This page is meant for you to get a feel for what the buyer will have to go through when mating different balloon components (ie: Cameron basket to Fantasy envelope). This sounds like a daunting task but if you have all your ducks in a row it will be a rewarding experience. Don't be afraid to do this type of thing. I currently fly a Balloon Works and a Fantasy envelope over my Cameron basket.
Go for it!
STC’s and a Used Balloon Purchase
By: Garry Haruska
When purchasing a balloon component that did not originally come mated with another component you may or may not be able to mate these components easily. The first thing you will need to check is the Type Certificate Data Sheet. If your components are approved for mating under the TCDS you are home free. i.e. NOTE 13 Due to the similarity of design, certain baskets, burners and fuel cylinders manufactured by Lindstrand Balloons may be used in conjunction with a Cameron Balloons envelope. This installation is subject to the operations and limitations given in the Model specific approved Cameron Balloons Flight Manual Supplement. The approved Model specific Flight Manual Supplement is required equipment and must be carried onboard the aircraft.
If you did not find anything in the TCDS your next step is to check if a Supplemental Type Certificate has been issued for your application. This is sometimes a blanket issue for a model or it is sometimes a one time occurrence issue. If you find a blanket you will need to get permission from the STC holder, many times this is the manufacturer for one of the components that you are mating. If it is a one time you may be in for some additional paperwork. You will need to do some homework when mating components, but if it’s a great deal it may be well worth a little paperwork.
Once you have found the paperwork that will allow you to mate components you will need copies of that paperwork, a flight manual supplement to cover all of the components that will be used together, all components will need to be in annual, then the system will need to be inspected in the new configuration. Depending on your application this will either be accomplished by a repair station or by your local FSDO (I know in some areas of the country your local FSDO may mean a day trip to the big city). After the conformity inspection and the paperwork is filed you should be good to go.
Editors note: When I mated my Fantasy envelope with my cameron basket all the paperwork was filled out by the manuafacturer (Fantasy) of the envelope with all the pertinant details of my basket, tanks, and burner system. As long as all the i's are dotted and t's are crossed this should go somewhat smoothly. I was able to get it done in one day. The FAA employee who went through this with me told me that was a rare occurance but everything was in such good order that there were no delays. I realize your experience will vary but in general it was a great learning experience for me and gave me a little more confidence talking directly with FAA personel.