Spending time in Thailand
Our trip to Thailand had been long waited for, initially intended for the winter of 94/95. My other half Karin had gotten the maps as well as publications and also even packed; we were off. The balloon prepared at Rumbling and Colt with a sturdy basket tailor produced hard usage overseas. And after that they failed. The delay indicated that we missed the fairly short home window available for flying in Thailand. So it was stormy old England for many of the winter months as well as a rethink of the prepare for us. I had actually been asked to go out there by Jon Nunns having actually formerly helped him in South Africa flying traveler trip balloons.
Jon’s interest in Thailand comes from numerous commercial trips he’s probably had one of the most experience of flying in Thailand. Sky balloons representative in Thailand managed to sell among the very first balloons to roll off the manufacturing line to a set of organization guys that intended to find out to fly and fly marketing banners in I come again, this moment to train and aim them the right means.
So after a superb summertime passenger flying in England, it was off on a Quantas Jumbo from a snowy December Heathrow. We captured a connecting trip from Bangkok to Chaing Mai, a city in the North which was organizing the South East Asia Gamings, (SEA video games) our first port of call. Jon, returning from SAGA, was there for 3 days to ease us right into points.
Our hosts had managed to locate sponsor’s a mobile phone business as well as we had a hectic routine in advance. The city was humming with activity associated to the games and it was wonderful enjoyable to be there. We normally flew across the city in the early mornings as well as over the main stadium at nights.
The arena itself was regarding 10km from the centre of the city and lay under an east encountering incline which certainly relocated into color in the night permitting us to fly over the arena and also away right into open countryside, the mornings had the capacity to take us up the incline as well as away to the west which was not a great concept as there had to do with 50km of forest as well as national forest before the next roadway.
It was constantly relatively calm and also searching for locations to land was not an issue. We were not the only one in the air a Carlsburg balloon had been shipped in from Europe and also a Cameron Gas aircraft from America. Oddly neither believed to visit or call the worldwide airport terminal 8km south of the arena. This created some quantity of problem as Thai’s love complicated permissions to fly and also neither had any. As we did have permission we were contactable and got some quantity of flack from their CAA. We smoothed the path rather well for them, prison was pointed out on greater than one event!
The aircraft did an amazing work seemingly never out of the air as well as lugging a TV video camera beaming online photos from the arena. During the night we tethered following to the arena and the airship still plodded around going down leaflets.
Thai’s are football fans and also the Oriental mug was also held during the video games at night. Our tethers accompanied all the house group video games. As Thailand progressed via the rankings tickets marketed out and it started to get unsightly at evictions. For the semi final the fans melted down the ticket outdoors tents in protest and several thousand additional attempted to get in triggering a break out of cops cruelty.
We tethered high permitting us to see the suits as well as lugged public relations people, they had a tendency to intend to remain up a while as we had the most effective sight in your house!
On the first as well as last day of the video games we flew right into the stadium itself, the initial flight by Jon, with me on board and also the last by myself. What a superb feeling when you drop over the edge of the arena roof and involve a dead stop amidst all that sound and afterwards pile out once again, truly great fun, it comes highly advised!
The flights over the city were additionally good. The airport required us to remain below 1000′ and if we needed to fly higher after that we had to call them on VHF. It worked well and obviously flying throughout holy places at low level was remarkable. Chaing Mai old city lies within a square canel as well as includes some 300 temples in total amount. It was below that we aimed to overfly each day. The River Ping winds it’s means to the east of the old city as well as was very useful for large instructions modifications. As a policy most wind instructions could be located and remaining over the city centre for an hour or so and after that climbing up and also departing was relatively easy.
I have to say that Northern Thai’s appeared more fun caring than their Southerly fellow citizens. To this end they appreciate letting off fireworks and also cells balloons bring balls of melting cloth to maintain them up. Not uncommon to see 10 approximately go across the evening skies beautiful red when drinking a beer. They climb up fairly high too I flew with some at 3000′. On a pair of events, on touchdown villagers let go cells balloons in our honour. They additionally flew larger ones with strings of fireworks blowing up away underneath. All good stuff for balloonists to enjoy. The last evening of the games saw the launch of over of 1000 of these balloons in around 10 mins from throughout the arena, and also as it was a tranquil evening it was the most beautiful balloon point I’ve ever before seen.
