Follow the story of Bristol balloonists Phil and Allie Dunnington and their fixed wing team as they will attempt to balloon in places where nobody has ever flown a hot air balloon before! Will Phil - with his world record of 112 countries - bag in some more exotic places? Will 'Betty the Beech' manage the vast distances over Greenland and northern Canada? How will this mixed team work together in continuously changing and challenging situations?
Sunday, 15 May 2016
Airborne at last - by balloon!
A beautiful morning flight from Gloucester Airport
After having carefully plotted a master plan for days, an
unexpected locked gate nearly destroyed a beautiful morning flight from
Thanks to the airport manager Darren Lewington’s dog, who
woke him at the crack of dawn, two
balloon- and film teams could enter the site and set up next to ‘Betty the
Beech’ in front of her hangar.
Shortly after 7am the first balloon with pilot Nick
Dunnington (Phil’s son and also a commercial pilot) took off with his own son
Cameron Dunnington, Phil and cameraman Mat.
A few minutes later myself and Beeches RGV engineer Roger Shepherd took
off in the Cameron V-65 ‘Silver Lining’ – the balloon which will go aboard the
aeroplane on its long journey.
Calm winds allowed both balloons to hover over for some time over 'Betty' and the airfield...
.....before stronger winds aloft took them up onto the
Cotswold escarpment flying appropriately over the ‘Air Balloon’ pub.
The new ‘minimus’ basket (designed by Don Cameron performed
very well) and we survived a speedy 8kt tip over landing in a tight grass field
after a beautiful 1.15mins flight.
I think I can say that Roger enjoyed his first ballooning
experience and might be prepared to do it again! Correct Roger?
It turned out that today was also Roger’s birthday so a
subsequent ‘German style’ baptism ceremony was inevitable! (shame only for the
wasted drops of Champagne and sorry for your burnt hair!)
Thanks to all our friends and family – Nick and Cameron
Dunnington, Steve Richards, Kyla Rhind, Linda Hamblyn, Trevor Henegan, Kevin
MacDonald - for their great support and help to make this a truly special
And now I am going to shoot anything ‘Apple’ as their new OS
operating system has buggered up my entire computer, photos and I had to
re-write this over again….
photo credits to:
Phil Dunnington, Trevor Henegan, Steve Richards, Kevin MacDonald and myself