1. Properties of LPG

  2. There are a number of LPGs (Liquid Petroleum Gases) but the one which interests balloonists most is Propane.

  3. Propane normally available is:

  4. Highly flammable- gaseous fuels will only burn when mixed with air in proportions which lie between two limits known as the lower and upper limits of flammability. For propane the flammable range in air lies between 2% and 10% by volume - thus only very small amounts of propane in air will form an inflammable mixture.
    Atmospheres containing over 10% can become explosive when the mixture is further diluted with air, i.e. on the extremity of a propane vapour cloud.

  5. Colourless - but is seen as a liquid white spray (vapour) when emerging from a cylinder but this will almost immediately "vanish" as it turns into gaseous form.

  6. Heavier than air - about one and a half times heavier, this means that it will collect in drains, hollows, etc.

  7. Stored as a liquid gas under relatively low pressures this "boils off" into a gas when pressure is released. The gas pressure of a 1041b.(47 kg.) cylinder at 20°C is about 100 psi. (1 volume of liquid propane gives approx 270 volumes of gas at ambient conditions). A very small amount of liquid propane can thus be the source of a substantial fire. Propane is stored as a liquified gas under pressure which will vary depending on the temperature of the environment. Generally the pressure will increase with rising temperature and vice-versa.

    In cold conditions (below 10°C) the vapour pressure of propane falls markedly, reducing the output of the burner. This makes a balloon less responsive to attempts to arrest a descent, especially when heavy. Experience is the only guide here. Until you know your balloon, fly well below the recommended load, especially in cold weather.

  8. Heavily stenched - to assist detection of its presence.

  9. Liquid propane can cause severe cold burns when in contact with the skin and can damage the eyes. When propane is changing from a liquid to a gas, there is a rapid drop in its temperature (gas "laws") which causes cold burns and is enough to freeze open a valve (with frozen water vapour from the air not frozen propane). The boiling point of liquid propane is minus 42°C.

    Treatment of cold burns.

    • Immerse the affected part in cold or tepid running water for at least 10 minutes or pour cold water of the burn.

    • Remove restrictive clothing or jewellery before swelling starts.

    • Do not remove clothing if it is stuck to the skin.

    • Do not break blisters.

    • If the affected area is greater than 2.5 cm (1 inch square) seek medical advice.

  • Storage and handling

    The following information refers to the standard propane 104lb/47.2kg cylinder, or flight cylinder. Bulk propane storage tanks must be installed in accordance with the recommended codes of practice where they are used as a supply source.

    1. It is recommended that the number of cylinders stored should be kept to a reasonable minimum. No more than 4 flight cylinders should be stored together.

    2. Cylinders should always be stored upright outside, away from drains and hollows where any leak can percolate into drainage systems and form an explosive mixture. Incidents have been known where propane gas has drifted down a drain and ignited some hundred metres away from the source by a cigarette being thrown to a kerbside.

      Cylinders should also be stored a minimum 10 feet from:

      1. Sources of ignition like boilers, refrigerators, other electrical appliances and switchgear.

      2. Other combustibles, e.g. petrol, paraffin.

      3. Where they may be exposed to excessive heat. At no time should propane or butane be heated above 25°C when stored in flight cylinders with pressure relief valves.

    3. When moving cylinders always treat them with respect. If moved by a vehicle ensure that they are "chocked" to prevent rolling around which can cause valves to leak, and damage to cylinders.

    4. If LPG cylinders are transported in vans, box vans or enclosed trailers, always make sure the vehicle is fitted with low level vents so that any leakage can be allowed to escape rather than build up an explosive mixture which can be ignited by a cigarette, nails in shoes, or defective courtesy light (the total amount of LPG is subject to the conveyance regulations.)

    5. If a cylinder is found to be leaking and cannot be completely turned off, remove it to a remote area away from the public thoroughfares and get the cylinder collected or returned to your supplier. Attach a warning notice "leaking gas - no smoking or naked flames".

