St Andrews Academy HAB flight saved by Manx miracle

st andrews

This weeks HAB flight by St Andrews Academy in Paisley. proved that sometimes you need a little luck to safely recover your payload. Supported by Near Space Photography, St Andrews Academy in Scotland launched their STEM HAB project on Monday 8th June. Mr Henry, the school head teacher described the successful launch. Mr Henry said, “The launch went well, lovely weather and quite still at ground level. We pretty much emptied the helium tank, gauge was reading zero. The lift looked good and it quickly gained altitude. The school students loved it and we had some kids from the local Additional Support Needs school over as well. ” The weather balloon was launched at 12:30 but unfortunately the balloon did not rise to the planned ascent rate. The balloon was expected to land in the north side of Galloway Forest but the balloon kept on rising over the forest and headed out to sea just after 3pm. We all thought the payload was lost. forecats vs spot reports Then at 6pm a miracle. the SPOT tracker checked in on it’s way down over the Isle of Man. This was truly good fortune. After 20 tense minutes where the payload descended perilously close to the west coast of man, the payload finally came to rest close to the village of St John and the famous monument of Tynwald. It was truly a miracle!

landing site

More on the story is covered here

Nasa launches helium balloon to test Mars landings


Nasa has launched a helium balloon to test possible landing systems for future flights to Mars.

The balloon took off from Hawaii carrying an experimental saucer-shaped weight.

Nasa wants to see whether this parachute can slow down the saucer when it is dropped – and whether this technology could be used for Mars landings.

Recent Air proximity alert involving a weather balloon

A recent air proximity alert, AIRPROX REPORT No 2015005, has served as a reminder to pilots to check for sites launching meteorological balloons along their route. It also reminds balloon operators of the need to get appropriate permission for their high altitude balloon launch.

The report was made by a pilot of a  SAAB 2000 who reported being on a descent into Scatsta. When passing FL70, the crew observed a white Met balloon. The pilot reported that they first had visual contact approximately 5nm away. The pilot elected to take a turn of 20° to avoid the balloon. The weather balloon passed down their right-hand side at a distance of 400m.

For the full report go to