Maiden hot air balloon flight at 93

93-year-old Jack Bowyer recently fulfilled a childhood ambition by taking a hot air balloon flight, a dream he has held for over 80 years. Although he found the gas burner rather hot on his head, Mr. Bowyer described his maiden flight as very quiet but exhilarating, saying:

‘It was marvellous – even better than I thought it would be.’

Mr. Bowyer, a retired plater who served in the Second World War as a mechanical engineer and is a veteran of Dunkirk, booked his hot air balloon flight last year but had to re-arrange the flight three times due to adverse weather conditions.

Not deterred by his age, Mr. Bowyer was the oldest passenger the pilot had ever taken for a hot air balloon ride and, following the experience, he was presented with a certificate, feted with champagne and had his photograph taken for the local newspaper. Joking with the pilot, friends and family, he said he intends booking another hot air balloon flight to mark his 100th birthday. In the meantime, he has decided to pack in as many exciting adventures as he can and is already is planning his next adventure – a journey on the Settle to Carlisle Railway over the Ribblehead Viaduct.

Reaching a height of around 10,000 ft, the hot air balloon left Temple Newsam near Leeds and landed at Pontefract Racecourse after about an hour, travelling over the Yorkshire countryside and affording a bird’s eye view of Leeds Bradford Airport.

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