When Did You First Know You Wanted To Be A Hot Air Balloon Pilot?[caption id="attachment_8296" align="alignright" width="300"] Pilot Rebecca early in her ballooning career - she still loves flying just as much![/caption] Rebecca It was love at first sight and training began! From that first flight I loved it so much that I bought the company, investing my heart, body, soul and hard earned cash. I had a vision and I followed it. Lindsay I fell into ballooning by accident while studying for a PHD at Bath University, when someone joined the department who had been on a flight. Although a member of the university balloon club, I had never actually flown but was so enthused by what she told me that I went along one weekend. One flight and I was absolutely hooked. I got my pilots licence and we bought a balloon. I was working as a research biochemist at the time but just didn’t enjoy it and always wanted to be outside instead. When the CAA introduced the commercial ballooning licence (1991), I got mine straight away and gave up my job to go full time as a pilot. Kate My step-dad is a balloon pilot but despite growing up around hot air balloons and even crewing for him, I actually had no interest in flying them until he finally convinced me to have a go on the burners at a balloon festival in Switzerland. From that minute I was hooked and knew I wanted to become a balloon pilot myself, getting my private pilot licence then my commercial licence as soon as I could.
What’s The Best Thing About Being A Pilot?Lindsay The weather means no two flights are the same, so the views and landing sites always change. I have had some incredible flights over the years. My very first one on the 200th anniversary of the first ever manned balloon flight sticks out, as do some of my record-breaking flights. But best of all was my flight from the World’s Islands in Dubai to a tiny parachute drop zone on the edge of the city, which stuck out into the Persian Gulf. There was no margin for error! Competition flying is my passion. I won the first national championship I entered and when I had the opportunity to compete at international level, I grabbed it with both hands. Rebecca Working with the elements, realising people’s dreams to fly in a balloon and having an office at 3,000ft. Kate The best thing is working in the sky, plus the fact that our work can potentially take us anywhere. It's the best job in the world.
[caption id="attachment_8308" align="alignright" width="175"] Pilot Kate Holzer[/caption]
[caption id="attachment_8299" align="alignright" width="175"] Pilot Rebecca Cains[/caption]
[caption id="attachment_8298" align="alignright" width="175"] Pilot Lindsay Muir[/caption]