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Winter Flying!

October 7th, 2008

As Winter approaches, it’s all too easy to assume that balloon flights become a Summer memory. Well, I’m pleased to say that this is not the case! As we press on into Autumn the colours of the countryside take on their finest hues, and the landscape adopts a more relaxed composure now that the harvests are safely in!

In my view, there is no finer time to fly than on a frosty Winter’s morning. The hard, blue, cloudless sky contrasts with the white fields and hedgerows. The landscape takes on an almost monochromatic colour scheme, and the air is as clear as gin! Visibility is not hampered by the heat haze of Summer, nor is the pollen or dust of harvest set to impede the clarity of the atmosphere – in fact the Winter visibility can often be measured at over 100 miles.

“Surely it must be cold up there” I hear you ask! Well, no, again this is a misconception. The temperature in the air, on a frosty Winter’s day, is usually a few degrees warmer than on the ground! This is because the air near the Earth’s surface is chilled by being in close proximity to the very cold ground. Coupled with the warmth from the burner, this makes for a very pleaseant flying experience. The only time when we might feel the chill again is after landing!

So don’t forget us in the Winter. You might be missing the most spectacular time to fly!

On a personal note, I can honestly say that my best balloon flights have all been in the Winter, in Switzerland, flying in the coldest of conditions, surrounded by snow-covered mountains. Whilst we cannot promise the same scenery, the prospect of Winter balloon flights in the UK is still something to relish!