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Country News - 2002

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David McCutcheon of Airborne Adventures looks to the future
Tuesday 26 March

Things are looking very positive once again at Airborne Adventures. A new website, a new brochure, two new balloons and the start of a new season.

Twelve months ago things didn't look at all good. At the start of the ballooning season we were hopeful that the Dales would escape foot and mouth disease. We were prohibited from flying from the end of February while the extent of the disease was explored.

As history now records, our beloved Yorkshire Dales didn't escape the disease, ruining many local businesses and ending the ballooning season there and then, although we didn't know it at the time.

Airborne adventures website
The new Airborne Adventures website
We kept in touch with other ballooning companies and while other areas of the country became disease free we were still grounded while they returned to flying. At times it was difficult to cope with, but by talking to others in a similar position and through our passengers being very understanding we got through the year.

It will be a pleasure to be flying over the Dales again, something that we have missed immensely over the last year. This seasons flights commence on March 24th and run for the duration of British Summer Time.

As usual flights are scheduled twice a day, seven days a week. The first flight of the day throughout the summer meets at the launch site at 6.30 a.m. and the second flight initially 6.30 p.m. The second flight will meet later as the days get longer because times are always adjusted to fit in with daylight.

To keep our flying skills honed to perfection we have been away to Italy to prepare for flying and although the flying in Italy is very enjoyable it cannot compare to flying in the Dales. It is a pleasant change however and the hospitality of Giovanni and his team was greatly appreciated. We will be returning next winter to keep our licenses valid and our hours up; at least that's our excuse!

Our new passenger balloon G-CBKK has been sponsored by Smile the Internet bank. It is Pink, black and white and displays the Smile logo, it will be hard to miss! It will be flying five passengers at a time in addition to the pilot and will be seen over the Dales, at Bristol balloon fiesta, Burnley balloon fiesta and other selected events this year and for several years to come.

Our other new balloon is the DuPont miracles of science balloon G-CBKJ advertising the brands SolarMax, Cordura and Nomex. A balloon is a particularly suitable vehicle for their promotion as all these brands are used in the construction of a hot air balloon. Max (the balloon) will occasionally be seen over the Dales but Pilot Ian and his wife Sylvia will be operating it mainly at textile fairs and balloon meets in Europe although it is coming to Bristol Balloon Fiesta.

So here we are totally prepared for the start of our 14th new season in the Dales, all we need now is some decent weather!

David McCutcheon

To visit the Airborne Adventures website, point your browser to www.airborne.co.uk

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