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These pages document my time spent flying balloons in Kapadokya . . .
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Chapter 27
The First Day Of The Rest Of My Life
The very next day (March 2nd, 2009) we had a flight scheduled. Sancho isn't back from his vacation yet, (He is supposed to be home tonight) so I flew the 400 with 18 passengers. It was clear and sunny, but a little breezy at the surface, about 8 mph which is actually the breeziest launch I've had since I've been here. The pibal showed everything above the surface being pretty normal, so I decided to fly. Boy, you get a 400 rolling around and misbehaving during an inflation and it gets interesting. I wrestle it up and as soon as it gets stood up, the top comes out. Luckily, the crew here is really good and they already had passengers getting in, so I just put heat in it until the top sealed. Actually had one of the better flights I've had here. We got to Red Valley pretty quickly and then I was able to descend into the valleys a bit and slow down some. We flew north right along the edge of the big mountain for a ways before finally going over the top of it. I was a bit nervous about going over the top of this mountain. I had never been on the other side and did not know what was there. I was also very aware of the possible rotor on the other side. Didn't have much choice however, so up and over we go. YEEHAW! We were already towards the north end of the mountain and ended up cutting across the very NW corner of it and come down the other side into the fairy chimneys of Paşabağ. Once we get down into the rocks the wind just dies. That's a good thing as I had only flown for about 30 minutes and needed to kill some time before landing. After giving the passengers the best possible view of this area of fairy chimneys and plenty of time for them to get their photo's, it is time for me to climb up a bit and try to find some direction and look for a landing spot. I finally find a layer with a little direction and land right next to the main road between Avanos and Ürgüp. Great flight! Below is the Google Earth image and link to the .kmz file.
flight path on 3/2/09
Google Earth image of flight on 3/2/2009

Click here for the .kmz file
Do you think it's a coindence that when I got back to the office after the flight that I got paid what was owed me for January? A little late now that they owe me for February, but hey, I wasn't sure I was going to get any money before I went home.

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