Balloons really do have right of way

Discussion in 'Flight Following' started by Ed Haywood, Aug 23, 2020.

  1. Ed Haywood

    Ed Haywood Pre-takeoff checklist

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    In case you think it was silly that you had to memorize those rules for your PPL:

    This morning when I taxied onto runway 10 at KCKF in Cordele, Georgia for takeoff, there was a balloon directly on runway heading. It was at about 500 AGL, less than a mile from the airfield, right in my upwind path. Wind direction was 45 to the runway but very gentle, so I held on the numbers for about 5 minutes while the balloon slowly drifted out of the way. When I took off, the balloon was landing in a field a few hundred yards to the side of the airfield.

    For a few seconds it looked like he was headed right towards me and intended to land on the runway. I started considering my options to get the heck out of the way.

    So no, it's not hypothetical. It can happen. :)

    Kicking myself that I did not think to take a photo.
     
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  2. Todd82

    Todd82 Line Up and Wait

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    Back in the day I68 here had balloons and skydivers. Regardless of what the FAA says the actual #1 right of way went to the Caravan that dropped off the meat bombs. Divers and balloons were tied for second I guess. And in a distant last place was those of us paying by the Hobbs meter :(
     
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  3. pburger

    pburger Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I assume you know that it didn't really happen...;)
     
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  4. Daleandee

    Daleandee Cleared for Takeoff

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    Yep ... years ago flying the ultralights and ultralight training airplanes the airport had meat missiles falling out of the sky and the jump plane in use (King Air or Pilatus PC-6 Porter) would often cut you right out of the pattern. Complaining did no good as we weren't considered to be "airplanes" nor real pilots.

    Those guys were quite the hot dog pilots back in the day. I was waiting to take off with a student one day when the Porter came in and the pilot (new guy in training) stood on the brakes and put it up on the nose. Yes ... it was expensive as the prop hit with the engine running ...
     
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  5. ARFlyer

    ARFlyer En-Route

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    I was about to take off from Charlottesville one day when a balloon rose out from behind the tree line straight off the end. We sat on the runway for 15 minutes while it SLOWWWWWWWLLLYYYYYYYY moved out of the way.

    Interesting PA to the passengers. “Uhhh there is a balloon blocking our takeoff”
     
  6. sourdough44

    sourdough44 Pattern Altitude

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    Yeah, those balloons aren’t very maneuverable. Our dog has been freakin this Summer over balloons. She doesn’t like the burner noise when they ask for more power.
     
  7. Shepherd

    Shepherd En-Route

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    Happened to me in Oct 2017. Pulling out onto the runway, and the balloon came over top of me and landed. scaledballoon.jpg
     
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