Flights & Tasks
Flight 6 - 12 May 2023 PM
Flight 5 - 12 May 2023 AM
Flight 4 - 11 May 2023 PM
Flight 3 - 11 May 2023 AM
Flight 2 - 9 May 2023 PM
Flight 2 - 9 May 2023 AM
Flight 2 - 8 May 2023 PM
Flight 1 - 8 May 2023 AM
Noticeboard - Latest Posts
Further Correspondence from Competitor #6
9 May 2023

Competitor #6 has submitted further correspondence in relation to his complaint of 8 May 2023. A copy of this correspondence, and my response are attached below.

Gary Lacey - Event Director

Complaint from Competitor #18 - Flight 1
8 May 2023

Please find attached a complaint regarding Tasks 1 & 2 received from Pilot No. 18, together with my reply.

Gary Lacey - Event Director

Complaint from Competitor #6 - Flight 1
8 May 2023

Please find attached a Complaint from Competitor #6 and my reply.

Gary Lacey - Event Director

Official Competitor List
7 May 2023

This is the Official Competitor List for the Australian National Ballooning Championships 2023, compiled from the roll call of entrants at the General Briefing. 

General Briefing Notes
7 May 2023

General Briefing Notes are attached.

Common Launch Areas and Points
7 May 2023

Here is a waypoint file defining a number of potential CLAs (and CLPs) to be used during the competition. The waypoint file also includes the location of the gate used to enter the CLA.

CASA Air Display Approval
3 May 2023

Attached is the Approval to conduct the Northam Nationals 2023 - issued by CASA.

At check-in all participating pilots will be required to sign to acknowledge that you have read the Approval and that you will operate your aircraft in accordance with the terms of the Approval - nobody will be able to fly at this Event until a signature has been received by the Organisers.

You will note that "Passengers" must not be carried by any Participant. This refers to paying passengers and does not prevent the carriage of crew. However, Participants will need to keep a manifest of all those flying on each day and this manifest will need to be presented to the Organisers for submission to CASA as part of the Post Display Report.

Gary Lacey - Event Director

Operations Documents and Incident Management Plan
3 May 2023

Attached to this post are two documents that you must comply with during the Event. They are "The Operations Handbook and Incident Management Plan" and "General Safety Guidelines".

These documents contain all of the essential operations details and important contact numbers.

Gary Lacey - Event Director

PZs and Sensitive Areas
1 May 2023

Here is a list of all Prohibited Zones (Blue, Red and Yellow).

Included is a PDF file showing the position and colour of each PZ. Please ensure that your maps are updated before you fly in Northam this year, noting that there are changes from previous years.

There is also attached a Zip file containing waypoints and track files for each PZ (in Oziexplorer format).

Gary Lacey - Event Director

Test/Practice Flight
29 Apr 2023

I have set up a Practice Flight for you to test your BLS/Balloon Live/Watchmefly setup.

If you have made the event payment in Balloon Live you will see that there is a "Live" flight ready for you to fly.

Please "fly" this flight according to the task data (either for real or virtually) and then stop the flight and check that the track has been downloaded to Watchmefly. In this way I can check that the system is working and that you have the correct visions of the app and BLS firmware. also it will give the score a way of testing track download and import into the scoring software.

Gary Lacey - Event Director

Reference Documents
24 Apr 2023

The following reference documents will be used for the Australian National Hot Air Ballooning Championships 2023.

All competitors should acquaint themselves with the contents of these documents; particularly the Competition Operations Handbook

  • FAI Sporting Code General Section (2023 v1.0)
  • FAI Sporting Code Section 1 - Aerostats (April 2023)
  • CIA Competition Operations Handbook (2023)
Antidoping and Alcohol Policy
19 Apr 2023

Please see the attached documents regarding the use of drugs and alcohol during (and before) the event.

Gary Lacey - Event Director

Balloon Live Setup and Training
18 Apr 2023

I cannot stress enough the need for you to be prepared for the use of the Balloon Live/Watchmefly system before the start of the competition.

