The saying ‘red sky at night shepherd’s delight’ was this week for pilot Martin Collinson more like ‘red sky at night, balloon passengers delight,’ as Virgin hot air balloon passengers ended their flight with a spectacular red sunset scene.

Martin, 44 from York, launched with a basket full of excited passengers from the city’s racecourse on Wednesday evening at 19.55hrs for an hour long balloon flight which travelled east.

“It had been raining before the flight, after the usual hour in the air we spotted one of the first cut wheat fields of the season and prepared to land there. There was a large dark cloud in sight as we descended, but when we touched down the basket turned around 90 degrees and we were faced with a simply spectacular sunset!” said pilot Martin.

“The passengers enjoyed helping to pack away the balloon and then we had a Champagne toast in front of the red ‘Virgin-esque’ skyline, which was framed by a rainbow!” he added.

What a wonderful way end an experience of a lifetime!

More information on flying from York Racecourse is available here.