Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Malaysia Balloon Festival

The International Balloon Festival will be held from May 9 to May 11 at Dataran Bandaraya, Johor Baru. This event features 10 pilots with balloons from around the world. It is hoped that besides putting Johor on the world map, the festival would boost the state’s tourism industry.

Malaysia Balloon FestivalPilots are excited about coming to Johor as balloon festivals were previously held only in Kuala Lumpur. The attractions to watch for include a night display of illuminated hot air balloons and a race from Dataran Bandaraya to Bandar Nusajaya.

You can read about the event here, and find other balloon festivals in Asia.

Besides the balloon displays, other events include skydiving, paragliding, rock climbing, paintball and go-kart races.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

New Weather Stations

weatherA new online learning option is Liberty Balloon School. Bill Hughes found how to tap into a giant network of government weather stations that aren't part of our aviation system. He put together a narrated course on how to find and use their data online. His free online course is at:

You'll have to decide which is more impressive, Bill's course sharing the subtleties of using the RAWS system, or the weather data itself. It does hint at what's possible for more online balloon training. It's pretty cool, adding hundreds of government weather reporting stations in most states.

Liberty Balloon School also has several additional free programs available, plus their online balloon ground school.

Skybound Balloon Gifts

skybound balloons model
Balloonists love the clever model balloons from Skybound Balloons, so it was a surprise to learn they were discontinuing production. The founder is retiring and has sold the last of the stock to Full A Hotair creating an opportunity for collectors to complete their sets before they're all gone.

At this point most of the balloons are still available, plus the balloon ornaments and picture frames. Rumor is they may even have some items never sold to the public, serious collectors will have to call to inquire.

The colorful balloons make a great gift for pilots and crew, with prices ranging from $12 to $40. If you've always wanted one but never got around to it, now's the time.