next Graham Hurst Further details previous

Ross-on-Wye

From The Air, From a Hot Air Balloon

On the 14th April 2007, I was lucky enough to be able to take an evening air balloon flight over Ross (a delayed birthday present) with Wye Valley Aviation. It was a large basket and balloon designed to take eight people plus the pilot. Plus there is a two person ground crew to provide support for the flight.

The evening started off at the Chase Hotel with the Land Rover, trailer and packed balloon arriving in the grounds. The pilot released a small balloon (as seen in the photo below left, in his hand) to gauge the wind direction, speed and air currents. It was unfortunately a slightly hazey evening.

Air balloon on trailer
The air balloon packed onto the trailer
(Click for a larger image)
Air balloon unloaded
The air balloon off loaded
(Click for a larger image)

We then off loaded the basket (it was a team effort) and did a practice run at getting into the basket and were shown the landing position and the noise from the burner was demonstrated (good job I had a hat, it was quite warm!!) Then we tipped the basket on its side and the balloon was attached to it (see photo above right). Next we helped to unroll the balloon and stretch it out over the field (photo below).

Unpacked hot air balloon
The air balloon unpacked
(Click for a larger image)

The balloon was then inflated using a petrol powered blower or fan to fill it with air, whilst several of the passengers held open the mouth of the balloon to let the air in (below left). During this, the pilot and ground crew continued to connect up the balloon to the basket including the top vents and balloon rotation vents. This often involved the pilot climbing on, under and even into the balloon (below right).

Air balloon inflation
The air balloon being inflated
(Click for a larger image)
Air balloon unloaded
Inside the air balloon
(Click for a larger image)

Air balloon hot air inflation
The air balloon being inflated with hot air
(Click for a larger image)

Once inflated, the balloon was then filled with hot air using the burners on the basket (left). This caused the balloon to rise and pull the basket upright (but not lift up).


Then we quickly climbed in, a safety check was done on the burners and then they were used to start the balloon rising. Once off the ground, the safety tether rope, which attached the basket to the Land Rover to stop the balloon accidentally escaping, was let free and we were off over the Chase Hotel (right).

The first street that came into view was Park Walk (below).

Air balloon takeoff
Takeoff!
(Click for a larger image)

Park Walk
Park Walk
(Click for a larger image)

We then rose very quickly and Park Walk (below left) became much less obstructed and then The Gresleys came into view (below right).

Park Walk
Park Walk again
(Click for a larger image)
Air balloon takeoff
The Gresleys (and part of Alton Street)
(Click for a super sized image)

Eastfield Road then came into view (below left and below right).

Eastfield Road
Eastfield Road
(Click for a super size image)
Eastfield Road
Eastfield Road
(Click for a super size image)

Next we moved towards St. Marys Church (below left) and the Tennis and Bowling Clubs (below right).

St. Marys and Copse Cross Street
St. Marys and Copse Cross Street
(Click for a super size image)
Tennis and Bowling Club
The Tennis and Bowling Clubs
(Click for a super size image)

St. Marys
St. Marys
(Click for a super size image)

We then flew past the church and right over the Tennis club getting good views of St. Marys, the centre of Ross, Walford Road and Middleton Avenue.

St. Marys and the middle of Ross
St. Marys and the middle of Ross
(Click for a super size image)

Walford Road
Walford Road
(Click for a super size image)
St. Marys and the middle of Ross
Middleton Avenue
(Click for a super size image)

Purland
Purland
(Click for a super size image)

Next some good views of Purland, Tudorville and Vaga Crescent were visible.


St. Marys and the middle of Ross
Tudorville
(Click for a super size image)
Purland
Vaga Crescent
(Click for a super size image)

We then flew over the Horse Shoe Bend in the Wye and over Wilton Castle.

The Horse Shoe bend in the Wye
The Horse Shoe bend in the Wye
(Click for a super size image)
Purland
Wilton Castle
(Click for a super size image)

The flight then took us past Bridstow and on towards Peterstow where we flew low for some low level work.

Bridstow Village
Bridstow Village
(Click for a super size image)

Peterstow Village
Peterstow Village
(Click for a super size image)
Peterstow Church
Peterstow Church
(Click for a super size image)

We then flew on towards Llangarron were we landed and waited for the ground crew to arrive.

The ground crew arrive
The ground crew arrive
(Click for a larger image)
Landing
The balloon after it landed
(Click for a larger image)

Next the balloon was deflated (below left) and we helped to squash the air out (below right) and make it into a rope (bottom left). We then helped to pack it into the bag, slide the basket and balloon in the bag onto the trailer.

We then got down to drinking some Champagne (it was a Champagne flight after all!!)

The balloon down
The balloon down
(Click for a larger image)
Landing
Squashing the air out
(Click for a larger image)

The balloon roped
Bundling the balloon into a rope
(Click for a larger image)
Packed away
Packed away
(Click for a larger image)


next Graham Hurst Further details previous


[Page updated: Feb 15 2011 13:31:59]





Search the site

Ross-on-Wye.com & TheVista.co.uk
2002-2012 All Rights Reserved
Guestbook :: Contact details :: RSS News Feed News Feed

Share this article
Facebook Digg Reddit Magnolia Yahoo Google Stumbleupon Technorati Delicious Newsvine
[ Page views: 17696 :: Total page views: 4816746 :: Total visits: 4052726 ]
[ Since: 22:55 29 July 2005 ]
[ Page gen. time: 0.0308 ][ Page enc: ][ SERVER - Load: 125% ]