    6. LPG stickers and no smoking signs should be attached to flight cylinders, trailers, vans and the basket indicating that flammable gas is stored.

    7. Cylinders or tanks containing propane may rupture violently as a result of exposure to fire. A container which has held propane and which is nominally empty may still contain propane vapour and should be treated in the same manner as a full container.

    8. When fitting fuel lines/refuelling hoses ensure that the mating parts are clean, free from dirt and undamaged.

    9. After connecting regulators, hoses, valves etc., check that there is no leak of gas before using. Propane has a distinctive smell and can be easily detected immediately by this fact. If a leak is suspected extinguish all naked lights and close the cylinder valve. The smell may not be strong if the gas is in low concentration.

    10. Never look for a leak with a naked flame but trace by smell and confirm by brushing soapy water or spit over the suspected joint. Equipment MUST NOT be used until a leak is eliminated.

  • Refuelling procedures

    1. Liquid propane can cause severe cold burns if brought into contact with the skin and can also damage the eyes. Wear suitable clothing and footwear, stout gloves and goggles should be worn to minimise exposure to this hazard.

    2. Before commencing refuelling ensure that any people needed in attendance have been fully briefed of the fire risks associated with LPG and where practicable erect No Smoking signs.
      Always be on the lookout for people walking into the area who are smoking and keep them well away. Also ensure that sources of ignition like matches and lighters are not within the refuelling area. Keep children well away.

    3. Ensure that a fire extinguisher is handy but always remember it is preferable to extinguish a fire by turning off the gas at source by shutting the main valves. The extinguisher must be either dry powder (blue) 5kg capacity, or BCF (green) 3.5 or 7kg capacity and when any flames are extinguished the source of gas must be turned off to prevent re-ignition or explosions.

    4. Don't refuel near drains, vehicles or sources of downwind ignition where venting gas can drift into them and build up an explosive mixture. Choose a well-ventilated refuelling area where any vapour or gas can disperse readily.
      Take care in "flat calm" wind conditions since the propane vented will not disperse as well as when it is windy and may well remain after you have gone.

    5. It is recommended that flight cylinders be removed from the basket and placed on the ground for two reasons:

      1. To reduce the chance of sparks from the discharge of static electricity.

      2. To isolate each cylinder - potential fire hazard.

      Where this is not practicable, attach an earthing lead (crocodile clip, lead and copper rod inserted into the ground) to the flight cylinder before connecting to the refuelling hose. Do not stand in the basket when refuelling.

    6. Supply cylinders should be used in the vertical position with the valves uppermost, and cylinders with liquid offtake facility (dual-valve) are available from reputable LPG suppliers. If a supply cylinder without liquid off-take facility is to be temporarily inverted it must be securely positioned, ideally at an angle of 45 degrees to collect any residues in the shoulder of the supply cylinder and to make sure that the valve is easily accessible and easily operable. The supply cylinder should be returned to the vertical position when refuelling has finished.

      The following method should be used.

      1. Ensure that both supply and flight cylinder valves are closed.

      2. Connect refuelling hose to supply and flight cylinder.

      3. Check for leaks - if a leak is suspected, check supply, flight and bleed screws closed. Check all connections to find leak with soapy water or spit. Only continue if leak is cured.

      4. Open supply cylinder valve.

      5. Open flight cylinder valve to begin filling.

      6. Check again for leaks.

      7. Open bleed screw on flight cylinder.

      8. Watch for first squirt of liquid coming out of bleed screw, and immediately:

      9. Close flight cylinder valve to avoid over-filling.

      10. Close bleed screw

      11. Close supply cylinder valve.

      12. Undo flight cylinder connection of refuelling hose and evacuate hose of liquid propane.

      13. Disconnect refuelling hose from supply cylinder.

    7. If you are on your own only refuel one cylinder at a time. If a fire should break out for some reason you can only effectively deal with one fire.

    8. Don't vent other cylinders when refuelling under any circumstances.

    9. Do not apply naked flame to any cylinder. If hot water is used to warm the large storage cylinder only apply the hot water when the liquid propane is flowing so that the increase in pressure is allowed to push the propane into the flight cylinder.

