WELCOME TO the Aviation-Ranch Competition Tutorials.

We have assembled short video tutorials to help explain some of the many different types of competition tasks that are currently being used in sanctioned balloon competition events.  We understand that the current BFA guidelines for competition has evolved over the years to be quite complex.  These complex rules are sometimes hard to understand and quite frankly can deter many from competing.  We want to help explain some of the events with these helpful video tutorials.  Check back often to see the newest videos.

The Maximum Distance Double Drop (XDD)

This is a task where a pilot is required to drop two markers within a scoring area.  This task can be done in many different ways.  This video tutorial will give you an idea of what the task involves and some of the ways it can be set up.  The abbreviation used for this task is often (XDD)


This task is a fun one and takes a bit of careful calculation.  There will be different scoring areas and each has a certain period of time that the area is "OPEN".  The task requires you to drop your marker as close to the designated target within the scoring area that is "OPEN" at the time you drop your marker.  This one is a fun one!


The water ship down is an altered way of running a Hare & Hound.  Competitors are required to go upwind (a specific distance) and fly back to the field where the Hare Balloon will be launched.  Careful calculations must be made to ensure you do not arrive too soon at the Hare launch site.  But again, you do not want to be too late either.  Many times you will have a marker to drop on a target at the Hare Launch site and then another marker to drop where the hare balloon lands.

Competition Map Grids and Task Sheets

If you have never flown competition this video is a great place to start.  It walks you step by step over a 4 target flight with instruction on how to use the UTM grid on the competition map as well as what all the stuff on a Task Sheet means.  In addition there are several helpful tips on what to watch out for.  A GREAT PLACE TO START your adventure into competition ballooning.

The Hesitation Waltz.

This competition task is designed to give the pilot choices of targets to hit at the end of a flight when the weather conditions may change.  It is easy to make a bad choice on the hesitation waltz task.  Choosing a target to the right when there is not enough turn to get there or choosing a target to the left and having the lower left layer of wind disappear.  This can be a very challenging task!

Flying 3D Targets in the SKY

This is a super challenging task to fly.  Imagine trying to hit a target you can not see!  While the theory behind this is fairly simple the actual execution can be a challenge.  Have a watch of this video tutorial make sure your sitting down.

Minimum Distance Double Drop (MDD)

The Minimum distance double drop can be run in many ways.  Sometimes with just one scoring area and an X.  Sometimes with two scoring areas in one location and occasionally you could find your MDD scoring area's at completely different locations.  The most important thing to remember that trying to place your marker in the smallest tip of the scoring area could cause you to loose everything!  Have a watch and see what we mean.

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