I provided you with the basic information on 22 March 2023 and I am now providing more detailed information fro the initial setup and payment for the event.

An excellent tutorial video can be found here:

Please complete the initial setup and payment as soon as possible. Once everyone is setup (I will be able to see this on Watchmefly), I will create some training flights.

  • Please create an account on and fill out the fields in the account settings (top right under your name). Your profile data will be visible to the public.
  • Install the latest version of the Balloon Live app (Android or Apple, version 2027) on your flying device and backup device (if used). You can find further information and help on balloon .
  • In the app, click on the Profile Image in the top right hand corner and login with your credentials.
  • In the app, under the user menu at the top right, select the available competitions list. You should see the event "Australian National Ballooning Championships 2023" in the events list. If not, please contact
  • Select the event from the list and follow the steps on your device to pay the event fee. The payment is only required once and will not be required for any further device.
  • Once the payment is successful, you should be able to see it marked "Paid" and you can select it to load the event in the app.

For those of you that do not have your own Balloon Live Sensor (BLS), you will need to complete the following steps once you have obtained one at, or prior to, check in. Note it is still possible to arrange hire of a BLS form the ABF Store on the ABF website so that you can prepare yourself in good time:

  • Start and connect the BLS as shown in the tutorial video above.
  • I will prepare at least one Practice Flight prior to the event - when this is available you can sync the data and start the flight (I will let you know when the flight is available).
  • IMPORTANT - You must record at least one Practice Flight prior to the General Briefing so that we can check that everything is set up correctly. You do not need to actually fly the flight - you can complete the process by driving or walking around, but the following recording conditions must be met:
    • BLS connected.
    • Duration of at least 15 mins.
    • At least 1 goal declaration
    • At least 1 marker drop.
  • Make sure to stop your flight recording properly and wait for the track to be completely uploaded (Upload icon - letter A has disappeared again).
  • Login to from a browser and check if your flight data is shown under "Your Competition Data" within user menu (top right).

Gary Lacey - Event Director

Approved Rules for the Event
17 Apr 2023

The Rules for the 23rd Australian National Hot Air Ballooning Championships 2023 have been approved by the Australian Ballooning Federation and are available here for download.

Gary Lacey - Event Director

2023 Competition Map and Goal List
13 Apr 2023

The 2023 Official Competition Map and associated files are now available for download at the following link

This link includes the calibrated .ozf map; a basic JPG (for those who need it) and version 1 of the Official Goal List. 

Also we are providing, for use in your navigation software, plot (track) files and KML files of known powerlines. This powerline material is provided as an additional safety measure and you are encouraged to use it as an aid to ensuring appropriate separation from powerlines; however:

  • Please note that these files were prepared in 2021 and changes to powerline layout may have occurred in the interim;
  • No responsibility is accepted by the Event Organisers for any omissions, inaccuracies or errors in the material, or any reliance placed on the material;
  • Any reliance placed on any material provided is at your own risk;
  • Do not allow the competition to distract your attention from safe flying;
  • It is the pilot’s responsibility at all times to avoid contact with powerlines. 

Gary Lacey - Event Director

Balloon Live App and Balloon Live Sensor
22 Mar 2023

The Logger used in this Event is the FAI “Balloon Live” App with a connected Balloon Live Sensor. 

Each competitor will need to supply their own mobile device (phone or tablet) connected to either the Telstra or Optus mobile networks (other networks have very limited coverage in the Northam Area). The Balloon live App, which is available for iOS and Android, must be installed by each competitor beforehand on their own device. For those competitors who do not have their own Balloon Live Sensor, a Sensor will be provided at check-in by the ABF.

Every competitor MUST  familiarise themselves with the set up and use of the App and Sensor prior to the competition.

The following resources are available:

FAI Balloon Live On Facebook
BLS User Manual
BLS Quick Reference Guide
BLS Latest Firmware