    10. When refuelling is complete make sure all cylinders are correctly turned off with self-sealing valves "popped" and that liquid vented from transfer hoses is allowed to vaporise and disperse quickly.

    11. Flight cylinders are protected by a controlled vapour space which is created by a small dip tube extending downwards from the vent valve. Filling must be stopped as soon as liquid appears, otherwise this vapour space may fill with liquid and leave no room for expansion with rise of temperature, thus creating dangerous pressures. If filling has taken place beyond this point, some propane should be drained out again at once.

  • Inflation procedure

    1. Burner and leak test.

      1. Ensure that all crew are adequately protected and briefed.

      2. Position one extinguisher near the fan and one accessible to the basket. A crew member should be responsible for the fire extinguishers and briefed accordingly. Check all fuel hoses for kinks, tears, cuts etc., before connecting.

      3. Check for leaks by connecting hoses to flight cylinders, valves and listening as well as looking with the basket upright.

      4. Check pilot lights functioning correctly.

      5. Check burner pressure for all flight cylinders check for leaks.

      6. Check operation of blast valves, (and for stem leaks on Rego's).

      7. Close cylinder valves and evacuate fuel hoses.

    2. Inflation

      1. With basket on its side ensure vapour and liquid take-off hoses are correctly positioned.

      2. With double burners, inflate using one pilot light and one side of the burner (with other side of the system fully closed - tank and burner valves.) In case of a gas leak, it is faster to turn off one burner system than two, and it reduces the risk of re-ignition of escaping gas by the other pilot light.

      3. One burner is adequate - leave the other system closed until ready for take-off.

  • Emergency procedures, fire on the ground

    1. In the event of a ground fire then attempt to extinguish by turning off the source before resorting to the use of an extinguisher. If you only extinguish the fire but cannot stop the leak there will be a rapid build-up of an explosive mixture.

    2. If a ground fire cannot be extinguished within 20-30 seconds, then evacuate the area to a safe distance (minimum 75 metres). Exploding cylinders send pieces of shrapnel a long way.

    3. NOTIFY THE FIRE BRIGADE AND MAKE SURE THEY KNOW THAT IT IS A PROPANE FIRE AND OTHER CYLINDERS MAY OR WILL BE INVOLVED.

    4. Beware when a cylinder becomes heated as a relief valve will vent excess pressure as a very large jet of propane/flame. The valve may then reset until pressure builds up again and vents again.

    5. Any cylinders involved in a fire should be identified and returned to the supplier, and must not be re-used.

    6. If balloon is inflated and fire cannot be extinguished, rip out the balloon and ensure that ALL crew and passengers leave simultaneously or keep weight on basket until all have exited. Evacuate crowds (see 5.2.)

  • Emergency procedures, fire in the air

    1. Attempt to isolate source switch off flight cylinder valve, extinguish fire, check for leaks.

    2. If no further leaks, land as soon as possible.

    3. If leak continues, attempt to isolate leak and use other side of the burner system. If practicable and safe to do so jettison leaking cylinder i.e. over open countryside, water, etc. Brief crew and make an emergency landing. Evacuate balloon and ensure nobody approaches until leak has stopped. If fire ensues, proceed as item 5 Fire on the Ground.

  • Flight procedures

    1. Fuel changeover. Ensure plenty of time for change over from one flight cylinder to the next one. Plan ahead to change over when balloon flight path is suitable, i.e. straight and level\climbing adequate height clearance of downwind obstacles etc.

    2. Procedure: check adequate pressure from other cylinders. Close tank valve, burn out line, close blast valve.
      Disconnect fuel line and connect to next cylinder, open tank valve (check for leaks) operate blast valve and check burner pressure.

    3. As a general rule the minimum amount of propane must be in the supply lines at any one time. This usually means that one tank only is turned on, with the second tank tested and ready for use. It is however permitted to have a second tank turned on when low flying, especially where the quiet burner is being fed from the second tank.

