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Montgolfier Day

31/12/2012 Jo Bailey Hot Air Balloons and Celebrities, News

Montgolfier Day 21st Nov 2012

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Be Part of Ballooning History Today- 21st November is Montgolfier Day celebrates the the first manned hot air balloon flight 229 years ago!

Stunning Proposal

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

In September William proposed to his beautiful girlfriend Anna in one of our exclusive Balloons.
Anna & William were celebrating their proposal after their flight with our pilot Mike, when what should pop up but our Bailey Balloon behind them!

A wedding proposal, Champagne and a balloon landing behind you- what more can you ask for!

Many congratulations to William & Anna- who chased across a field with Pilot Mike to get these pics

One Balloon Landed – Clive & Jon still in the air

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Clive Bailey and co-pilot Jon Mason have now been flying for over 40 hours in the America’s Challenge Gas Balloon Race and have so far flown over 1500 km. The object of the America’s Challenge is to fly the greatest distance from Albuquerque while competing within the event rules.

Clive said: ‘Four of the five balloons are still flying which is unusual for a race like this, so it is becoming a very tense and tactical race. It is bitterly cold at night but all the good luck wishes from everyone back home is keeping us going’

The tables have been turned this year as David Hempleman-Adams is running his flight control centre whilst Clive is flying. David said: ‘Clive & Jon doing well especially as this is Clive’s first gas balloon race. They are flying really well’

Mike McDonald who taught Clive to fly is busy chasing after Clive & Jon to be there, as soon as possible, after they land. Last night at sunset they cuaght up with them in Texas and had a good chat on the VHS Radio.

The balloonists often fly for more than two days, in a small wicker basket suspended under a gas balloon filled with hydrogen, using the winds and weather systems to their best advantage to gain the greatest distance. Flights of more than 1,000 miles are not unusual, and the winners sometimes travel as far as Canada and the U.S. East Coast.

Live tracking of this exciting event is on the Bailey Balloons website.

Clive & Jon have landed after flying nearly 45 hours

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

At 10.11 pm on Tuesday evening, Bristol pilot Clive Bailey & Jon Mason in their gas balloon, Lady Britannia, landed just south of Evansville in Kentucky, due to rain coming in over night. They have had an amazing flight over from Albuquerque right across New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas and finally Kentucky.
Clive and Jon have been flying in the balloon since 1.31 am BST on Sunday night, launching from the biggest balloon fiesta in the world at Albuquerque. They flew a distance of 1054 miles, which is often a distance that could have won the race. At this time they are looking to be in fourth place, if the other three balloons continue flying.

Clive & Jon have survived temperatures of minus 20*c and today they have been on oxygen for most of the day as they have been flying at over 12,000 ft.
David Hempleman-Adams who has been in flight control for Clive Bailey, has spoken to the British team at regular intervals throughout the flight from the HQ just outside Bath.

Speaking on a phone from the landing site Clive said; “We had to land before dark and this seemed a good place to land. We had a truly spectacular flight with amazing views over different states of the USA -incredible. Mike and Ron, the retrieve crew turned up shortly after landing and we all are sorting out the balloon. At least I know I was taught well, as my gas balloon instructor Willi Eimers, is still flying in balloon number 2, but there’s always next time!
After of all which they intend to celebrate with a beer, or perhaps two and a Kentucky steak!

America’s Challenge Flight Update at 9.30 am

Monday, October 8, 2012

We spoke to Clive a bit earlier and he said at the launch when they were filling the balloon for launch they had a problem and it wouldn’t inflate as there was a tangle in the balloon, but they finally managed to sort it out.

Phil Hooper a member of Western Region Balloon Club was there at the launch and provided some of these photos of the launch.

As they took off they were heading alongside the mountains but suddenly the balloon went right and turned sharply towards the mountains with the GPS flashing ‘terrain danger’. They climbed and missed the mountains, but as they did so they heard a huge bang. Clive and Jon were terrified, thinking what’s happened. As they looked around they realised a crisp packet had exploded as they had climbed!!

