briefing to be followed by the General Meeting. October’s program will include Carol Bair.


Thank you for all of your suggestions and ideas, please feel free to email me so we can put it in our plans of needed information.

crew of volunteers for assembly, ground handling, launching, landing assistance, and disassembly. A pilot is legally responsible for actions – effective, ineffective, or even inactions – of others. Those others include trained crew as well as untrained bystanders pressed into service on the spot. Mishandling a crown/drop line or mismanaging “weight on” can complicate “command” and lead to FAA and civil actions against a pilot. Worst of all, what’s legal isn’t always safe and vice versa. Pilots often violate minimum safe altitudes to make approaches for landings, while using a tie-off is not required by any regulatory or industry publication.

WAYS AND MEANS by Lichele Peete standing in for Debbie Reynolds Thanks to everyone for donating items for the AAAA Raffle & Auction. We had everything from collectible AIBF programs, posters and books to themed baskets, a handmade blanket, jackets, jewelry and miscellaneous balloon items. Big thanks also go to everyone who bought tickets and purchased auction items and helped AAAA raise over $800. Don't forget we will have t-shirts, pins and rosters available at the next AAAA general meeting.

“Safety” is – well, here’s the thing. Sadly, there’s more clarity and definition on competition rules than safety protocol, and most of that goes to pilots for launching. Safety is a pilot responsibility but precedes command (a pilot must first show minimal skill before being certified) and at time even supersedes it. There’s no consensus or even working definition of the term among the FAA, flight instructors, designated examiners, manufacturers, or insurance providers – those we’ve vested with this noble task. We know exactly what less-than-safe looks like: weather/wind lead to trouble, power line strikes cause most fatalities, passengers get hurt most often, accidents occur mostly on landing, etc. We just don’t yet have quite the right vision or game plan for staying out of trouble.

EDUCATION The Education Committee is in the planning stages for the 2011 ground schools, both private and commercial. Dates will be finalized in the next couple of months. Look for the ground school dates in the Cloudbouncer and on the AAAA web site.

WELCOME TO CREW CHIEF’S CORNER! (Copyright 2010 by Gordon Schwontkowski) Crew Chief’s Corner is for all balloonists. Pilots will find information on flying and skill instruction their instructors never provided. Crew chiefs will find indepth analysis of their role never discussed before. And crew will find what to expect and what is expected of them as their ballooning experience grows. Regardless of your ballooning rank, you’ll find a wealth of safety techniques and tips found nowhere else in our sport.

Both terms have large gray areas and overlap. Legally, ballooning is an individual event. Operationally – and to be safe – it’s a team effort. Pilot and crew conduct must reflect both realities. Rather than rewrite federal code or push for crew certification, defining and promoting safety might prove most useful. Many working definitions, though, lack in various ways. Simply not having an accident is impossibly vague and offers no prescriptions. Bringing everyone and everything home intact doesn’t work either; what pilot or insurance agent wouldn’t sacrifice a tether rope or envelope to keep a passenger alive and well? No current definition seems to prevent or minimize accidents.

SAFETY VERSUS COMMAND Ready, fire, aim! Crew often hear the terms “safety” and “command,” but few truly know exactly what these mean or how great a role they play in creating both. It’s essential every crew chief know the difference between the two as well as the many hands-on ways it takes to promote both. A little reflection here will pay huge dividends by painting the big picture and even get us closer to both targets faster.

A working definition which has served well for many pilots and crew is this:

The FAA defines “command” as a pilot’s final authority and responsibility for the operation and safety of the aircraft and flight. Sounds official and final, but there’s much more to it. This legal definition loses some of its clarity when applied to balloons. Crewless flights are truly rare, often lack the essential safety redundancy provides, and could easily be considered negligent or reckless in commercial ventures. No other class of aircraft relies on uncertified

SAFETY is the consistent and systematic prevention, avoidance, and management of all flightrelated risks of any nature. That includes crowd control, watching weather for changes, pulling a red line on squirrelly inflations when your pilot’s at the load ring, shutting down a fuel system in the event of a leak or small fire,


checking out landing sites for your pilot, handling a drop line, or managing a power line strike scene while everyone onboard remains in the basket. A pilot may be responsible for these tasks, but the responsibility for carrying them out successfully may go to crew. No one is asking pilots to relinquish their command to crew or encourage back-seat micromanagement; rather we all must admit that crew offer redundancy to the only balloon component that has none: the pilot. And no one argues the safety value of redundancy!

AAAA pilots have volunteered to provide balloon rides to guests of Albuquerque’s Sister Cities since 1990, when the International Conference was held in Albuquerque. Hundreds of rides have been donated to our guests, from all parts of the planet, leaving a wonderful memory of our unique city, the balloon capital of the world.

TO BE CONTINUED IN NOVEMBER'S ISSUE... Disclaimer: The information presented in these articles is for educational purposes, may not reflect the opinion of the newsletter publisher, and should be placed in context with personal experience and other authoritative sources. The author and publisher specifically disclaim any responsibility for any liability, loss, damage, or risk, personal or otherwise, which is incurred or alleged to have occurred as a consequence, directly or indirectly, of the use and application of any of the contents in this series. Based on the book “Hot Air Balloon Crewing Essentials” available through the author

AAAA PILOTS GIVE RIDES TO SISTER CITIES GUESTS Submitted by Dave Bagley Albuquerque hosted the Sister Cities International Conference in July, and guests from our sister cities of Sasebo, Japan, Helmstedt, Germany and Chihuahua, Mexico were among the 500 delegates who attended. During their stay in Albuquerque, AAAA pilots volunteered to give balloon rides to out guests. For the first flight, pilots Terrible Tom Schroeder, Blair Kauffman, Clarke O’Byrne, Dave Tennis and Jeff Reneger offered to fly 9 exchange students from Sasebo, Japan. Unfortunately, the weather didn’t cooperate, so pilots and crews set up their equipment and the teens could see and experience baskets, tanks, and especially the noisy burners during their stay with their host families. Jeff and his family hosted one of the students. The following weekend, pilots Jeff Reneger, Alan Wynn and David Fenske gave rides to Sister Cities International Conference delegates from Helmstedt, Germany and Chihuahua, Mexico. The five passengers were treated to Albuquerque at its finest and enjoyed their flights, and had a ceremony in several languages following their flights.

[7] for the results)


The BFA board of directors recently met in Albuquerque New Mexico for a face to face meeting Sept 30-Oct 1 2010. There were many items on the agenda, but the items that seemed to take up a lot of discussion time were both membership and the website.

One topic that had a lot of energy came from Matt Fenster. He gave a proposal at the April face to face meeting about a crew division of the BFA. He came to the board for this meeting with a proposal of what the membership category will involve. For $30.00 a year, crew can become a nonvoting BFA member with many benefits geared toward crew. They will receive a crew t-shirt, electronic calendar of festivals across the country, electronic newsletter with reports from various festivals, topics for crew training, tailgate recipes, crew tips and tricks, and more. They will also receive 1electronic issue of the ballooning journal. They will also be added to a database so pilots across the country can find crew either at festivals or as they travel. Board member Cory Miller contacted the balloon clubs around the country and those that responded showed the huge need for this membership category. Why not get your valuable crew members a membership and thank them for all of the hard work they have done for you over the years. You can call the BFA office to get started.

Here is a recap of the items that the board discussed. President Troy Bradley opened up the meeting comparing two companies Netflix and Blockbuster. Ten years ago, Blockbuster was a well established successful company and Netflix was a young start up. Currently, Blockbuster is bankrupt and Netflix has grown by leaps and bounds. Filling a demand in a different way is the key to Netflix’s success and the way for our organization to thrive and succeed as well.  Troy expressed to the board that our membership continues to decline, and we need to work together as a board so we do not become a Blockbuster. Jim Thompson gave the treasurers report and showed some concern for the upcoming year. The board and staff have work diligently to cut expenses while providing member services that are valuable to our members. Over the two days, the board’s genuine concern for the sport and the organization showed as there were many ideas that came forth to save the organization money.

The website received a lot of attention and many of the topics came back to the website. Troy Bradley put together a 20 something focus group and they looked at the BFA and how to make it better. They gave some great suggestions on what the site should have. Many of those in the focus group have grown up in ballooning as well. The board also gave a lot of input as to what they wanted to see on the site and improvements to drive people to the site. Rick Jones was in attendance at the face to face meeting so there was good discussion what can be done with the site. The first two items include adding more color to the front page and to get the for sale ads up and running.

The online safety seminar was a huge success this year and will happen once again February 5, 2011, broadcasting live from Lakeland, Florida. This year’s speakers will include; Troy Bradley, Gordon Schwontkoski, and a few others. Cost this year will be $25.00 if registered before December 1, 2010, $35 after December 1 and $125 for non members of the BFA. There will be a registration form and ability to pay online on the website. Registration for the convention has officially been opened. You can visit the BFA website to find a link to the convention website and to register. The convention committee has been working hard to provide the best program possible. The keynote speaker for the convention is Joe Kittinger. You can also reserve hotels on the convention website at the rate of $99.00 at the Marriott.