  • Landing procedure

    1. Normal

      1. Turn off pilot lights immediately before touchdown.

      2. Close flight cylinder valves.

      3. Evacuate fuel lines.

      4. Close blast valves.

        Ensure nobody smoking, crew passengers or onlookers, before fuel lines are cleared.

    2. Heavy Landing

      1. Close tank valves.

      2. Burn out fuel lines.

      3. Turn off pilot light valves/tank valves.

  • Other procedures

    1. Power lines.

      If contact is imminent turn off all tank valves.

    2. Tethering.

      A fire extinguisher should be manned permanently by a qualified and briefed crew member during the whole of the tether flight.

    3. Balloon Meet Organisers

      1. At all meets, a person should be nominated with specific responsibility for ensuring that the LPG guidance notes are followed. This should also include briefing LPG suppliers of these procedures.

      2. Meet organisers should have a fire warning system (eg klaxon, fog horn) and all pilots, crews etc. should observe the organiser's procedures for evacuation, etc.

      3. A large fire extinguisher should always be available for ALL inflations with one person delegated to be in charge.

  • Maintenance

    1. All pilots are recommended to carry out routine maintenance of their balloon LPG equipment in accordance with manufacturers instructions. Also that the equipment should be checked annually by an inspector for the Certificate of Airworthiness (C of A).

    2. Light alloy LPG flight cylinders have to be internally inspected 10 years from the date stamp on the cylinder and then every 5 years by an approved inspector. If damage is suspected the cylinder must be returned to the supplier for pressure testing.

    3. Any LPG equipment replaced must be of an approved type otherwise the C of A becomes invalid and you are risking the lives of yourself and your passengers.

    4. All fire extinguishers must be checked in accordance with the manufacturers recommendation.

    5. Do not make any repairs or modifications of any sort to your propane systems unless you are certain that you are competent to do this work. In case of doubt check with a C of A inspector. Failure of any part of a balloon fuel/burner system is probably the single most serious danger in our sport. Before undertaking any maintenance get yourself briefed by a recognised expert and know what you are doing.

Properties of LPG

There are a number of LPGs (Liquid Petroleum Gases) but the one which interests balloonists most is Propane.

Propane normally available is:

In cold conditions (below 10°C) the vapour pressure of propane falls markedly, reducing the output of the burner. This makes a balloon less responsive to attempts to arrest a descent, especially when heavy. Experience is the only guide here. Until you know your balloon, fly well below the recommended load, especially in cold weather.

  1. Highly flammable- gaseous fuels will only burn when mixed with air in proportions which lie between two limits known as the lower and upper limits of flammability. For propane the flammable range in air lies between 2% and 10% by volume - thus only very small amounts of propane in air will form an inflammable mixture.
    Atmospheres containing over 10% can become explosive when the mixture is further diluted with air, i.e. on the extremity of a propane vapour cloud.

  2. Colourless - but is seen as a liquid white spray (vapour) when emerging from a cylinder but this will almost immediately "vanish" as it turns into gaseous form.

  3. Heavier than air - about one and a half times heavier, this means that it will collect in drains, hollows, etc.

  4. Stored as a liquid gas under relatively low pressures this "boils off" into a gas when pressure is released. The gas pressure of a 1041b.(47 kg.) cylinder at 20°C is about 100 psi. (1 volume of liquid propane gives approx 270 volumes of gas at ambient conditions). A very small amount of liquid propane can thus be the source of a substantial fire. Propane is stored as a liquified gas under pressure which will vary depending on the temperature of the environment. Generally the pressure will increase with rising temperature and vice-versa.

  5. Heavily stenched - to assist detection of its presence.

  6. Liquid propane can cause severe cold burns when in contact with the skin and can damage the eyes. When propane is changing from a liquid to a gas, there is a rapid drop in its temperature (gas "laws") which causes cold burns and is enough to freeze open a valve (with frozen water vapour from the air not frozen propane). The boiling point of liquid propane is minus 42°C.

Treatment of cold burns.

