The best of the best link up with Picture This for the summer ahead!

Hot Air Ballooning is a one of the top things on a tourists bucket list when they visit our city. However, it’s not only the tourists we attract to come flying with us, we also attract world class pilots from all over the globe each and every year. This year is no different where we welcome back one of Britain’s most experienced pilots Andy Kaye to fly the Australian summer with us. Not only is Andy on board, this year we have a special addition to the team here at Picture This with recently crowned Hot Air Balloon Pilot World Champion Dom Bareford signing on to fly the Summer months with us. We are thrilled to add these two British pilots with this sort of calibre to our team. 

 British pilot Andy Kaye conducting a Christmas day flight in 2017

British pilot Andy Kaye conducting a Christmas day flight in 2017

 

Dom’s efforts to take out the 23rd FAI Hot Air Balloon Championships is an amazing effort considering he is only 25 years of age and the youngest ever World Champion.  To beat over 100 of the best pilots across the world with no doubt plenty more years experience behind them is outstanding. The two week event with the best of the best around the world was one not to be missed and is always pin pointed on a balloonists calendar. 

 Dom Bareford at the top of the podium following his World Championship victory.

Dom Bareford at the top of the podium following his World Championship victory.

 

Coming from a family packed with experienced Hot Air Balloon pilots, Dom was always destined for the big stage. His father David and sister Stephanie have both been crowned World Champions in the past. Austria’s event was Dom’s second World Championships after he first competed in Japan four years earlier which makes the triumph even more impressive.  

 

Picture This Ballooning strive to have the best pilots in the business operating the flights as it provides passengers with the most complete experience with the best of the best behind the wheel!

Exciting Summer awaits! Be sure to jump on board with us soon.

Grand Final week was a huge buzz!

Grand Final week is always an extremely special time to be in Melbourne with all the events and attractions happening leading into the blockbuster match on Saturday afternoon. This year was made even more special for our team as we were lucky enough to be involved with a number of opportunities during the week.

With Collingwood involved in the last day of September, there was a special buzz in our office due to the fact half our employees are mad magpies no more than our CEO Damian Crock.  So with all this being said the opportunity to Fly Collingwood’s number one supporter ‘Joffa’ on the Wednesday with Channel 9’s Today Show was amazing. It’s fair to say live television really is nerve wracking but ‘Joffa’ and Today Show reporter Christine Ahern handled the broadcast from the clouds beautifully. The nature of Ballooning is interesting, you cannot set a time or location on anything as you are going with the conditions that is presented on the morning, however that being said Channel 9’s one demand was to be over the middle of the MCG at 6:35am for the live cross. Pete Wright our Chief Pilot absolutely nailed it to perfection, hovering directly over the middle of the MCG for the live cross with the hosts back in the studio. The exposure we received following this was great with stunning footage and shots taken by Channel 9 and Collingwood FC media team.

 Channel 9’s Christine Ahern & Joffa moments before the live cross on The Today Show.

Channel 9’s Christine Ahern & Joffa moments before the live cross on The Today Show.

 Thumbs up from Joffa on board!

Thumbs up from Joffa on board!

The exciting week rolled onto Grand Final Day. With an early start for the team, meeting together at 1:30am for the Carlton Draught Pot Balloon MCG flyover at 6:30am with a number of Carlton Draught executives as well as Channel 7 filming the flight for their Grand Final Day broadcast. The flight took off from West Gate Park and headed towards Doncaster, straight over the middle of the MCG with thousands of phones capturing the moment from the MCC members line. This was a huge success and the shots taken from our Helicopter with experienced photographers and videographers on board are timeless. This was part one of Grand Final day completed, next was on to a Carlton Draught Pot tether in Yarra Park supporting the ‘longest kick’ competition.

 Carlton Draught Pot Balloon with the MCG and city in the background, shot taken from the Helicopter.

Carlton Draught Pot Balloon with the MCG and city in the background, shot taken from the Helicopter.

We were confronted with quite difficult conditions at Yarra Park with wind gusts of up to 40km per hour. This proved challenging to keep the balloon steady at times while Channel 7’s Samantha Lane was filmed doing her ‘arrival to work’. Luckily Melbourne’s wind settled for a little while and it provided a calm entrance for Samantha Lane and Channel 7 were able to shoot her arrival beautifully. Following the filming, we unfortunately didn’t last too much longer tethered due to the wind. For safety reasons we ceased our tether around mid-morning, but everything out of the morning was executed to a tee.

Our team were welcomed and look after beautifully by Carlton Draught at the Front Bar marquee for the afternoon where we all enjoyed watching the match, unfortunately for many of our staff they left in tears and heartbroken. Better luck next year pies fans...  

Colours brighten the Albuquerque desert

The 46th Annual Hot Air Balloon festival was held in Albuquerque, New Mexico in early October.  
This year saw thousands of people flock to the remote location to witness bright colours, funny shapes and iconic faces take to the air in what can only be described as a hot air balloonists dream come true. 

The week long festival celebrates all things balloons with inflation and launch races, mass ascensions and special shape rodeo.  However, no festival is complete without chainsaw carving, laser lights, fireworks and live music.  

Economists calculate that 2015's festival attracted nearly 1 millions visitors over it's duration, and injected an estimates USD$177.4m to the New Mexico economy.  Many of the visitors to the Albuquerque Balloon festival travel from other American states and internationally to basque in the glory of they year's entertainment and see the sky come to life. 

Havasu Balloon Festival 13-15 January 2017

Despite a rainy weekend, there has been another successful Havasu Balloon Festival hosted last week in Lake Havasu City, Arizona. 

The festival's Saturday events were plagued with rain and wind, but the enthusiastic crowds persisted and, due to larger than expected Sunday crowds when the skies cleared, the three-day event had nearly 30,000 people attend and continued its support for over 30 local charities. 

Take a look at some photos of the balloons over the lake.

More images (all images from Havasunews.com) HERE.

The Aussies take on the world

Aussie Aussie Aussie, Oi Oi Oi

We are so proud to announce that our Chief Pilot Peter Wright will go to Japan accompanied by Simon Beare and Ben Philips to the Saga International Balloon Fiesta.

It is a yearly event that takes place near the Kase River. This event involves more than a hundred balloons from 15 countries that take part in the festival and it has been dubbed as one of the biggest balloon festivals in Asia. There are 3 main attractions that you have to see in this event!

Balloon Contest (fingers crossed for Pete) there are 38 different countries and more than 100 balloons will participate this competition to win the championship. The feast will attract nearly one million visitors.

Balloon Fantasia - big parade of special shaped character balloons.

La Montgolfier Nocturne where burners are lit up in the night.
 

Here is some more info for you to enjoy:

Australian Balloon Team

 

A timelapse of hundreds of hot air balloons, including a flying dog, a cow and a pirate ship!

Every year the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta has hundreds of hot air balloons, including many special shapes. These come from around the world to show off what they can do, at the world's largest hot air balloon festival.

As you can see from this stunning timelapse video, the conditions were so perfect that rather than flying in one direction, the balloons were able to go around and around by changing altitude. Perfect for viewing!

Credit to Bryan Snider for the beautiful photography: http://www.bryansnider.com/


How does this pilot fly his helicopter so low and fast! Look at this race between a helicopter and a muscle car - aerial mastery!

At Picture This Ballooning, we love all things aerial, and there is not much better than watching the best of the best. This is some immaculate flying - fast, low to the ground, and rapid turning. This pilot has nerves of steel!

Who will win in a race between the helicopter and the Dodge Challenger?

To see our flights over Melbourne, click here.