The 50 year commemorative coins have been for sale for a couple of weeks. These coins were made to celebrate the last 50 years of the BFA. These coins sell for $15.95 which includes shipping from Indiana and have a msrp of $19.95. These are bronze in color and have a raised edging. These coins can only be ordered on a pre-order basis and once we reach 100 coins, we will submit the order. Call the BFA office today to reserve your copy.

The HACD report talked about the worlds and pre world’s championships coming to Battle Creek, Michigan in 2011 and 2012. The BFA team in Hungary representing USA at this year’s worlds is Nick Donner, Johnny Petrehn, Joe Heartsill, Paul Petrehn and Owen Keown. (See the competition area on

The youth camps this year held one camp in Michigan. There were about 20 campers that attended. The camp in Texas was cancelled due to lack of attendees. Next year, camps are scheduled to be held in Texas, Michigan, and the NE area where the location to be determined. If you are interested in host-


ing a camp in your area contact Shelly Caraway or Cory Miller for more information.

Board Members: Troy Bradley - Matt Fenster - Cory Miller - Kevin Knapp - Andy Baird - Ken Walter - Debb y Standefer - Jim Lynch - Bill Hughes - Jim Thompson -

Maury Sullivan presented a document to the board that the Events Guidelines committee has been working hard for the past 6 months. There will be a review period in the future to give input and it will be presented at the convention. This document is a non-binding guideline to help balloon festivals organize a successful and safe event. Watch for more details as they develop. Awards were given out at the Annual General Meeting. This year's recipients of the Director’s award are: Great Eastern Balloon Association given by Bill Hughes-Northeast region Barbara and Steve Stokoe given by Jim LynchSoutheast Region Roy Caton given by Kevin Knapp- at large Bill Zangs given by Ken Walter- Great Lakes region Pat Brake given by Shelley Caraway- Southwest region Sharon and Edd Higbee given by Andy Baird- at large Bob Tyszka given by Cory Miller- Western Region The Presidents award was given to Maury Sullivan by Troy Bradley for his generous commitment of time, unwavering support and continual dedication to the Balloon Federation of America. HACD 2009 Awards: National Points Leader - Nicholas Donner Highest ranking Rookie - Rhett Heartsill Highest Ranking Female - Cheryl Edwards WhiteHighest ranking Senior Pilot - Joe Heartsill Most improved pilot 2 - Bruce Bussey and William Bussey (tie) The Shields Trauger awards were announced at the AGM and will be presented at the convention in Des Moines. This years recipients are Colonel Joseph W Kittinger Jr and Louis R Billones. Your new officers for the 2010-2011 year are: President- Troy Bradley Vice President- Matt Fenster Secretary- Cory Miller Treasurer- Kevin Knapp. Please feel free to contact any one of the board of directors at any time with any questions or concerns that you may have.


On glideslope, on glidepath, cleared to land!!! Submitted by Al Lowenstein

Fiesta Photos Submitted by Ray Bair


CLASSIFIED ADS CAMERON BALLOON SALES: Need consultation, information or quotes on a new balloon. Call Beth WrightSmith at 604-2865 or Troy Bradley at 350-2705. PILOT TRAINING from the most experienced instructor in the Southwest! Call Beth Wright-Smith at Airborne Heat, 505-604-2865 or email, FAA approved Part 141 school; flexible schedules. Now awarded the contract to instruct FAA personnel. Also see


OCTOBER MEETING PROGRAM Fiesta Pilot Tent What does gray water have to do with the tent? How many donuts were eaten? How does everything this year compare with the early days of the Pilot Tent? October’s program features Carol Bair, who has been organizing the tent for many, many years. You’ll be amazed at what goes in to organizing everything so we all have a place to go in the morning before we fly at Balloon Fiesta. She will have photos from this year’s tent; maybe you’re in them.



Nick Donner Fisherville, KY U.S. National Champion 2009, 2003, 2001 60X


John Petrehn Leawood, KS 2nd Place 56X

Chase Donner Fisherville, KY 5th Place 60X


Brad Craig Carlisle, IA 6th Place 69X


Joe Heartsill San Angelo, TX 7th Place 56X

Jeffery Sweet Indian Trail, NC 8th Place 69X


Todd Isley Carlisle, IA 10th Place 60X

Lindstrand Balloons Performance Proven

Lindstrand Balloons USA • 11440 Dandar Street • Galena, IL 61036 Ph (815) 777-6006 • Fax (815) 777-6004 • Email:


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2010 October Cloudbouncer  

Official publication of the Albuquerque Aerostat Ascension Association (AAAA) Hot Air Balloon Club.

2010 October Cloudbouncer  

Official publication of the Albuquerque Aerostat Ascension Association (AAAA) Hot Air Balloon Club.