03 Aug 2023

New Event Registration Feature is a revolution for balloon pilots and organisers

Hiromi Furukawa (JPN), hot air balloon pilot and CIA PMR & Officials Subcommittee member shares an update from the WatchMeFly & Balloon Live project.

  • Dear Pilots, are you tired of filling out forms, looking for documents in your computer and attaching them to numerous emails every time you are registering for a balloon event? 
  • Dear Organisers, you receive a multitude of emails, make spreadsheets and still don’t know the best way handle all the documents you received?

If the answer is yes, it’s time to start using the new feature “WatchMeFly Registrations”!

If you are already using Balloon Live App and WatchMeFly (WMF) you can use WMF Registrations without any additional costs. It saves significant time and work for both competitors and organisers.

If you are not familiar with it, go to www.watchmefly.net to create your account as a pilot or to www.balloonlive.org to request the setup of your balloon event. I am sure you will like the new features.

But don't stop there! Please read to the end to learn how you can further improve your sport ballooning life....

By the way, …..?

  • Have you heard about the Balloon Live project?
  • Have you heard about Balloon Live Sensor (BLS), Balloon Live App & WatchMeFly (WMF)?

I assume many of you already know about all of this.  However, here are simple explanations for those who have never heard about them.

The Balloon Live project started in 2018, by the New Technology Subcommittee (NTSC) of the FAI Ballooning Commission, as a follow-up project to replace the FAI Balloon Competition Loggers that were introduced in 2009.

The Balloon Live Sensor (BLS) is used to close the gap between the Balloon Live App running on many different phones (for both Android and Apple) and the need for precise GPS and barometric measurements.

The Balloon Live App is used to enable goal declarations/electronic marker drop, storing flight track data, and works as an interface to WMF.

Watchmefly.net is an essential part of the Balloon Live project which started as a platform for data recording, visualisation and scoring.

With the combination of these “tools” and the new and flexible ideas of the people who are involved in this project, sport ballooning is becoming more and more attractive and easier to access.

WMF has been used for many competitions, FAI first category events including a World Championship and recently national championships and other events.

Watchmefly ballooning app

For Event Organisers

The organiser of a balloon competition who wants to use Balloon Live:

  1. Pays a small fee to use the Balloon Live App and WMF platform. 
  2. Cost is based on the numbers of flights scheduled during the competition, namely:

  • 1-3 flights: 50 CHF

  • 4-8 flights: 100 CHF

  • 9-15 flights: 250 CHF

  • 16-20 flights: 400 CHF

  • 21+ flights: 500 CHF

NB:  The payment can be made online using the FAI Payment system.

For competitors 

As a competitor participating in a Balloon Live competition event, you need to:

  1. Have a mobile phone or a tablet which you can install the Balloon Live App.
  2. Download Balloon Live App from the Google Play store or Apple App Store. The cost is around 6 CHF (one-time cost)
  3. Pay around 10 CHF (in-app) for each competition you participate in.


New Feature - WMF “WatchMeFly Registrations”

The chairman of the New Technology Subcommittee (NTSC), Claude Weber, who is also the First Vice President of the FAI Ballooning Commission said:

“ It is a big step forward for Ballooning events.”

How does it work?

A Pilot can create an account on WMF, save their pilot information and upload related documents.

When applying to a competition where “WMF Registrations” is used, she/he can use the information stored on her/his profile and documents already uploaded without filling forms and uploading files every time.

Watchmefly ballooning app

Organizers who decide to use Balloon Live App and WMF for their event, can use “WMF Registrations” for managing registration of Pilots. The basic information setting is already there and if you wish to customize the form, the system is very flexible to modify it and add any additional fields and information needed.

See the tutorial video of how you can use WMF Registrations.

WMF Registration feature saves a lot of time for both pilots and organisers.

Is there an extra fee to use WMF Registration? No additional fee is needed for use of WMF Registrations once the normal organiser fee is paid.

The more we use it, the more we support our sport and its development.

These fees to use Balloon Live App and WMF are very reasonable for such a lot of functions. And all the income is considered project income and goes directly to the FAI Ballooning Commission to run and maintain the app and back-end systems, and to develop new features. There is no commercial party involved.

Watchmefly ballooning app

Who is the team behind the Balloon Live project?

FAI Ballooning New Technology Subcommittee (NTSC) is coordinating this project with a team of volunteers

NTSC always surprises us, continuously proposing new ideas. Their ability to bring so many ideas to reality is outstanding. There are many volunteers and they work passionately to improve our sport.

One of them is Andrew Robertson, who is the developer of WMF. After I asked some questions about the new features, he immediately created a video tutorial to explain how it all really works! If you have any questions or comments on the new WMF Registrations features, use the contact page on WMF.

If you have any questions about Balloon Live project, please contact the team.

Stay up to date

When you open the WMF website, you often find something new.

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