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GENERAL MEETING BALLOON MUSEUM 28TH Social 1800 / Meeting 1830

A MONTHLY PUBLICATION OF THE ALBUQUERQUE AEROSTAT ASCENSION ASSOCIATION & EDUCATION


and Michael LaPlante were presented by Elisa is Sue’s absence. Ursula moved to accept the new members presented, second by Don, all in favor motion passed Treasurer – Dick gave report under old business budget topic.

AAAA Board of Directors Meeting Minutes May 16, 2016 @ 5:30pm The Meeting was called to order by President, Elisa Trillanes, at 5:30pm Board members in attendance: Elisa Trillanes, Blair Kaufman, Dick Rice, Don Boyer, Ursula Richards, Charity Blanchard, Michelle Lutz, and Tim Martin. Larry Kaibetoney arrived late due to an auto accident. Board members absent: Sue Oldenburg Review of Minutes from April 18, 2016 – Motion to dispense with the reading of the minutes by Michelle, second by Don, all in favor motion passed Officer Reports Vice President – Blair reported that the program for May will be about the Smokey the Bear balloon program. He is still working on final costs for June speaker. Looking forward to ideas and suggestions at the June Board meeting. Secretary – New member applications from Joshua Tobin, Cynthia Woodrum,

Committee Reports Flying Events –Tim reported that the May flying event was held at Fiesta Park Sunday, May 15, 2016. Flight was cancelled due to weather. Some crews did participate in the crew game photo contest. We had visitors from Pakistan here with Sandia Labs who were in attendance. We may have other foreign nationals here with training at the Labs who may attend in the future. Education – Don reported that the commercial ground school was a success. Due to some of the survey responses he will be looking at revamping some course sections. Dick volunteered to assist with Powerpoint, lesson plans or teaching. There are currently 16 or 17 signed up for the second private pilot ground school to be held in June. Crew Development – Larry reported that the crew photo contest was still held at the May flying event. Winners announced at the May general meeting. They are still hoping to add participants for the landowner relations seminar. The committee feels they need at least 15 to not cancel the class. Larry will work on an email blast to the membership.


Ways & Means – Michelle reported that the happy hour at Savoy was a great success. The location was very nice with good service. A second May happy hour will be held at Sinner’s and Saints May 31. Roster is coming along well with huge thanks to Marge Baxter. Michelle shared the cover art with the Board and passed around the Board roster page for corrections and approval. Community Relations – No report Special Events – Charity reported that June will be the ice cream social after the flying event. However, after the cold weather experienced last year it was decided by her committee that if the weather does not cooperate they will wait and serve the ice cream as dessert with the tailgate cook-off in July. Plans are also in the works for the club picnic in August, details at a later date. Unfinished Business Budget – Dick presented budget information, comparisons of the last three years, and answered questions for both the AAAA club budget and the AAAA Education Foundation budget. Slight changes were made by committee members as the budgets were presented. Tim moved to approve the AAAA club budget, second by Charity, all in favor motion passed. Blair moved to approve the AAAA Education Foundation budget, second by Don, all in favor motion passed. Conflict of Interest Statements which were not completed at the April meeting were passed to Elisa for delivery to Sue.

“Homework” ideas for Board members was tabled for further discussion in June. New Business Camp fees paid – Tabled to June meeting Ground school changes – Tabled to June meeting Cloudbouncer – Elisa reported that Pat Chando is interested in “retiring” as cloudbouncer editor after five years. New membership forms will be included in next month’s edition. Tim has sent a photo to Michelle for both the roster and cloudbouncer. Website – Elisa asked Board members to review their sections of the website for accuracy. It was noted that the Education Bylaws on the site are not the most current. Board members were asked if they would be interested in some training on how to update the website. Elisa will try to set up something with Lobo net E-mail and phone numbers – Contact sheet for the Board was passed for review Meeting room – Elisa discussed the possibility of moving the meeting from the upper room in the museum to the lower room. This might help with a few items such as noise during the meeting, members not able to use the stairs, and even possibly temperature during the summer meetings. Blair offered to contact the museum and ask about the possibility of the move.


Member Letters/Comments – None were received Adjourn – Motion to adjourn by Charity, second by Blair, meeting adjourned at 7:26pm

The Meeting was called to order by President, Elisa Trillanes, at 6:30pm Guests in attendance – Mackenzie Hill, Susan Chaudoir, Matthew New Ratings – Tom Rioos received his Private License. Ballooning in the Community – • Keith Lutz did a stand up at the Balloon Museum for school kids • Ken & Bobbie Tuley/Barbara Fricke/Peter Cuneo worked with APS teachers making lesson plans for other APS teachers about ballooning • Ursula Richards also did a stand up at the Balloon Museum for school kids. PROGRAM Bill Chapel did a great job speaking to the club about the Smokey the Bear balloon program. He gave a bit of background on how the program came about, who actually owns and manages the balloon, and the ways in which it is used to educate both children and adults. Many questions were asked and answered about the unique program. Officer Reports information in addition to the Board minutes and written reports

AAAA General Meeting Minutes May 24, 2016 @ 6:30pm

Vice President – Blair asked the club again to bring him ideas on programs they would be interested in.


Secretary – Sue was absent. New members approved during Board meeting were announced Treasurer – Dick announced an approved budget would be included in the Cloudbouner. Probably no pie charts this month (booing ensued). Committee Reports Flying Events – Next flying event will be June 11th at Rio Rancho balloon field. Events are announced in the Cloudbouncer and on the website Education – Don announced Education had 80 students this year for ground schools. Fiesta Safety Seminar will be at Sid Cutter Pilots Pavilion. Suggested drinking game for each time Dick mentioned pie charts.

Education Private Pilot Ground School will be held June 3-5, 2016 at the Balloon Fiesta offices. We currently have 24 students registered which is just one short of capacity. Online registration is still open. We are also working on the Fiesta Safety Seminar which will be in the Sid Cutter Pilot Pavilion this year. If you have any speaker or topic suggestions please let me know.

Ways & Means Happy Hour at Savoy was a spec tac ular event. We raised some money while having a great time! They were very ac c ommodating with an awesome outdoor spac e, grand prize and extending the happy hour pricing for us! Ways and Means will be distributing the annual roster at the next months general meeting. Thank you to all the AAAA Corporate Sponsors! We would also like to thank Marj Baxter for her ongoing support for helping to produc e a beautiful roster year after year!

Community Relations – Please see Board report Community Relations Contact: Elizabeth Cordova, United Way of Central New Mexico Work: 505-245-1729 Cell: 505-975-7600 She is coordinating with the United Ways of California to have a national conference that will be held in Albuquerque this August. They are planning a reception on August 4th, 7pm at the Balloon Museum. She is requesting a balloon glow and possibly tethered rides. If interested please contact her directly.

Special Events – Please see Board report Special Events

Crew Development – Larry announced the winners of the May photo contest. • 3rd place Jane Schill • 2nd place Mike & Jennifer Garcia • 1s t place Barbara Fricke Ways & Means – Michelle roster looks great with new additions. Available at June meeting.

The Ice Cream Social is set for after the flying event on June 11. First come, first serve!!! If the weather does not cooperate (like last year) the ice cream will be served as dessert at the Crew Cook Off at the July flying event. The Annual Picnic is set for August 27 at the Coronado Campground. As in years past, the committee will provide, burgers, dogs, buns and condiments -- please bring a dish to share! Steve Mezzencello will once again man the grill -- thank


you Steve! ore details will be released at a later date. Lastly, if you ordered a denim shirt at Friends and Lovers and you have not picked it up, please email Charity at special-events@hotairballooning.org. I have had them at flying events and general meetings since the event and will not continue to cart them around much longer. If you know William Kemp or Suzi Miller, please have them contact me ASAP!!!!!!

Rio Grande Classic was a great success. Congratulations to our winners in all 3 categories.

I was discussing membership and meeting attendance with another member recently. It seems to me that June is typically our lowest attended meeting of the year. I don’t know the exact numbers, but it appears to me that overall attendance for club meetings has gone down in the last few years. It begs the questions of why? What is causing this drop in attendance and overall club membership? What can your club do better to serve you the member?

Rio Grande Classic First Place - Rhett Heartsill Second Place - Joe Heartsill Third Place - Neil Jackson

The only way to answer these questions is with input from you the club member. I have tasked the Board with trying to answer this question and bring new ideas, but the Board is only a small portion of the club membership. We want your input and ideas so please visit the website www.hotairballooning.org and click Officers & Board on the left hand side to send a note with any suggestions or ideas you might have or catch any Board member out and about ballooning.

Special Thank You to Club Rio Rancho Jhett, Joanne, Karen, Justin, Josh, Dylan, Sandy and Kristie and all your staff, for giving Rio Grande Classic a wonderful setting for our event. Thank You to all our sponsors, volunteers and scoring teams! You helped make RGC the best yet.

SW Regionals First Place - Rhett Heartsill Second Place - Joe Heartsill Third Place - Neil Jackson NM State Championships First Place - Neil Jackson Second Place - Jonathan Wright Third Place - Jason Buckner

Our staff worked hard to present the best balloon competition of 2016. Big Shout Out to Maury and Lynn Sullivan for your dedication and hard work on calling our tasks and calculating scores! Your the best! Next Top Gun flying event will be Sunday, June 26th.


Other Ballooning Organizations BFA – Balloon camp is coming up quick in just 6 weeks. 25 campers are signed up. Crew is needed July 9-14, they are set with pilots and counselors. Top Gun – Rio Grande Classic will be May 28-30. Registration 5pm at Club Rio Rancho. Big thank you to the Wright family for their help with the shirt embroidery. Fiesta – Less than 130 days!! No reports from VFRS, FAA, Balloon Museum or Foundation, Balloon Explorium.

