January 03, 2015

Frozen Buns Balloon Rally 2015

One of my many hobbies / interests is hot air ballooning. I crew or "chase" for a commercial pilot, Berkshire Balloons, and belong to a local hot air balloon club, the CT Lighter-than-Air Society (CLAS). And although ballooning might seem to be a fair weather sport, one can fly all year round. In fact, winter flying, with calm winds, cool air, and sparse vegetation, has it's own special charms.

Each year, on the first flyable weekend after new years, CLAS holds an informal balloon rally or fly-out called the Frozen Buns Rally. Commercial balloon pilots must make three take-offs / landings within a 90 day period to "stay current", or else they need to recertify. So a mid-winter flight is a great way to maintain certification - between the fall foliage season and early spring flying.

This morning, at the Aqua Turf Club in Southington, 14 hot air balloons made their way into the cold morning sky.

The club will be holding an annual banquet later this winter; and then a period of quiet until the warmer weather returns. If you are interested in the sport hot air ballooning, do consider joining CLAS - pilots are always looking for crew members, you can get notice of fly-outs, festivals, and events, and you just might decide to take lessons and learn to fly yourself!

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