President Richard Parry

September 1998

Dear Aeronauts,

     When I'm not in my right mind, my left mind gets pretty crowded.

     Well I had every good intent of keeping Members updated as the year progressed but as the chaos became more hectic than usual, apathy has reined supreme with most of our sponsors who have been very slow on the uptake with most of my "good ideas"! I have been kept very busy trying to organise attendance at some events and keep the club equipment serviceable.

     There has been plenty of flying outside Hong Kong for members with the time and funds to devote to the venture. I have tried very hard to convince CPA that it would cost very little to provide some tickets to venues where the CX balloon can be flown, principally so that none Cathay HKBAC members can then attend the meets but I have to admit to having a sore head!

     That is not to say the club has achieved nothing, far from it, and anyone who would like assistance to attend a particular meet has only to ask me for assistance and I will do my best.


     Nigel Black had made all the necessary arrangements to fly G-CXCX in Canberra in March but after a skiing accident he was unable to attend and I switched from a skiing holiday to a ballooning adventure to look after the event. CX Canberra was suitably impressed with the PR image of G-CXCX and we are hopeful that Cathay may well be the main sponsor for next years Canberra Festival.

     In April the City of Koga near Tokyo lent me a Cameron N77 to participate in their Koga Balloon Festival with 4 successful flights over the Easter Weekend. My son crewed for me and a local family, the Kobayashi's, provided some delightful Japanese hospitality or "homestay".

     The plan to fly G-CXCX in Phuket for the Passages Golf Classic 30th April - 5th May reached an advance stage when Cathay realised it would cost them for the privilege and cancelled the task. Hard luck Madelaine! In early July, Peter Mason from Aerial Pictures arrived to fly the Bibendum "Michelin Man". It was really an exercise in liason with CAD and other authorities to obtain the necessary permit to fly and after much cajoling of CAD, we succeeded in tethering Bibendum and a T&C 120 Michelin balloon from the Heliport site near Tamar.

     Cathay agreed to have G-CXCX flown at the Coupe de Europe d'Mongolfieres in Bordeaux in early August, provided it did not cost them anything! It did not, but it cost me a few $$$ in order to have some stunning flying over the fields of France with so much flying that there was little time to savour the lovely wines and good food! We managed a 13th place out of 49 competitors. The hardest task of the competition was shipping the balloon to Europe since it needed to be shipped just after CLK opened and there was no cargo going anywhere. CX Marketing suggested I use Federal Express (at my expense) however I had a better idea! With lots of "persuasion" it is possible to fit a Cameron N90 into a crew baggage container so after several security, transport and "please can we have an extra baggage container on CX251" type hurdles G-CXCX found it's way to the UK where the master plan almost came unstuck thanks to a wonderful Indian (British) Customs officer took umbrage to the fact that the customs carnet had not been stamped in HK and "as far as I am concerned this aeronautical device has not left Hong Kong". The CX Cargo Manager in LHR, came to my rescue and we were able to proceed.

     Since G-CXCX was already in the UK it seemed a shame not to participate in the UK Nationals at Ludlow so Nigel Black joined me for some very interesting tasks thanks to some excellent weather. The scenery was once again stunning and we managed a creditable 9th place overall.

Future Events

     Tethers are in the pipeline for the following venues:

Julia will probably do the October tether since it will probably be her Swansong balloon flight in Hong Kong as she is busy packing for a return to Blighty later in October, I am sad to say. Volunteers or expressions of interest are invited for all events. If you are based crew I will make an appeal on your behalf for an O day in HK on the date of the balloon venue, if you advise me accordingly.

     G-CXCX has been entered for the Sendai Meet north of Tokyo, which is the last venue of the Honda World GP series forming part of the Team United Nations and presently lying 6th out of 22 balloons. That event takes place in 20-24th October. The Saga Festival near Fukyoka is 18-24th November and G-CXCX should be participating once again.

     If anybody is interested in coming along then please call me for some details of costs and any other info. All welcome.

Logistics, General, Social and anything else I can think of

     The Aviation Club and our balloon shed continues to exist though if anyone can suggest a new venue please get in touch.

     The ownership of G-GOCX has been transferred from CPA into the HKBAC so we do have another balloon available once we have repaired a small rip, insured it and given it a C of A.

     I am about to transfer the ownership of G-SMIG from Geoff Green and Ron Taaffe!

     Nigel Black is now authorised to carry out C of A's. Well done Nigel.

    My son Mike has put together a HKBAC Homepage on the www. Take a peep at : Pass on any comments, ideas, rhubarb via the appropriate means! Some nice pics available for download going back many years in the history of the HKBAC. Events will be updated whenever we get the time.

     Julia is leaving in October and we have planned a social get-together in early October at the Hong Kong Yacht Club to say farewell. The date will be promulgated on or about 17th September and if you would like to attend then names and numbers to me or Nigel Black please.

     The HKBAC Committee could do with some admin assistance. If you feel you can spare the odd hour or 6 then get in touch we will harness your enthusiasm.

     I have made numerous approaches to the Coca Cola, the HK Tourist Association, the HK Jockey Club, HK Bank with a view to their participation in a sponsored balloon. Negotiations are ongoing and just one new balloon would be a win for the HKBAC. Anyone with other ideas for sponsors get in touch.

Happy landings, keep in touch.

Depression is merely anger without enthusiasm.

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