Well everyone, it’s that time of year again. Bristol and Bath’s hot air ballooning season for 2019 winds down tomorrow on October 31st. It’s been our busiest year ever, we’ve loved it and we hope you’ve enjoyed our coverage of the season, plus the Midlands Air Festival and Sky Safari. Let’s take a look at some of this season’s best bits...
5. 10 balloons fill the skies over the city
At number 5 is the evening launch from Ashton Court a little later on in the season, on 26th August. People were out enjoying the bank holiday sun and what better way to end the day than a mini balloon fiesta!
4. G-NORG Airship in Ashton Court
After an early morning (3am!) trip to Weston-Super-Mare for ‘Balloons on the Beach’, we headed to Ashton Court for something a little different on 18th June. Not a hot air balloon this time, but a hot-airship! Built by GETA-Flug, the world’s only hot-airship manufacturing company, and flown by Crispin Williams, it was great to see an airship flying around Ashton Court bowl - something we had never seen before. With perfect blue skies and light winds, it was perfect conditions to check over the airship before upcoming commercial work. It was certainly hard work helping to pack away in the increasing heat and the whole process took several hours.
3. Slick the Dragon Tether
You probably recognise this popular special shape from being flown at the Bristol Balloon Fiesta 4 years ago, but did you know it was inflated in Shirehampton in June this year?
It’s no longer operated commercially by Lindstrand Media and was sold around a year ago, bought in the UK by Nick, Phil and Allie Dunnington. Palletways artwork has been removed. The team tethered ‘Slick’ at the PBA club fun day in Shirehampton alongside other balloons including SM Gauge, Ben’s Tiles and Sky Balloons. Although some slightly gusty winds were forecast, the site was very sheltered to allow this Lindstrand-built special to stand up for around 15 minutes to the delight of the local crowds.
2. WRBBAC Easter Flyout
The Easter weekend couldn’t have had better flying conditions and we were loving being back at the local launch sites ready for another action-packed ballooning season. Organised by the Western Region BBAC, this flyout attracted many balloon teams and it did not disappoint. A packed maize field saw 15 balloons take to the skies in addition to the Bristol Balloon Collectors tethering 2 of their newest donations. Phil Mccheyne in BWS Standfast was the hare for the ‘hare and hounds’ competition.
1. Mass ascent over Bristol - in July?
You heard us, not August! Without doubt for us this was the best moment of the season. On the evening of the 7th July an incredible 16 balloons flew across the centre of Bristol from Ashton Court. No flyout or anything was organised but wind direction and speed was as perfect as it gets, so teams were out in force that evening. It wowed onlookers with the Panther special shape being a favourite and even made the local news sites!
So, there’s our favourite 5 moments of the 2019 season. What is your favourite memory?
Did you miss any of this? You can watch all of this year’s action exclusive to MJ Ballooning on YouTube.
Our Live Flight Updates page will not be in use from now on, but will restart on March 1st. So that’s it from us for now, but we will see all of you next year. Who knows what 2020 will bring?
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