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TURKEY
These pages document my time spent flying balloons in Kapadokya . . .
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Chapter 17
Three Days In A Row
Well, what do you know... I got to fly again today. I know that in about a month or so, flying 3 days in a row isn't going to be that big a deal, but for only having a total of 6 flights, having 3 of them in a row is nice. One balloon, 11 passengers. Of course I didn't have my camera but it wouldn't have mattered much. I was pretty busy flying between the rocks. Would have made some good pictures, but I was having fun just flying! This is such a great place to fly!
Below is the Google Earth image of our flight path and you can click here to load the file to zoom, rotate, etc.
Google Earth image of flight path on 1/22/2009
We definitely had the best flight of all the balloons that flew today. We got closer and spent more time amongst the formations than anyone. The last couple of days I've had great passengers. We laughed and had a great time and they all had to have their photo taken with the pilot. Not just while we were flying but once we got on the ground too. The photo session on the ground was quite the deal. So much so, that I joked with one of the crew guys (who is working on becoming a pilot) , "See, that's why you want to be a pilot, they treat you like you're like a rock star". Even though they don't speak much English, they all understood "rock star" and got a big kick out of it. I've finally gotten to where I'm fairly comfortable with the area and the big balloon. I don't think I'll ever get over the fact that they're so slow, but I'm starting to really have fun now.

Got some interesting news today. I was informed that the CAA (the Turkish equivalent of the FAA) has recently (like within the past month or something) got a new head physician. So I was told that that whole fiasco with going to Adana to get my medical was sort of a waste of time. That medical wouldn't be reviewed, much less accepted, for at least 10 days to 2 weeks. In the mean time, I'm actually not legal here in Turkey. So, I get to go to Ankara and see the doctor that gives the military jet pilots their medicals. (Alper tells me that since he gives the military medicals, the civil authorities can't reject it) . I'm actually leaving Uçhisar at midnight tonight, to catch the bus in Nevşehir. I will get to Ankara at around six in the morning. Get to the doctor as early as I can so I can hopefully return to Uçhisar by tomorrow night. The weather isn't supposed to be good enough to fly this weekend anyway. Let's hope that this isn't the Chinese Fire Drill that the last episode was. So again, I get to see a part of the country I wouldn't otherwise. Sancho is actually going also, because he wanted to drop by the Spanish Consulate (Ankara is the capitol of Turkey) . I might stop by the US Embassy as well (if I have time) . Tomorrow is going to be a looong day.....
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