6th March 2020
Jason Brand has been flying weather balloons to up to 37 km altitude for around 8 years. He has flown, chased and recovered about 35 balloons as part of a team or as the chase leader. He has flown them in various parts of our state, New South Wales (NSW) and also in Croatia. Jason has given lectures to scientists and school students, He gave 18 lectures in three days to students from the region and flew a balloon during some of the lectures. He has even given talks in Croatia on high altitude balloon flights. Jason has released about 35 payloads, tracked and recovered all of them for 100% success rate.
He has earned the right to manage our HABworx side of ThunderStruck Space. His role will be to establish the needs of the flight, prepare the goods, vehicles, order the gas, order the balloons, consumables, tracking systems, accommodation, costs, accounting, staffing, timeline, charge the batteries, order batteries and much more. We will soon have a UAV / Drone and that will also need to be tested and batteries charged. He will need to submit a request for the NOTAM (Notice to Airmen), check weather, flight predictions, determine a launch point, ensure the recovery point is accessible, Liaise with CASA, Rex Airlines, QANTAS Link and others. He will need to keep track of Insurance policies, checklists, chainsaw and fuel, tree recovery gear CB and HAM radios, and on and on.
On the Day…
Jason will also be responsible for integrating payloads tracking and recovery of the payloads on the day.
If you have read this far, you are probably thinking that this is not as easy as it seems and you are right. We use multiple trackers, carry spare helium tanks, spare balloons and a ton of spares. It is not surprising that the average person looses their payloads. We take a viewpoint of that it is better to spend up on spares and redundant systems and only run a low risk of failure. Jason will be expected to uphold that principle and advise us of any new developments.
Welcome to being HABworx Manager, Jason. And that is Ginger Beer that we are drinking. No alcohol allowed. We are celebrating our latest success with our customer on the left. (From the left, Jules, Jason Brand, Robert Brand)