A pilot from Yorkshire has managed to get up close and personal with a Virgin hot air balloon whilst up in the sky with his paramotor. His photographs show how these two wonderful forms of aviation can seamlessly cross each other’s paths whilst riding on the wind.

Norman McNeil, 56, has been flying for 17 years after gaining his CAA pilots license and training through the BHPA (British Hangliding & Paragliding Association). His initial interest in flying this way came about because the father-of-two needed a hobby.

“I took up gliding, then flying motor gliders, I gained my CAA Private Pilot’s License, then tried paragliding and have now been paramotoring for the last six years. The paramotor simply pushes you along and the wind lifts you up.”

“I fly a Bailey (UK manufactured) Paramotor and a Paramania Revolution Wing as well as flying Motor Gliders from Rufforth in York.”

Norman has a great interest in flying and a love for photography, especially aerial photography, so it’s not surprising our iconic red hot air balloons catch his attention. “I like aerial photography because it gives me a different view point on things. Balloons are great to fly with and photograph, but as we are relatively noisy we don’t hang around them for very long.”

After flying in a Virgin hot air balloon with pilot Martin Collinson at one of our York launch sites, Norman said “once again a different perspective from the sky … I saw a deer bouncing through high crops and a foraging barn owl meandering along the banks of a stream looking for his family’s next meal. Not something you see every day! ”

Thank you to Norman for taking such fantastic photographs of us in flight, see you in the sky!