Preflight action during the 19th Philippine-International Hot Air Balloon Festival–part 2

We were at the ramp field site of the hot air balloon at around 5:30am, I’m glad that Eli lead the way going to the hidden gate located at the big tent which we thought that it’s for the media holding area, but it’s a tent for the VIP and organizers of the event. We showed our ramp pass sticker ID and the army guy who guards the mini gate allowed us to enter the field.

It was dark around the field and the only light available are the strong light that comes from the tv camera crew, we stayed there for some minutes and then proceeded to cover the pre-flight action.

Thanks to Eli for bringing his head light lamp gear and also bringing 3 radio comm. We felt that we’re so hardcore that day because we also got radio for our communication plus wearing our photographer’s vest and Myrns wearing her Air Safari vest.
We arrived at the venue at 1am, it’s the most craziest plan ever
We slept in Ted’s Hyundai car, which we also called Hyundai hotel hahaha.
Next time, we will bring a tent and sleeping mat, its sooo okay sleeping at the venue. We saw lots of cars and jeeps parked infront and all passengers are sleeping, we went here early just to make it on time before the balloon flight at 5:30am.
Gates opened at 5:00am, lots of people arriving at the gate and many lined up for the ticket. We also learned that our media contact is at the event site waiting for us.

Its dark inside the venue, thank goodness that Eli wears his headlight lamp.

We arrived at the ramp field and waiting til the preparation of the hot air balloons.
We started to shoot some photos when we saw the vehicles arriving one by one, carrying the hot air balloon basket with jet flame booster engine. I used my Nikon D5300 and a tripod in shooting slow shutter at around 5:00 am

Land Rovers and other big cars waiting for the go signal. I think they are waiting for the pilots to arrive.

I feel a level of excitement when I saw the chase crew and their team waiting for the balloons departure. I observe the area and see if they are strict inside the ramp.

But I’m glad that it was okay to stay close and take some photos.

In previous events, they were so strict and they always have marshals roaming around the ramp field, and they always check the ID and pass of all people inside the ramp field.

Back in the past, they sell the ramp pass ID for PHP1, 500 and this is exclusively been sold in some photography clubs and orgs. But for this year, you only get the ramp pass if you are a media affiliate and member of the media team of the event.

We bloggers were chosen and was invited to be part of the media corps of this festival.
The sun starts to shine and this Jeep will start to roll in the middle of the field.

Team PBNET! – Eli, Myrna, Ted and Az (me)

The hot air balloon chase crew started to roll when the sky turns orange, it means that the sun is starting to sun to rise up. The weather is perfect during the 1st day of the event. Hot air balloons needed the cold air in order to get a lift when hot air is pumped to the balloon.

And that’s the only weather and temp condition we need in order to have a successful hot air balloon flight.

Strong winds, rain and no presence of cold air can cancel all hot air balloon flights. If its windy, then the balloon will just inflate and it will not scheduled to fly.

A Land Rover arrives at the middle of the field carrying our national flag, I think this is our team Philippines.

Halt! they’ve chosen the best part to inflate the hot air balloon.
The pilot guides his team on where to place the basket and the deflated balloon.
During the preparation of the hot air balloon,the first show here is the flight of the RC UFO, it’s a big quadcopter with lots of lights and when it flew in the sky, it looks like a UFO with lights.

The light streak here is the RC UFO zooming in the sky.

Chase crew now unload the basket into the ramp ground. Its looks light weight, but take note that this basket carries a big tank of fuel to power the jet booster engine.

Its morning already…the pilots have arrived here they attached the tubes of the fuel tank to the jet booster engine. The pilots are the only authorized to operate the engine.
Burst test
The pilots tested the level of flame and they did a series of double checking to make sure they will have a safe flight.

Spotted: the event director – Capt. Joy Roa, he is also the main host of the tv show Asian Air Safari in ANC
After the burst test, they will now attach the deflated balloon in the basket, you need a group of people to lay the big balloon on the ground.
Here’s another crew fixing the balloons
They will blow the balloon first with a giant fan and later on they will burst it with hot air.

Ohhh it’s the octopus balloons
The audience area.


Watch out for my next blog post for the flight of the hot air balloons here in Clark, Pampanga

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Official hashtag: #19thballoonfestPH