The Back Burner SAFETY VERSUS COMMAND

If you are interested in attending the Santa Fe Trail Balloon event please contact Neil Smith they are still looking for a few pilots.

CAMERON BALLOO N SALES Need consultation, information or quotes on a new balloon. Call Beth Wright-Smith at 604-2865. pilotschool@lobo.net. Website: www.airborneheat.com and on Facebook

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. 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 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.

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” 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-thansafe 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.

A working definition which has served well for many pilots and crew is this: SAFETY is the consistent and systematic prevention, avoidance, and management of all flight-related 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 micro-management; 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! Besides outnumbering pilots 2 or 4:1, crew clearly become players and factors in the safety equation for a simpler reason: no one vested with ballooning’s safety is on hand for each of your flights. They only get involved before or after things go wrong, often much sooner or later, and offer no immediate remedy when trouble’s at hand. Who else knows your pilot’s routines, equipment, local conditions, and flying area better than you do and is on hand to catch things and interrupt events before they become accident chains and NTSB reports? While command must reside with the pilot, safety is much bigger and must truly become everyone’s business. Here’s why. Stuff happens in ballooning, even when you’re not flying. The best time to prevent an accident is before it happens. The pain of discipline – paying attention and directing events, not simply reacting – is minimal compared to the pain of regret. Everyone around or in your basket is someone’s spouse, sibling, best friend, or colleague. Imagine how you’d feel if someone close to you was injured and you later learned someone else – beyond the pilot – could have prevented that. Even if your pilot does everything possible and legally, handling a crown line more effectively or being there on landing to add weight often means the difference between safety and

anything less. You would expect nothing less in return for those close to you. The other reason is strictly bottom line. Safety is cheap compared to the alternative. Incidents, accidents, and injuries are truly expensive. Doing things right the first time is truly cheaper in the long run. Consider the price tags on some common mishaps. Burned throat fabric from a mishandled crown line can cost a scrubbed flight ($3001000 passenger revenue), a $2-400 repair, and lost time and travel costs. A hard landing with passenger injury may cost only a few hundred in medical expenses but also that nagging feeling your pilot gets for weeks hoping that ankle heals nicely and no lawsuits follow. A power line strike or fatality can easily cost 6-7 figures in injuries, compensation, claims, damages, and legal defenses not to mention how it’ll change your pilot’s view on flying. While these aren’t highly common, none are that uncommon, and it only has to happen once to you or someone you know to become very real and painful. And whether you see it or not, there’s a ripple effect throughout ballooning after every accident. Even if you only sport fly, there’s never a cheap mishap or a good time for one. None of this is theoretical. Nothing is deadlier to pilots and passengers or more devastating to crew than a power line strike. A simple crew precaution of radioing your pilot anytime your balloon is below 100’ with line locations can prevent hitting wires. Forget the cell phone; any pilot would prefer hearing a short message versus fumbling to


answer a phone while flying low. Just make the call – short and sweet (“power east of the road”) - but don’t expect a reply. It’s not required by the FAA (the call isn’t, but redundancy in every balloon component is). It’s not required to get a pilot’s certificate. Most pilots won’t ever expect it, but you’d be surprised how many get surprised by hidden lines. It doesn’t challenge or relinquish command. It’s just plain safe, and it’s really that simple. Safety is all about risk management, tolerance, and mitigation. Safety is truly in the details, and crew often end up with those details and tasks in their hands or catch those subtle cues that precede mishaps. Before your next flight or flying season, sit down with your pilot and other crew to review some safety procedures and who does exactly what under what conditions. Some training might be required as well. If you see mist or rain on your windshield, radio your pilot. Learn when or how to pull a red line of your pilot’s at the parachute and the inflation gets out of hand (and when to let go if things get truly out of hand). Practice weight-on landings and drop line handling during a calm-wind tether. Get that first-aid training you’ve been putting off; spectators have saved balloonists’ lives when crew didn’t know CPR. Imagine how you’d feel if that was your pilot and you didn’t have the skills, then imagine yourself the person who knew how and acted. Which person do you want to be? Nickel-and-diming yourself when it comes to safety usually means you’ll be quartered

later – both literally and figuratively. Safety takes many more forms than command does and results from what crew do, don’t do, know, and don’t know. Plan for safety on every flight rather than take a let’s-see-whathappens attitude. Invest some of your time before you get wrapped up in another flying season to master the specific techniques you’ll need to prevent, avoid, and manage all flight-related risks of any nature for the kind of flying you do.

Based on the book “Hot Air Balloon Crewing Essentials” available through the author (see the end of the “Welcome” article for more information).


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2016 June Cloudbouncer  

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

2016 June Cloudbouncer  

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

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