Craft Name: BubbleGum Bo
Model: Home Built Experimental
43,000 Cu. Ft.
Oscar Model: Home Built Experimental
77,000 Cu. Ft.
About the pilot:
- Commercial pilot with close to 1000 hours in hot air balloons!
- Solo flight was in 1981.
- Second flight in my 1st balloon landed within a block of the Gulf of Mexico in Pass Christian, MS.
- Highest flight in a balloon was 14,000 ft over El Campo, Texas.
- Fastest flight was 40 miles from Lafayette, LA to Geyudan, LA in 56 min.
- Longest flight over water was from Galveston Island across West Galveston Bay to Hitchcock, TX.
- Closest approach to a military aircraft in flight was over NAS Jacksonville 1000 feet above an F/A-18 Hornet on take-off.
- 1st carrier landing (employing water as a speed brake for a shore landing) was at Possum Kingdom, TX with 18 knots forward speed.
- Flight with the fewest landing spots, Macon, GA.
- Winner of the 2nd annual Lake Texoma alligator shoot out.
- Founder of the Dickinson (TX) Independent Balloon Society (DIBS) where the president is the one who brings the beer.
- Taught Phil McNutt how to land at Winn Dixie.
- Have yet to catch a fish from a balloon, but have tried countless times.
- Most fun balloon event ever attended was Brain Boland’s get together in Post Mills, VT.
- First balloon was a Barnes 6B called “Windwalker”, second balloon was a Cameron Viva 77 named “Bubba Gumbo”, third and final “store-bought” balloon was a T&C 90 named “Bubba Gumbo Deaux”.
- Current balloons are a 43 K ft3 hang rig balloon “BubbleGum Bo” and an 82 K ft3 basket balloon “Oscar”.
- Both balloons are homebuilt experimentals. Each balloon took about 200 hours of cutting and sewing to complete.
- The envelopes for each are a Justin Smalley design with a T-3 burner.
- The hang rig utilizes a 20gallon Raven lay-down tank as the “basket”.
- The 82K balloon incorporates a modified Raven Rally basket.
- My wife Tracey has crewed for 25 years did her solo flight in 1991. My son Patrick has crewed for 12 years and my son Evan for 7.
- Tracey’s favorite balloon flight was 35 min of basket in the water at Lake Okatibbee (MS) touching envelopes with Doc Shannon in “Bluloon”.