So once that was around it was off to Bangkok 8 hours South by roadway. Unbeknown to myself we had actually pertained to the notice of the Prime Ministers office and were looked for a task!
The deputy Prime Preacher, Thakasin Shinawat, had actually said on entering into workplace early in 1995, that by the middle of January 1996 (or 2539 as it is over there) he would certainly sort out Bangkoks website traffic issues. He has been pouring millions of Baht of his very own cash into what is primarily an impossible job. He has actually also been doing all kind of stunts to reveal individuals that he is attempting to remedy the scenario.
We were asked to fly him over Bangkok to observe the website traffic from the air, this being in their words, a low expense option. Approvals clearly had to be sought. We were summoned for our first conference with the CAA on Christmas Day, at 10 O’clock, everybody evidently discovering it enjoyable that I was missing my Christmas day. On arriving it transpired that they really did not actually desire us to fly as it is an army state as well as they really did not desire me to see anything I shouldn’t. The Kings Royal residence is a no no to fly over as you need to never have your head greater than his! Nevertheless the civilian run Head of state workplace had put huge stress on as well as they felt they had to relent and incidentally, what might we tell them concerning the other balloon and airship in Chaing Mai (are you obtaining the image that this is a caution). It took place that we held the winning hand but they truly had to tell us they did not like it initially. There one and also only request was that I didn’t fly more than 500′. Currently what! a satisfaction. Royal helicopters fly at 800′ to ensure that was that. I left on Xmas days with a notepad that purchased me to fly not over 500 AGL any place I suched as! A journey then to the tower at Bangkok International to allow them understand what was happening as well as get an air graph. They currently recognized everything about us and also wouldn’t give me an air graph: armed forces tricks and all that. If I ‘d recognized I might have brought them in England prior to we left!
Thus it came to pass that I was doing balloon website traffic reports over the city of Bangkok with the deputy Head of state aboard as well as a movie crew as well as five television crews following up the web traffic. We flew 2 days doing 4 trips. The trips themselves were rather exciting to the factor that I would not rush to do them again. The tallest structure is hopping on for 1000′ and also we flew right in between a bunch of them certainly stopping all the web traffic as we went. For those that recognize we introduced from simply over Siam Square as well as flew across typically in the direction of the Queen Siriket Convention centre and after that over the river. The 500’ degree ended up being an actual discomfort in the afternoons as the OAT was some 37C and thermals were standing out off everywhere I might or may not in fact flown quite a little bit higher at the start of these trips as well as came down when it cooled off, however possibly I ‘d establish the altimeter improperly!
After all the fun and also games it was off to train three people in total amount: our agent as well as the 2 organization guys. To begin with we went off to Rayong a District to the SE of Bangkok renowned for it’s beach resort Pattaya. The men for some factor where keen to train there. It confirmed also seaside and the sea breeze knocked out the night trips and the land breeze in the mornings. Our consent was just for a 25 km square so we could not go any kind of additional inland.
Not a trouble as one of the guys had relatives with a farm near Kanchanaburi, house of the bridge over the river Kwai in the west of the country. It was right here that most of the training was done. It was a suitable location for ballooning, being generally level with periodic 5-600 foot hills turning up like islands. The areas are generally of Sugar Cane about three quarters and the rest are rice paddies. Everything went great and also after 3 return journeys to Bangkok on company the people where all set. They will be taking a trip to England to take their PPL’s quickly.
One even more surprise stocked store. Viewing as the flying into the stadium in Chaing Mai had actually gone so well I was asked to fly into an additional with a football to start The Thai football organization. Not such a huge offer yet the arena as 500 metres from the sea with houses right to it. Luck got on our side once even more and after two days of solid gale winds on the day in question it was calm. We pumped up behind a 5 story structure which was best beside the arena and also bang on for the wind instructions. The signal for us to launch was a series of fireworks the ninth being our go. At the practices which we could not fly into because of the wind we made certain that the marching bands had left and we had a clear stage. You understand whats coming next.1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9 Go, we climbed from behind the building to see that everybody was still stood there, down in between them all I came our main jumped out with the football as well as commended the President of Yamaha and we quickly deflated the balloon,! no chance was I going to fly out of that!
Thats briefly it, I have not touched on the really frustrating things, the stuff thats expected to include personality after that. I’ll let you learn all those little bits for yourselves.