One thing that makes ballooning difficult
for the ground crew is the same thing that make it exciting, the weather. The
wind is always changing slightly not only the speed but also in direction. The
other fascinating thing is the constantly changing climatic conditions.
Depending on what altitude the balloon is at, the balloon flies in a slightly
different direction. They go right with height
. So as they ascend they
change course to the right. When you are driving the retrieve vehicle through a
wood or down a valley and lose sight of them, guaranteed they will disappear
off somewhere and spend the next 15 minutes hiding behind the only solid object
on the horizon. Every single flight is different! Still that is exactly why
ballooning is so interesting and exciting.
Even if the pilot happens to land in the
same field twice (which doesn't happen often) the flight path will probably
have been different. This means that for the retrieve the route taken could be
completely different from the last time. That is just one facet of fascinating
hobby. (Besides having fun!)
When the pilot has located a suitable
field for landing, we "may" be informed of the landing site.Even if we are not,
the goal at this stage is to have the vehicle at the landing site before the
pilot lands, and be ready to assist in any way required. Sound pretty simple?
Well...... it is, most of the time!