An early morning balloon flight in the summer is a winner that’s if you don’t mind getting up early. This morning we met our passengers at Mattishall Golf Club and were airborne at 05.50 hrs. It was a stunning morning with a shallow layer if mist spread out in front of us. This would very soon ‘burn off’ in the morning’s sunshine. We had a good view of the city of Norwich, which had yet to awake from its sleep. We climbed up to 2,500 feet the wind was a little quicker than the forecasters had lead us to expect at around 18 knots, we were soon passing over head Barnham Broom Golf and Country Club. No golfers to be seen. We maintained at this altitude for the next half and hour crossing the A11 between Hethersett and Wymondham. From the air we had a good vantage point of Norfolk’s prestigious sports car manufacturer Lotus Cars at Hethel. Looking back we leave Norwich behind and start to approach Dunston Hall and cross the A140. We now start our descent; at lower altitude the wind is flowing in a slightly different direction turning us to the right by nearly 90 degrees. On towards Morningthorpe and Long Stratton. We had been airborne for more than an hour and the surface layer of wind had started to increase so it sensible to look for somewhere to land. As we approached Hempnall a large area of ‘set a side’ was spotted the passengers were briefed to stow their cameras and adopt landing positions. At 6 feet above the field the deflation system was deployed. Our all up weight on today’s balloon trip is 1,667 kg so at 11knots the inertia is equivalent to good ten tonnes at touch down, so hold on. We drag about 50 meters with the balloon basket ending up gently on its side. Our passengers did really seem to enjoy that bit. The retrieve crew are quickly on the scene and soon have permission from the farmer to retrieve our hot air balloon. The ballooning equipment is packed away and we have a leisurely chat with a glass or two of champagne savoring our early morning balloon trip adventure.
A Simply Brillant Morning !!!!!