[balloon-makers] smart vent?

David Barker dbarker at club-internet.fr
Sun Feb 3 10:52:47 CST 2002

Bob LeDoux wrote
> It was very interesting to use for lee-of-tree-windy landings.  This not
> not recommended by the manufacturer.  But in a well loaded 90K, I'd come
> over the trees at treetop level, pull open the rip top as I was about to
> clear the edge of the trees and then immediately reset it.  By this time,
> the balloon would be well into a descent that was stopped, using a long
> burn from both burners.  To stop the descent much excess heat would be
> required.  The rip top is again pulled to dump this excess heat, and
> quickly reseated.  The balloon settles gently to the ground.

Not always am I in agreement with Bob especially some of his remarks about
horizontal sewn balloons etc but on the above I am in total accord and it is
a technique I have used for many years almost exactly as he describes it.
It works well.  Fierce controls are required but it produces a gentle
upright landing when you get it right.  The same technique can be used to
drop into a small valley.

I used the technique with a parachute top 105 and it worked well.  A small
point to note for anyone planning to try it out is that the descent is
quicker than you might otherwise imagine, being a combination of the dump
and the curl over effect behind the trees so if you get it wrong you can
wang into the ground quite hard!

Best regards

David Barker
Villiers le Morhier


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