Midnight Balloon Meeting in Sotkamo, Finland
26.-30.6.2019

Memorable moments in the Finnish night

Arctic Balloon Team ry is organizing an international balloon meeting in Sotkamo Finland, taking place between Wednesday 26th to Sunday 30th of June 2019. 
We are expecting 15 – 20 balloon teams to attend this meeting, from USA, England, Germany, France, Estonia and Finland.

In 2009 we organized a similar balloon event in Jyväskylä Finland. There were 17 balloon teams from several countries attending. On this website you will find photos from that event.

MidNight Balloon Meeting´s (MBM) main idea is to give teams a unique experience to fly their balloon at midnight. This experience is possible only in northern hemisphere and in Finland where we have enough infrastructure (roads and launch and landing places).

All flights will be flown at midnight starting 23.30 local time from Haapala farms fields in the middle of Sotkamo. 
These flights will be a 'hare and hounds' challenge.
The first balloon to launch being the hare , all other balloons launching shortly after are the hounds and must follow or 'chase' the lead balloon .

Flight duration is around one hour , flying at midnight from one day to another. 

There is also the opportunity to buy tickets and fly with the balloons on a commercial flight. 
The meetings daily information will be posted on the events page on Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/events/323795018404800/.

This meeting is not only ballooning, but much more. We will show to international participants the culture and lifestyle in Sotkamo, explore hills, forests and lakes and of course end every flight in sauna! 

Gallery

Pictures of previous event

MidNight Balloon flight in Sotkamo at 2013

Video of MidNight Balloon Rally 2009 in Jyväskylä

 

Pilots and their balloons

Sophie Miannay, France

I am balloon pilot for 10 years, for my spare time. I fly in meetings and and freelands, not business.

I fly at home countryside and sea side ( I leave near seaside) and many  many places in France.

 

I flew already abroad : Italy, Spain, Portugal, Germany, Philippines, Australia, Japan, South Africa  few times, Austria plenty of times and

many places in tyrol Austria:  differents moutains alpes. 

Howard Adrews, UK

Started Crewing in 1988 with the British Airways Concorde balloon team, qualified as Pilot in 1992, flying as hobby.


Memorable flights, Cross channel Uk to France, London Regatta, Catalonia balloon tour and Midnight flights over Jyvaskyla! 

Hinnerk Röhrs, Germany

I started ballooning when I come to the age where other people starts playing golf. Feeling to young for this gras sport I decided to become a pilot.

 

In the last five years I flew nearly 500 hours. I used to fly over the big forests in northern Germany my home town Celle and the Lüneburger Heide.

But I also love it to explore the World out of the basket. So i got experiences in Albuquerque, New Mexico; New Zealand; China; Egypt; Tunesia; Jordan; Polen; the Alps, Austria, Switzerland, Italy, France, England... I crossed the Chanel from England to France and I flew many times near the border of the baltic sea.

 

So If it is possible to follow an invitation to a new adventures. I’ll do that. And I think midnight ballooning over endless woods in funland is a very special challenge. So I'll be there.

Jouni Ruotsalainen, Finland

I have been flying hotairballoon since 1979 when I got a job as a driver for the Finnish WC-Balloon team to Upsala, Sweden. There I got my first balloon ride. It was such an unforgettable experience that soon after, I obtained my own license.  

Most of my flights have been competition flights but nowadays I fly in the Sotkamo district on happy hobby happenings with my friend, balloon adventurer, Baron of Laukkala: Vesa Lensu. 

Sarah Villers, Ireland

As Northern Ireland’s first female pilot, Sarah has been involved in hot air ballooning since 2001, flying throughout the UK and Ireland, as well as in France, Germany, the Netherlands, Austria & Italy.

 

Joined by her husband Stephen and their two young daughters, the family continue to make it their mission to encounter new landscapes and experiences, as well as enjoying the comradery of flying experienced through Ballooning. 

Jeff Lawton, 

Balloon pilot for 22 years with commercial and instructor rating .

I have flown extensively in Europe  and in recent years ,Thailand ,Taiwan ,Mexico and USA .

 

In Finland I will be teaming up with Sarah Villiers from Northern Ireland and supported by my brother Phillip who lives in Helsinki .  

 

Vesa Lensu, Finland

To fly has been always my dream. I started hang gliding in 1986 and

I did it few years. 

In 1993 I asked my friend mr Jouni Ruotsalainen teach me how to fly hotair balloon. After first years I retired for 7 years and stared my balloon hobby again in 2002. 

I have flown hundreds of flights and hours all over world. Some to remember: frozen flight in – 34 celsius over Lapland great Lake Inari, flight over Gulf of Botnia from Luleå Sweden to Raahe Finland, many 100 – 250 km long jumps and two 12 hours flights in Funland, expedition flights in Catalonia, Spain, Germany, Italy, Dubai, Australia and USA, flight over Brisbane city and flight over Alpes in 5 km altitude…

Hotair balloon flight is always an adventure. Nature gives to you direction and speed. Pilots just adjusts flight level. Balloon seems to have a mind of her own, but sometimes you can steer it to place where you are going: once I flew 144 km fly-in and landed 620 m from Arska´s smokesauna.

