Balloonists seek new crew members

PUBLISHED: 14:08 03 February 2011

Barkway by balloon

Barkway by balloon

Archant

A CROW country based balloon team are searching for a small group of local people to help fly a brand new 80,000 cu ft aircraft.

Fullofhotair took delivery of the £12,000 Daydream last November but are short of enough regular crew members to be able to consistently launch their new balloon.

Dave Such, team pilot, said: “Ballooning is so different from most things that you do everyday and I suppose it is unpredictable because you don’t know where you’re going to finish up.

“The thing with this is that it’s not predictable or fixed, it’s just nice to have that unpredictably.”

The team, based in Barkway and Barley, make around 15 flights around Royston and the surrounding villages a year.

Volunteers would help in all aspects of flying whether it be navigating, driving or retrieving the balloon.

Only one member of the crew needs a Private Piliots Licence, however the chief airman needs to be Civil Aviation Authority approved.

The 43-year-old said: “The cost of flying is relatively small – normally around £30 per person for locals flights based on three people flying – and you only contribute towards the direct flying costs when you take a place in the basket.”

Mr Such has been flying balloons for over 20 years and says a flight above the Swiss Alps sticks in his memory, but points out the views in Hertfordshire can be just as breathtaking.

He said: “We flew on the weekend and we flew over the A10 and we could see quite clearly at one point into Central London.

“We could see Canary Wharf and the buildings in Docklands, at 15,000ft you can see Stansted and the planes sat on the runway.”

The team are also looking for a sponsor whose logo would be visible when the balloon was in flight.

Anyone interested in joining can contact Mr Such on 01763 849287 or via email on fullofhotair@btinternet.com.

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