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Balloon Meeting 2007 at Mondově

The “19th International Balloon Meeting of Epiphany” was held, Januay 6-7, 2007, in the Italian town of Mondově near Cuneo. As usual, the event was organized by John Aimo, President of the Aero Club Mongolfiere di Mondově, and backed by the Municipal Administration and various local sponsors.
The 2007 Meeting was characterized by four different competitions, essentially based on precision flight performance. The take-off area, as usual, was Parco Europa – in downtown Mondově - which is a somewhat small location for an event now gathering almost forty balloons. The 2007 Meeting totalled 37 balloons and more than 50 pilots from 11 countries including Australia, represented by recordman Chris Dewhirst (with a Cameron N-120), the only man who flew over Everest. The youngest pilot was 17 year-old Gavin Andrew Chadwick from the UK, flying a Thunder-Colt 21A Sky Chariot single-seater. Also from UK came Phil Saunders with the impressive Lindstrand Newspaper “Financial Times” special form balloon. Another interesting sight in Mondově was the evocative Chaize JZ.22-F-12, based at Annonay in France, a near replica of the first balloon flown by the Mongolfier Brothers in 1783.
Among the number of colorful balloons present at Mondově (see the list), most worthy of mention were the rare Belgian-made Liebert L.3000, the just delivered Cameron Z-90 of Roderick Baker (UK), which made its maiden flight at Mondově, and the Cameron Z-105 flown by Keith Thomas, a former pilot of the Queen’s Flight, the RAF unit devoted to the air transportation of the Royal Family.
Piergiorgio Bogliaccino, a local balloonist, was awarded the first prize of the Meeting of Epiphany 2007. Second and third were Andrew Holly (UK) and Chantal Cinquin (France) who, at the last minute, worthily replaced her pilot-husband Guy, ill with a fever.
The 2007 Mondově Meeting was also characterized by the presence, for the first time, of the mobile unit of RESMA, the Italian Air Force’s Reparto Sperimentale di Meteorologia Aeronautica, based at Vigna di Valle near Rome. The containerized laboratory provided real time weather forecasts for pilots, before every take-off.

In the picture: Balloons over Mondově, Italy, for the 19th International Balloon Meeting of Epiphany in 2007. (Aeromedia)

(Aeromedia, January 2006)