Flying high in Ripon

Look out for hot air balloons over Ripon on Sunday, March 17.
Look out for hot air balloons over Ripon on Sunday, March 17.

A free open day giving people the chance to sample hot air ballooning will be held at Ripon Racecourse next weekend, weather permitting.

The event – organised by the Pennine Region Balloon Association – will take place on Sunday, March 17, from 7.30-11am but should the weather prove to be less than ideal it will be postponed until the following Sunday, March 24.

A spokesman for the organisation said: “We intend to fly our balloons from the racecourse in the early morning and following this we hope to have at least one of our balloons there for members of the public to come along and have a close-up look and get a hands on feel of it all.

“Our members will be giving demonstrations on how we rig up a balloon and then inflate it ready to fly, and we will be showing interested parties how we prepare for every flight, how we look for landing sites when we are airborne, and how we communicate to air traffic control should the need arise, among many other topics.

“Members of the public can even have a go at rigging up and inflating a hot air balloon – under expert guidance, of course. There is absolutely no upper or lower age limit to this but the person taking part must be fit enough to crouch on the ground to operate the burner for inflation and then climb inside the basket.”

– For more information, contact club secretary Elaine Smith on 07974 316123 or email