Quick Start Guide
Filling, closing, and mooring your balloon
1) Tie string to a carabiner with double overhand knot (see upper right box).
2) Tie the other end (5ft or so) to something heavy like a 1 gallon jug full of water -- so your balloon won't fly away as you're working.
3) Tie the clip swivel to the reel of kite string with the same knot.
3) When done filling, push helium out of the neck and close with a cable tie just below the balloon.
4) Release nozzle cable tie.
5) Fold the neck over onto itself and around the ring. Attach two more cable ties and pull tight.
6) Attach ring to the mooring point.
Test the valve, and lay the tank on the ground. Attach the regulator if one came with your tank (not pictured).
1) Pull the balloon neck through the ring.
2) Cable tie the balloon to the helium tank. The balloon neck may need to be folded and squeezed tight. Continue holding on to your balloon.
Double overhand knot:
Unless your balloon is moored, hold on!
Fill slowly, gushing helium can rip your balloon and make the tank dangerously cold.
Be safe and responsible
Check that you are five miles or more away from the nearest airport. Otherwise, speak with the airport about sending a "Notice to Airmen". Print out satellite imagery of where you'll be mapping (Google, USGS, etc) to help in planning.
Do a test flight first, without a camera: reel out, then reel in, with about a hundred feet of string.
Look around you!
Check tree tops, flag poles, clouds. Which way is the wind going on the ground? At tree level? Above in the sky? What obstacles will come up as you launch? Will the balloon change direction while rising? Check again on your satellite map - how far away are those trees, really?`
Be aware of others' privacy
Make sure to talk to your neighbors first. Maybe they'll want to help!
Attach your camera
Make a temporary loop by tying an overhand knot on a loop on the string below the balloon:
A. Slacken the line below the balloon & gather a loop in your hand
B. Loop it around & through itself and pull taut; attach your camera!
Quick Start Guide
Safely launching your balloon and camera