August 19, 2014, by Lindsay Brooke

University hot air balloon still flying high and lifting spirits

After the untimely death of record breaking balloon pilot and University of Nottingham engineer Janet Folkes in January 2012 her loyal supporters have done their best to keep the University’s hot air balloon maintained and cleared for flight. Here’s the latest update from Yvonne Wilkinson on team G-NUNI:

“We’ve been trying in the last few months to organise a launch from University Park campus, though unfortunately luck has been against us, simply because the weather has been unkind in one way or another – wind in the wrong direction, low cloud or rain on the days we have been able to secure available pilot and crew.  However, earlier this month we took the balloon over to Derbyshire where another pilot colleague and a former good friend of Janet’s (Richard Tillson) undertook the annual Certificate of Airworthiness inspection at his local cricket pitch.  Good news – all is well.

We are now ready to head to Chatsworth for the annual Country Fair which takes place this year from 29 to 31 August. The Fair plays host to one of the largest balloon events (after Bristol) in the UK and good weather permitting, there is a spectacular balloon lift early in the morning and again at dusk on each day.

G-NUNI is in a very unusual situation – lots of crew but no pilot as usually the reverse is true!  Sadly it really is not good for a hot air balloon to be sat for such long periods as it will deteriorate more quickly if left grounded.  I have to say, every time we see it inflated, even if only for the tether at the recent inspection, it really does lift the spirits to see it again!

More from team G-NUNI at the end of the month.

Posted in Alumni