In balloon you are in 3-dimension world and part of nature. You can soar on surface of lake or ice, have on view from 1 km altitude or pick up spruce cones. Sotkamo´s great nature is a place for all that. My dream is to offer those same feelings both to fellow balloonist and also to local people by organizing MidNight Balloon Meeting 2019.

Tim Cloyd Runnells, Iowa U.S.A.

 I am a Commercial Hot Air Balloon Pilot and Flight Instructor with over 900 flight hours including 9 flights over 100 miles (160 km.). I attend up to 12 balloon events per years and fly about 80 hours per year.

Flying a pre-dawn flight is one of the most unique flights that I fly. I also enjoy the challenge of competition flights. Flying is my passion and I enjoy taking passengers for flights in which I know the flight will give the passenger much happiness.

 

I fly one special flight per year. It is a flight to raise money and awareness for Cancer. The flight is called the “Extreme Flight to Find a Cure”. It is an annual high altitude long distance flight in which I fly names of people who have dealt with cancer. The flights have been anywhere from 105 miles (169 km.) to 413 miles (665 km.) and above 17,000 ft. (5,181 m.) in altitude. Visit my website at www.tecvisions.orgfor more information.

 

Also I am currently the secretary for the board of directors of the Balloon Federation of America. Ballooning is more than just the flights. It is about the people you get to meet and friendships that you create. The memories are priceless. I was fortunate to meet Vesa Lensu here in America and look forward to developing new friendships in Finland. I am looking forward to the opportunity to flying at the Midnight Balloon Meeting. It will most definitely be a highlight of my flying career. 

Sophie Miannay, France

I am balloon pilot for 10 years, for my spare time. I fly in meetings and and freelands, not business.

I fly at home countryside and sea side ( I leave near seaside) and many  many places in France.

 

I flew already abroad : Italy, Spain, Portugal, Germany, Philippines, Australia, Japan, South Africa  few times, Austria plenty of times and

many places in tyrol Austria:  differents moutains alpes. 

Howard Adrews, UK

Started Crewing in 1988 with the British Airways Concorde balloon team, qualified as Pilot in 1992, flying as hobby.


Memorable flights, Cross channel Uk to France, London Regatta, Catalonia balloon tour and Midnight flights over Jyvaskyla! 

Martin Miklošík, Slovakia

Greet from Slovakia. 

I am a balloon pilot and skydiver from Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia.  I fly in balloon fiestas and for my soul pleasure. I have been in touch with the balloons for a long time. My first balloon jump was 20 years ago;) This is my third season as a balloon pilot.  I'm flying at home countryside (whole country) and I like to fly over mountains in my country (High Tatras).  

Last year I attended the balloon fiesta in Maramures "100 balloons for Romania". Flying is fun and relax for me, I would like to participate in the competition in the future.

Jukka Kujala, Finland

The balloon pilot from Helsinki, I have flown balloons 30 years and 1,500 flight hours.
The most interesting flight is always the next new flight.

I have participated in many international balloon events.
Latest last year in Lithuania, 100 balloons event.

Sometimes I fly also commercial flights, but flying is mostly hobby.
After these years I fly still strongly!

Participation info

We have possibility only to accept maximum 20 balloons to MidNight Balloon Meeting. 

 

When you have decided to take part to event we ask you to send us following information: 

 

* pilots full name, 

* home address

* if registration fee is paid by another than pilot billing details

* telephone number and email

* date of arrival

* date of dep

* flight time experience

* vest size S-XXXL

if there is several pilots in your team, please share same info of all pilots and names of other team members. 

 

Balloon:

* Registration 

* Name 

* Sponsor 

* Size, volume 

* Colour

* Manufactured in (year) 

* CoA Expiration date 

* Flight time 

* Insurance company 

* Policy 

* Expiration date

 

Because we want to have various participation countries we keep right to chose teams. 

 

Please send your information by email to vesa@lensu.fi

 

Registration fee 200 euros per balloon team. When you have send your information and you are accepted, we will send 200 euros invoice. Registration will be accepted only with full payment of entry fee. 

 

For registration fee we offer to teams first flights propane, local grew member, one pilot vest and sauna after every flight. 

 

Other cost will be tank (30 kg) of propane on 50 euros, accommodation in 2 bedroom flats at 110 euros per flat by night, lunches and before flight buffet dinner at 9 euros per person.

Arctic Balloon Team ry

c/o Vesa Lensu

tel + 358 400 542 336

 

Partners

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©2018 by www.midnightballoonmeeting.fi. 

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