September 15, 2011
By Dan Namowitz
Countless early risers have been rewarded on a beautiful morning with the sight of a hot air balloon drifting peacefully above the scene, and resolved on the spot to learn more about ballooning and the pilots who practice the art.
Following up on that resolution will be just a mouse click away Oct. 21 when the Balloon Federation of America (BFA) launches a new monthly "e-blast" electronic publication.
Free to anyone interested in learning more about the color-filled world of ballooning, "the monthly e-blast will featurefun-filled news, how-tos, technical tips, and more. The e-blast is everything about lighter-than-air aviation that is ballooning," said a BFA announcement.
Federation members will write the publication's article, which will be edited by volunteers from the BFA's board of directors. Readers will be welcome to submit reports of newsworthy events, said Mick Murphy of Aer Blarney Balloons of Litchfield, Conn. Subscribe or visit the BFA website.
If the idea of lighter-than-air flight lights you up, and suggests that a closer inspection of ballooning is in order, be sure to attend AOPA Aviation Summit's Rock 'n Rally at Airportfest at Brainard Airport in Hartford, Conn., the evening of Friday, Sept. 23, when five balloons will put on a glow to the music of the band "Out of Touch." Balloons will fly from Brainard each morning Sept. 22 through 24, weather permitting, and be on static display, adding a lighter-than-air flavor to the early fall weekend's aviation events .
Dan Namowitz is an aviation writer and flight instructor. He has been a pilot since 1985 and an instructor since 1990.
A new FAA policy on obstructive sleep apnea that addresses many of the concerns raised by AOPA is scheduled to take effect March 2.
AOPA and the National Business Aviation Association have jointly filed an amicus, or friend of the court, brief in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals as part of the ongoing legal battle over the future of Santa Monica Municipal Airport.
AOPA worked with the flight training industry and FAA to quickly resolve a problem that suddenly put many rating applications on hold.
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