Mandy was born to be in the air and now the highly-experienced balloonist and skydiver is one of our relief pilots for our hot air balloon rides in Devon and Cornwall.
So far in an incredible career, Mandy has excelled in many adventure sports all over the world, from mountaineering to cave-diving, but the sky is where she feels most at home.
She has well over 2,000 parachute jumps to her name and has taken part in many successful sky-diving record attempts, including being one of 15 people to simultaneously jump from a hot air balloon. Mandy also has acted as a stunt woman for various TV shows and adverts which included one jump wearing a full-length wedding dress.
Since 1981, Mandy has been producing films with her husband Leo, a renowned action-sport filmmaker. It was when Leo flew over Mount Everest in a balloon for a film that she decided to learn to fly and it wasn’t long before she caught the ballooning bug.
She gained her private pilot’s licence in 1994 and turned commercial in 1997, before embarking on the corporate circuit to fly advertising balloons all over the world. She also flew balloons for aerial filming such as Steve Leonard’s skydiving with Peregrine Falcons on the BBC series “Ultimate Killers”. In 2002 she moved into passenger flying and did her first season for Virgin Balloon Flights in 2009.
“The great thing about ballooning is that no flight is ever the same as the next. Every one is a new experience, which makes it challenging and exciting. I just love being up in the air,” says Mandy.
Mandy holds the British Woman’s duration record for a 90,000 cubic feet balloon, having flown for 10.5 hours straight. She also won the Great British Long Jump competition in October 2003 when she flew 247 miles from Scotland to Kettering.
Mandy is one of our relief pilots in Liskeard and Launceston in Cornwall or Exeter in Devon.