I fidgeted impatiently on the bus out to the airport. I was going balloon popping! Last year I did this, I was still a recently-solo student. This year I was taking my own (well-1/8th eight own) aeroplane out to play.
I was meeting two of the other owners, fellow Pembrey pilots down there and we were going to take turns.
I arrived overhead to a circuit already occupied with other aircraft playing, and squeezed my radio calls in between the requests for balloons, and landed.
The weather had thwarted most non-local visitors, but all the ‘usual suspects’ among the club pilots were standing around watching and chatting, awaiting their turn or recounting their success (or lack of!)
I picked up a second set of eyes in the form of Andy, one of other owners – but still failed miserably to get either of my balloons.
I landed (not a very dignified one – the same brisk crosswind that was whisking the balloons away proved a challenge) and handed over to Alan who fared no better (though the landing looked more graceful)
The final competitor took to the air as the weather started to threaten, and in spite of being gifted with all the remaining balloons managed to miss the lot
Then the showers swept in. I stuck my head out of the portacabin and gazed dubiously in the direction of Swansea, Andy offered to bring the aeroplane back to Swansea the following day if I wasn’t happy, and gratefully I decided to employ the better part of valour. We borrowed tie-downs from the club and scrabbled to get the covers on before the heavens opened.
We almost succeeded but it was a decidedly damp group who headed for home!
Here’s to better weather next year!