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Balloons in Class D Airspace

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Balloons in Class D Airspace

Post by rhubarb » Fri Sep 14, 2018 11:23 pm

Hi All,
During this year's gorgeous summer I observed a couple of Virgin Balloon fights. Both were in very low wind conditions and I believe they both launched from Cusworth Hall next to the car park. In one flight Doncaster radar communicated to the balloon pilot that they had IFR traffic into 20 and had to warn the incoming 737 of the position of the balloon as reported by the balloon pilot via the RT. I got the impression by what was said between the radar and balloon that the the balloon was not visible on primary or secondary radar nor was it squawking on mode Charlie. The 737 pilot did have a visual on the balloon due to the clear sky. The Virgin Balloon listing shows a hex code for the balloon registration however ! I believe if I am correct and this sort of blind to radar flying of balloons around class D air space is considered "best practice" then although perhaps legal in the UK it does not seem to me to be very good airmanship ! Do the balloons not have any metallic reflective properties in their manufacture ? Such a lot is made and rightly so about the flying of drones in and around ATC areas. But it is OK it seems to fly a virtually non see-able un-steerable huge bag of air around an ATZ ! Mandatory Mode Charlie flying is long over-due i think in these crouded UK sky's !
What do you all think about this situation ?
"A Rhubarb is a sortie of opertunity"

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