Saturday, July 23, 2011

MAB 2011: Friday 22 July

Finally, after two years without having seen almost any balloon it's time for Europe's best event again: Mondial Air Ballons 2011. The whole air base is renewed and that was clearly noticeable. Some beautiful new wooden hangars are placed and some not-really-working-out-yet driveways were created all across the area.
The weather didn't look too well, however, eventually around 100 pilots decided to take off. Pilot Per Lesser from Sweden invited me and my dad to fly with the worlds biggest hygienic glove. We made a short but great flight over hangar 610 and a typical sweet French village nearby. We made a sportive landing in a relatively muddy field. Bye bye white balloon! After carefully packing all fingers together we visited the newly constructed gas station to refuel the tanks.
Time to go back to the hotel again... Unfortunately, this took some hours. The cooling liquid of our car leaked out and it was impossible to continue our way. There we were, in the middle of nowhere in France. After some contact with the Dutch emergency service a French rescue vehicle was sent our way. This took some hours... It was starting to get really cold outside. Luckily I brought my winter jacket with me. After 02.00 a.m. a funny half drunk French mechanic finally found us. He provided us with sufficient cooling liquid. Around 03.00 a.m. we were finally home. No morning flight for us; first some sleep. All garages are closed during the weekend which means we have to wait till Monday to let our car fixed. Hopefully we'll be able to get a replacement car for the next coming days. We'll see... In France some things just don’t work out that fast. Well, the 2011 edition of the Mondial Air Ballons definitely had an adventurous start!