February 27, 2010

Safety Seminar

A long day of sitting and learning, at the CT Lighter Than Air Society 2010 Safety Seminar. It's a full day of refresh and reboot in terms of the safety aspects of flying hot air balloons. Lots of things can go wrong - from propane related accidents to contact with high power lines, from thunderstorms and wind sheer to flying into trees.

Special guest this year was Gordon Schwontkowski, long time balloonist and author of "Hot Air Balloon Crewing Essentials". Gordon spoke on a few topics - crew safety, tie downs and tethering, crew weather - and was supplemented by other balloonists speaking about FAA Regulations, propane, accident avoidance, etc.

A long day, but worthwhile. I've been balloon crewing, on and off, for 25 years, and I have never been involved in nor witnessed a serious incident or accident. Hoping that day never comes. But it's always good to be prepared, and I walked away with a punch list of things I need to learn, some habits I need to develop, and some practices we could do better as a crew.

It was also a day of lax eating, as we ate the conference food (yummy, but not exactly weight watchers) and then a follow-up dinner at the Hawthrone Inn (where my meal included seared sea scallops, mashed potatoes, sauteed spinach, salad, and creme brulee). One day hiatus that I fear will show up on the scale on Monday.

Back to my regular life tomorrow. Yoga, methinks. Get some chores and cleaning done around here. And perhaps get my March 1 invoices out, on time for a change....

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