Full Flight Data: http://overlookhorizon.com/flight-6
We had a great flight on May 20th, but we still encountered some minor issues that we'd like to try to eliminate.
The day started well with calm winds and a beautifully clear day with almost no clouds overhead. Our first minor issue occurred with our live broadcast when we had poor mobile data and were unable to support 2 streams to Facebook and YouTube so we just broadcast to Facebook.
We filled our 1200g balloon and started sealing it and attaching it to our payload lines when we could faintly hear a whistling sound. We discovered a pinhole defect in the balloon! Note: we take great care to prevent balloon damage - gloves, tarps, clean blankets, etc.; but we still discovered a hole. Fortunately, the manufacturer offered to replace the balloon for next flight. Instead of risking an uncertain outcome we decided to switch to our bacup 800g balloon and deflate the 1200g balloon -- surprisingly, deflating is actually way harder than expected, but was highly entertaining! Fortunately, we had enough helium to fill another balloon.
Once we got the backup 800g balloon filled, everything went smoothly. The flight launched and experienced a close flyby of a Boeing 777 at around 41,000 FT (see video). We do quite a bit to ensure safe operations even though we are below the FAR 101 exclusion limits. We file a NOTAM with the FAA, file a HiBal Pre-Launch Notice with the local FSDO, notify local airports near launch & landing sites, and coordinate position updates with affected ARTCCs.
Our two horizontal cameras (Lightdow LD4000) captured great footage on this clear day. Sadly, our upwards balloon-facing camera (Lightdow LD-V3 4K) died after about 75 minutes just short of the balloon burst so we did not capture that on video. The balloon burst at only 91,462 FT. which is our lowest altitude yet. Sad, but not bad given that we had to switch balloons.
Recovery for this flight was easy - it landed in someone's front lawn. They got it before we arrived and called us. We recovered quickly and easily.
We've posted our full flight data on our website here: http://overlookhorizon.com/flight-6
Here's a sample of some of our data, photos and videos:
Condensed Flight Video:
Mission Details Video: