U2's bono hot air balloon ride Mark Simmons (aka Nobby), our pilot who flies our big red balloons over Bristol and Bath has already had a VIP passenger this year! U2’s frontman and rock legend Bono. Like most of our pilots, Nobby heads off to Southeast Asia when the UK flying season closes in October, to escape the winter chill and fly in Myanmar (they would miss flying far too much if they had a four month break!). The star was on tour for U2’s worldwide tour, iNNOCENCE & eXPERIENCE and decided to take a break to spend some quality time with his family – what better way to do this than to float over incredible landscapes?! This was Bono’s first ever hot air balloon ride and the adventure couldn’t have gone better. “We flew at sunrise and got some amazing views of the Shan State mountains. I got a really nice email from the family thanking us for all our hard work to make it happen,” said Mark. Bono and his wife were in Mark’s smaller balloon used for private flights, while their children and security members flew with Ian Martin, who often covers Nobby’s Bristol and Bath flights when he’s unable to fly. The ballooning team flew over Lake Inle, known as ‘The Venice of Asia’. The retrieval service, (done via boat in this beautiful part of the world) was looked after by David Sutcliffe (aka Sutty), our Yorkshire hot air balloon pilot. The gang had a great morning and the weather couldn’t have been better for them. Excluding Sir Richard Branson himself, Bono is the most famous person the team has ever flown. Here’s to taking many more legends up, up and away on once-in-a-lifetime experiences. See you in the skies!