Château d'Oex 2002, Part II

After Paul and Pauline and Before The Friday Flight

January 22-24, 2002

Tuesday, January 22, 2002

We weren't sure whether we'd be able to fly today. When Mike came back from the pilots' meeting, he said there might be a small window of opportunity if we left soon, but we would be confined to the valley and the flight would have to be short. We were essentially resigned to skipping, but Hermann suggested that we ought to give it a try, and suddenly there was a groundswell of guarded optimism.

What a good decision! While our flight was relatively short, it was beautiful. Watcharee skipped and followed our progress on the ground, and crew member Julian took her place in the basket. We launched from our usual site, where we were joined by the Deutsche Post "bull" special shape. It wasn't flying today ... indeed, not very many balloons were ... but it was inflated for some kind of inspection. (Mad cow? Foot and mouth?) It was put through a rigorous test, even being required to stand on its head at one point.

This was my first flight of the festival with Mike piloting. We didn't crash at all! As I said, it was a short flight, and we basically stayed over the village for the duration, but it was lovely. Just as we landed, a breeze was beginning to kick up, and we could see ominous clouds approaching from down the valley. We set down at just the right time.

We were met on the ground by Watcharee. I assumed she must have ridden with the chase crew, but no! she saw CB III in the sky and followed it on foot to its landing place.

The crew set up our post-flight libations and packed away the equipment.

Wednesday, January 23, 2002

Watch this space!

Thursday, January 24, 2002

Watch this space!

Next: The Friday Flight

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