[caption id="attachment_232" align="alignright" width="195"]Hot air balloon shadow Virgin hot air balloon casts a shadow by Steve Lindridge[/caption] Virgin balloons are some of the only things to be seen in the sky as the volcanic ash cloud from Iceland continues to disrupt the world of aviation. Hot air balloons are not affected by the ash because of the way they work and we are continuing to fly as normal when the general weather allows.
Kenneth Karlstrom, director and chief pilot, said: “Balloons are powered by propane gas burners which are not affected by any ash particles like jet plane engines are. So we are quite safe to fly as usual and we have consulted the Civil Aviation Authority and air traffic control on this.”
Pilots and passengers in many parts of the UK have been reporting clear and peaceful skies over the last few days.
Conrad Van Wyk, Virgin Balloon Flights’ pilot in the north of Scotland, said on Friday: “We had a fantastic champagne balloon flight from Perth this morning and the sky was pretty clear. You didn’t really notice the ash as we were probably flying at a lower level. The airwaves were totally silent and it was great to be literally the only thing in the air.” [caption id="attachment_233" align="alignright" width="163"]Virgin hot air Balloon ready to launch from Perth Virgin balloon ready to launch form perth by Steve Lindridge[/caption]
Passenger Michael Niklewicz, from Perth, said: “I received the balloon flight for my 60th birthday and I was concerned it wasn’t going to go ahead, but it did and it was excellent. Our pilot Conrad pointed out where you could see the ash as haziness in the sky, but we had a great view all the way to the Tay Road Bridge at Dundee.” [caption id="attachment_231" align="alignleft" width="248"]Balloon pilot Conrad Van Wyk flight from Perth Pilot Conrad Van Wyk captains a balloon ride from Perth in Scotland By Steve Lindridge[/caption]
If you're a voucher holder or you're thinking about booking a balloon flight and have any questions or concerns about the ash cloud, feel free to contact us at Virgin Balloon Flights