My First Ballooning Experience | Helen Griffin

My First Ballooning Experience | Helen Griffin

I have been wanting to go up in a hot air balloon for many years and after 4 failed attempts since 2011 I thought it was destined not to be.

However, after an early start on Thursday morning conditions looked perfect to finally get the opportunity. We were even more fortunate to have two pilots!!, with both Derek and Rob able to make the flight. We assisted in laying out the envelope, while the pre-flight meeting at Fiesta HQ was held to make the decision to fly or not. With the firing of the green smoke cannon, Fiesta tradition, it signified to all pilots that they were free to ascend.

We climbed into the basket and once the ground crew un-tethered us we gradually started to lift off above the arena. Views over Ashton Court were fabulous, looking out over the Fiesta Arena, watching the other balloons ascend and waving at the crowds, who had come to watch. We made our way towards the Clifton Suspension Bridge, which looked spectacular. From there our route headed over the City, taking in landmarks such as the SS Great Britain, Cabot Tower, Park Street, BRI and the Cricket Ground and out of the City towards the East.

We managed to get some brilliant photos and videos of our experience, making sure not to lose the camera over the side!

Rob and Derek had been in contact with the Ground Crew with possible landing sites and once they had committed to their chosen site it was exceptionally quick and a surprisingly smooth landing.

The whole experience was amazing. Floating above Bristol on a Thursday – what better way to start the day!

Our balloon will be flying through the sky for years to come. One of the key priorities for the B&A balloon is to raise money to fund research that aims to increase understanding of meningitis and related septicaemia.

For more information about Meningitis Now, visit: https://www.meningitisnow.org/

To celebrate the launch of our brand new balloon, we’re giving you the chance to win a brand new Fitbit Charge 3.

To enter, snap a photo of the B&A balloon and tag us or email the photo to info@bristolandavon.co.uk. The winner will be announced on the 30th of September!

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