Immerse the affected part in cold or tepid running water for at least 10 minutes or pour cold water of the burn.

Remove restrictive clothing or jewellery before swelling starts.

Do not remove clothing if it is stuck to the skin.

Do not break blisters.

If the affected area is greater than 2.5 cm (1 inch square) seek medical advice.

Storage and handling

The following information refers to the standard propane 104lb/47.2kg cylinder, or flight cylinder. Bulk propane storage tanks must be installed in accordance with the recommended codes of practice where they are used as a supply source.

Cylinders should also be stored a minimum 10 feet from:

  1. It is recommended that the number of cylinders stored should be kept to a reasonable minimum. No more than 4 flight cylinders should be stored together.

  2. Cylinders should always be stored upright outside, away from drains and hollows where any leak can percolate into drainage systems and form an explosive mixture. Incidents have been known where propane gas has drifted down a drain and ignited some hundred metres away from the source by a cigarette being thrown to a kerbside.

    1. Sources of ignition like boilers, refrigerators, other electrical appliances and switchgear.

    2. Other combustibles, e.g. petrol, paraffin.

    3. Where they may be exposed to excessive heat. At no time should propane or butane be heated above 25°C when stored in flight cylinders with pressure relief valves.

  3. When moving cylinders always treat them with respect. If moved by a vehicle ensure that they are "chocked" to prevent rolling around which can cause valves to leak, and damage to cylinders.

  4. If LPG cylinders are transported in vans, box vans or enclosed trailers, always make sure the vehicle is fitted with low level vents so that any leakage can be allowed to escape rather than build up an explosive mixture which can be ignited by a cigarette, nails in shoes, or defective courtesy light (the total amount of LPG is subject to the conveyance regulations.)

  5. If a cylinder is found to be leaking and cannot be completely turned off, remove it to a remote area away from the public thoroughfares and get the cylinder collected or returned to your supplier. Attach a warning notice "leaking gas - no smoking or naked flames".

  6. LPG stickers and no smoking signs should be attached to flight cylinders, trailers, vans and the basket indicating that flammable gas is stored.

  7. Cylinders or tanks containing propane may rupture violently as a result of exposure to fire. A container which has held propane and which is nominally empty may still contain propane vapour and should be treated in the same manner as a full container.

  8. When fitting fuel lines/refuelling hoses ensure that the mating parts are clean, free from dirt and undamaged.

  9. After connecting regulators, hoses, valves etc., check that there is no leak of gas before using. Propane has a distinctive smell and can be easily detected immediately by this fact. If a leak is suspected extinguish all naked lights and close the cylinder valve. The smell may not be strong if the gas is in low concentration.

  10. Never look for a leak with a naked flame but trace by smell and confirm by brushing soapy water or spit over the suspected joint. Equipment MUST NOT be used until a leak is eliminated.

Refuelling procedures

Where this is not practicable, attach an earthing lead (crocodile clip, lead and copper rod inserted into the ground) to the flight cylinder before connecting to the refuelling hose. Do not stand in the basket when refuelling.

The following method should be used.

  1. Liquid propane can cause severe cold burns if brought into contact with the skin and can also damage the eyes. Wear suitable clothing and footwear, stout gloves and goggles should be worn to minimise exposure to this hazard.

  2. Before commencing refuelling ensure that any people needed in attendance have been fully briefed of the fire risks associated with LPG and where practicable erect No Smoking signs.
    Always be on the lookout for people walking into the area who are smoking and keep them well away. Also ensure that sources of ignition like matches and lighters are not within the refuelling area. Keep children well away.

  3. Ensure that a fire extinguisher is handy but always remember it is preferable to extinguish a fire by turning off the gas at source by shutting the main valves. The extinguisher must be either dry powder (blue) 5kg capacity, or BCF (green) 3.5 or 7kg capacity and when any flames are extinguished the source of gas must be turned off to prevent re-ignition or explosions.

