Thursday, 26 May 2016

'Bristol Airways' inaugural flight to Bristol airport!

What a great flight- what a fantastic experience!

Worth all the long waiting, worries and hassle!

Roger anxiously watching Betty's engine start up

With chief pilot Andy Foan and co-pilot Ed Dablin at the controls, Betty started both of her engines in no time and after some run- up time Bristol Airways lifted off the ground from Gloucestershire Airport at 10.48am this morning.

What a great feeling to finally be up in the air again - this time sitting comfortably on our brand new leather seats (sadly without the gin and tonic table!) looking out of the window and enjoying the green scenery.

On board with us were Clive Bailey - commercial balloon pilot/operator and leading figure at the Bristol International Balloon Fiesta - and Simon Wrighton, one of Bristol Airport’s own Air traffic controllers and also a balloonist.

We soon left Cheltenham and GCHQ behind us and the two Severn Bridges came into sight.

We then turned over Pill where Clive could wave to his wife Jo standing in the garden and our pilots approached Clifton and the famous Brunel Suspension bridge.

We swept to the left and I could see below, beyond Betty’s wings, we were turning at 1000ft over the bridge and completed a full circle before heading finally towards the airport.

What a fantastic experience and great view!

Then the landing: Andy and Ed handled the fairly brisk cross-wind and we touched down after 23mins of flight on runway 09 at Bristol Airport.

A short taxi to the GA side at the Bristol and Wessex flying school and we were there!

Andy refuelling the aeroplane

Greeted by friends and supporters we enjoyed a quick coffee and for the passengers a glass of fizz before Andy and Ed had to take off again to pick up our third pilot Bill Tollett who was left behind waiting at Gloucester due to a misunderstanding! Sorry Bill and thanks for being patient!
 At least this wasn’t yet Greenland!

interested airport ground staff watching Betty take off again