Another year is drawing to a close but first a reminder to complete your ABF Membership Renewal for 2017. Membership is due on or before 31 December 2016.
As in previous years there is a $22.00 late fee, however we do provide a one month period of grace with the late fee not applying until 1 February 2017.
The ABF requires ALL Members, including those Members on Automatic Renewal to please complete and return the Statistics on page 2 of the Membership Renewal Form. Collection and reporting of these important Statistics are part of our agreement with CASA. We also use some of this information to report back to the FAI's international ballooning body (the CIA), which is part of our affiliation obligations.
Your Membership Card will not be posted until the completed Statistics Form is received. Please complete and return now to maintain your flying status after 31 December.
All Certificate holders must also include a copy of the last page of their Pilot Log Book showing total hours flown and date of last flight. Instructors must include a copy of the Log Book page showing the date of their last check flight for validation and currency of their Instructor rating.
At the Annual General Meeting ABF Members agreed to hold 2017 Membership fees with no increase. This is a one year only agreement due to the implementation of our automatic direct debit payment system.
The fees for 2017 are:
Overseas Members receive all copies of communication from the ABF, including Aeronotes electronically. If a member based outside Australia wishes to receive Aeronotes and other communications from the ABF by mail they may do so for an additional fee of $40.00, if desired please ensure to select this option on your renewal form.
You can also tick the “Automatic Renewal” box on the form to have your Annual Membership renewed each December and charged to your nominated credit card. This option can be cancelled at anytime. Another option is to set-up a standing order from your bank to make an automatic transfer to the ABF Bank Account every year for the amount of your membership type.
A reminder, any training flights taken after the close of 2016 and before you or your Instructor have renewed your memberships for 2017 will not be recognised or counted in the hours required for qualification for issue of a Private Pilot Certificate. So don’t risk it, renew now whilst it is fresh in your mind.
The ABF has now implemented an automatic direct debit system for those Members on automatic renewal. If you are on automatic renewal please ensure that your credit card details are current, your credit card may have expired or been replaced during the year. If you need to update your payment details you can complete and return an updated Membership Renewal Form or you can phone, email or post your new details.
The majority of Automatic Renewals will be debited on 31 December 2016. A few Members will be debited on 23 December. Please ensure you have sufficient funds available or your payment will be declined.
Once your payment has been accepted and your completed statistics form and log book page has been received your new Membership card will be posted. This is also an excellent opportunity to update your contact details if anything has changed.
To all of our Members, family and friends I wish you a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. May 2017 bring you and your family health, happiness and great ballooning.
Today Australia's own Matthew Scaife and Nicola Scaife won the 2016 Japanese Hot Air Ballooning Grand Prix.
Tomorrow Matthew and Nicola along with Australia's Peter Wright will begin competing in the 22nd FAI World Hot Air Balloon Championships, where the Australians hope to win for the first time since 1983.
Please refer to the Media Release below for Immediate Release.
30 October 2016 – Australia’s power couple of hot air ballooning, Matthew and Nicola Scaife, have won the 2016 Japanese Hot Air Balloon Grand Prix. The Grand Prix consisted of 5 events, run throughout the year across Japan. Today, the final leg concluded in Saga, during which Matthew was able to secure the win for Team Scaife.
Nicola (current Women’s World Champion) flew one of the 5 events earlier this year and Matthew (current Australian Champion) flew the other 4. Between them, the husband and wife team, were able to remain in the top 5 for the entire Grand Prix. They were sitting in 2nd place coming into the final leg in Saga, just a few points behind the current World Champion, Yudai Fujita. Matthew was able to out fly Yudai in the skies of Saga to move them into the top spot.
“We couldn’t be happier with the result.” said Matthew, “Not only is it great to win, it has also given us both a great amount of confidence going into the World Championships”.
The 22nd FAI World Hot Air Balloon Championships begins tomorrow (also in Saga) and will run between 30 October and 7 November 2016. This year we have a strong team who will represent Australia and it is Australia’s best chance to win the championship since we won back in 1983.
The Australian balloon team will be represented by 3 pilots; Matthew Scaife, Nicola Scaife and Peter Wright. They will be travelling with our biggest and best team yet. All up there will be 16 team members, complete with independent wind-reading team, a photographer, a social media/tech support guru, a team manager and crew members for each balloon.
The team will be pushing the boundaries of what can be done with existing technology. In the hands of our pilots and ground crew will be a Microsoft Surface Pro with OziTarget navigational software. Will this be Hot Air Ballooning’s equivalent of the winged keel on Australia II that won us an America’s cup in 1983?
Our team have previous experience competing in Saga, Matthew (3 times), Nicola (2 times), Peter (1 time), Sean Kavanagh, Team Manger (9 times), our ground crew also has many years of experience. Saga is Australia’s second home when it comes to competition ballooning.