  4. Don't refuel near drains, vehicles or sources of downwind ignition where venting gas can drift into them and build up an explosive mixture. Choose a well-ventilated refuelling area where any vapour or gas can disperse readily.
    Take care in "flat calm" wind conditions since the propane vented will not disperse as well as when it is windy and may well remain after you have gone.

  5. It is recommended that flight cylinders be removed from the basket and placed on the ground for two reasons:

    1. To reduce the chance of sparks from the discharge of static electricity.

    2. To isolate each cylinder - potential fire hazard.

  6. Supply cylinders should be used in the vertical position with the valves uppermost, and cylinders with liquid offtake facility (dual-valve) are available from reputable LPG suppliers. If a supply cylinder without liquid off-take facility is to be temporarily inverted it must be securely positioned, ideally at an angle of 45 degrees to collect any residues in the shoulder of the supply cylinder and to make sure that the valve is easily accessible and easily operable. The supply cylinder should be returned to the vertical position when refuelling has finished.

    1. Ensure that both supply and flight cylinder valves are closed.

    2. Connect refuelling hose to supply and flight cylinder.

    3. Check for leaks - if a leak is suspected, check supply, flight and bleed screws closed. Check all connections to find leak with soapy water or spit. Only continue if leak is cured.

    4. Open supply cylinder valve.

    5. Open flight cylinder valve to begin filling.

    6. Check again for leaks.

    7. Open bleed screw on flight cylinder.

    8. Watch for first squirt of liquid coming out of bleed screw, and immediately:

    9. Close flight cylinder valve to avoid over-filling.

    10. Close bleed screw

    11. Close supply cylinder valve.

    12. Undo flight cylinder connection of refuelling hose and evacuate hose of liquid propane.

    13. Disconnect refuelling hose from supply cylinder.

  7. If you are on your own only refuel one cylinder at a time. If a fire should break out for some reason you can only effectively deal with one fire.

  8. Don't vent other cylinders when refuelling under any circumstances.

  9. Do not apply naked flame to any cylinder. If hot water is used to warm the large storage cylinder only apply the hot water when the liquid propane is flowing so that the increase in pressure is allowed to push the propane into the flight cylinder.

  10. When refuelling is complete make sure all cylinders are correctly turned off with self-sealing valves "popped" and that liquid vented from transfer hoses is allowed to vaporise and disperse quickly.

  11. Flight cylinders are protected by a controlled vapour space which is created by a small dip tube extending downwards from the vent valve. Filling must be stopped as soon as liquid appears, otherwise this vapour space may fill with liquid and leave no room for expansion with rise of temperature, thus creating dangerous pressures. If filling has taken place beyond this point, some propane should be drained out again at once.

Inflation procedure

  1. Burner and leak test.

    1. Ensure that all crew are adequately protected and briefed.

    2. Position one extinguisher near the fan and one accessible to the basket. A crew member should be responsible for the fire extinguishers and briefed accordingly. Check all fuel hoses for kinks, tears, cuts etc., before connecting.

    3. Check for leaks by connecting hoses to flight cylinders, valves and listening as well as looking with the basket upright.

    4. Check pilot lights functioning correctly.

    5. Check burner pressure for all flight cylinders check for leaks.

    6. Check operation of blast valves, (and for stem leaks on Rego's).

    7. Close cylinder valves and evacuate fuel hoses.

  2. Inflation

    1. With basket on its side ensure vapour and liquid take-off hoses are correctly positioned.

    2. With double burners, inflate using one pilot light and one side of the burner (with other side of the system fully closed - tank and burner valves.) In case of a gas leak, it is faster to turn off one burner system than two, and it reduces the risk of re-ignition of escaping gas by the other pilot light.

    3. One burner is adequate - leave the other system closed until ready for take-off.

Emergency procedures, fire on the ground

  1. In the event of a ground fire then attempt to extinguish by turning off the source before resorting to the use of an extinguisher. If you only extinguish the fire but cannot stop the leak there will be a rapid build-up of an explosive mixture.

  2. If a ground fire cannot be extinguished within 20-30 seconds, then evacuate the area to a safe distance (minimum 75 metres). Exploding cylinders send pieces of shrapnel a long way.

  3. NOTIFY THE FIRE BRIGADE AND MAKE SURE THEY KNOW THAT IT IS A PROPANE FIRE AND OTHER CYLINDERS MAY OR WILL BE INVOLVED.

  4. Beware when a cylinder becomes heated as a relief valve will vent excess pressure as a very large jet of propane/flame. The valve may then reset until pressure builds up again and vents again.

  5. Any cylinders involved in a fire should be identified and returned to the supplier, and must not be re-used.

  6. If balloon is inflated and fire cannot be extinguished, rip out the balloon and ensure that ALL crew and passengers leave simultaneously or keep weight on basket until all have exited. Evacuate crowds (see 5.2.)

Emergency procedures, fire in the air

  1. Attempt to isolate source switch off flight cylinder valve, extinguish fire, check for leaks.

  2. If no further leaks, land as soon as possible.

  3. If leak continues, attempt to isolate leak and use other side of the burner system. If practicable and safe to do so jettison leaking cylinder i.e. over open countryside, water, etc. Brief crew and make an emergency landing. Evacuate balloon and ensure nobody approaches until leak has stopped. If fire ensues, proceed as item 5 Fire on the Ground.

Flight procedures

  1. Fuel changeover. Ensure plenty of time for change over from one flight cylinder to the next one. Plan ahead to change over when balloon flight path is suitable, i.e. straight and level\climbing adequate height clearance of downwind obstacles etc.

  2. Procedure: check adequate pressure from other cylinders. Close tank valve, burn out line, close blast valve.
    Disconnect fuel line and connect to next cylinder, open tank valve (check for leaks) operate blast valve and check burner pressure.

  3. As a general rule the minimum amount of propane must be in the supply lines at any one time. This usually means that one tank only is turned on, with the second tank tested and ready for use. It is however permitted to have a second tank turned on when low flying, especially where the quiet burner is being fed from the second tank.

Landing procedure

Ensure nobody smoking, crew passengers or onlookers, before fuel lines are cleared.

  1. Normal

    1. Turn off pilot lights immediately before touchdown.

    2. Close flight cylinder valves.

    3. Evacuate fuel lines.

    4. Close blast valves.

  2. Heavy Landing

    1. Close tank valves.

    2. Burn out fuel lines.

    3. Turn off pilot light valves/tank valves.

Other procedures

If contact is imminent turn off all tank valves.

A fire extinguisher should be manned permanently by a qualified and briefed crew member during the whole of the tether flight.

  1. Power lines.

  2. Tethering.

  3. Balloon Meet Organisers

    1. At all meets, a person should be nominated with specific responsibility for ensuring that the LPG guidance notes are followed. This should also include briefing LPG suppliers of these procedures.

    2. Meet organisers should have a fire warning system (eg klaxon, fog horn) and all pilots, crews etc. should observe the organiser's procedures for evacuation, etc.

    3. A large fire extinguisher should always be available for ALL inflations with one person delegated to be in charge.

Maintenance

  1. All pilots are recommended to carry out routine maintenance of their balloon LPG equipment in accordance with manufacturers instructions. Also that the equipment should be checked annually by an inspector for the Certificate of Airworthiness (C of A).

  2. Light alloy LPG flight cylinders have to be internally inspected 10 years from the date stamp on the cylinder and then every 5 years by an approved inspector. If damage is suspected the cylinder must be returned to the supplier for pressure testing.

  3. Any LPG equipment replaced must be of an approved type otherwise the C of A becomes invalid and you are risking the lives of yourself and your passengers.

  4. All fire extinguishers must be checked in accordance with the manufacturers recommendation.

  5. Do not make any repairs or modifications of any sort to your propane systems unless you are certain that you are competent to do this work. In case of doubt check with a C of A inspector. Failure of any part of a balloon fuel/burner system is probably the single most serious danger in our sport. Before undertaking any maintenance get yourself briefed by a recognised expert and know what you are doing.

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