They said its very cold with amazing stars and all they can hear are cows mooing and Jon has passed quite a lot of wind…

Flight Update 7.30 pm

Monday, October 8, 2012

Here are Clive & Jon grinning like Cheshire Cats! They are really enjoying themselves at the moment depsite being very cold during the night.  The sun came up and the sun warmed them up.

They are still tracking East and flying about 32 miles per hour.

Clive and Jon have had a good first day flying in the America’s challenge. Five balloons are competing in race and at the moment it is all to play for. All of the balloons are still quite close together and flying between 22-46 miles per hour.

Earlier Clive said,’ the balloon is flying really well. Jon & I are feeling good and enjoying ourselves. It’s been cold at night with amazing stars but really warm & sunny during the day and we have flown across Texas, even finding our way to Amarillo! We are looking forward to flying on through our second night and see where we are heading tomorrow morning.’

For this flight the roles have been reversed with David Hempleman-Adams and Simon Carey running the control centre and Clive in the Balloon! For Clive this is a dream come true and at the moment he is enjoying every second!

Some of the amazing fields in Texas- Oh and look no rain or wet fields!!

You can follow the race live at

Launch confirmed for the America’s Challenge Gas Balloon Race

Sunday, October 7, 2012

At 7.30 pm tonight the launch was confirmed for the America’s Challenge Gas Balloon Race for 1.00 am BST.

Here are Clive and Jon earlier today leaving the hotel- swopping a comfortable bed for a wicker basket!

Clive & Jon have been to briefing and all looking good. Here is Jon with a good luck picture of a marrow given to them to take to Maine!!

They will take off in fourth place. They are now rigging the balloon and waiting to fill it with gas.

Further update tomorrow morning here and follow the race onhttps://www.baileyballoons.co.uk/2013/01/03/highly-competitive-field-set-for-17th-americas-challenge-gas-balloon-race/

Launch likely to be delayed

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Clive and Jon spent yesterday filling sandbags using a scoop singed by Clive’s daughter and all of her friends!

They have also been deciding what they could take in the basket as weight is crucial.They also attended the full race briefing and are in fourth position for the launch.

It is looking likely that the America’s Challenge launch is now likely to take off on late Sunday night or early Monday am our time- We will have final confirmation of this early evening.

This is the part of the launch site for the 600 hot air balloons that will be flying form here every morning for the next 10 days.

Remember you will be able to follow the race on our website https://www.baileyballoons.co.uk/2013/01/03/highly-competitive-field-set-for-17th-americas-challenge-gas-balloon-race/

Clive Prepares Equipment For Gas Balloon Race

Friday, October 5, 2012

Clive Bailey, Representing Team GB prepares for Gas Balloon race in Albuquerque, launching Saturday 6th October
Clive Bailey is preparing for his launch with co-pilot Jon Mason in the America’s Challenge Gas Balloon Race.

The object of the America’s Challenge, set for launch, weather permitting, on Saturday, October 6, is to fly the greatest distance from Albuquerque while competing within the event rules. The balloonists often fly for more than two days, in a small wicker basket suspended under a gas balloon filled with hydrogen, using the winds and weather systems to their best advantage to gain the greatest distance. Flights of more than 1,000 miles are not unusual, and the winners sometimes travel as far as Canada and the U.S. East Coast.

Yesterday he had a very busy day, preparing all of his equipment. Clive said:

‘A critical element of our survival during the flight is oxygen, Albuquerque is at 5,100 above sea level feet with mountains to the North that rise up to 14,000′. It is quite possible that we will have to climb immediately after take off to 15,000 – 16,000′ and we need to be on oxygen at 10,000′, Summit Oxygen, a specialist UK high altitude survival company, have lent us a specialist pulse oxygen system, but the biggest problem is getting a light weight cylinder that can be used with their system. TRI Gas have been fantastic, not only are they supplying the hydrogen to fill the balloons but have spent half of yesterday sorting a suitable oxygen cylinder for us to use.

We picked up the GPS database card from a local dealer and have been to the fiesta site to register. I cannot describe how big the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta is, over 600 balloons, 3,000 pilots and crew and a town that is completely consumed by the balloon fiesta for 10 days.

What has been particularly nice for me is meeting up with old friends from the past. Martin Adie, who I worked with at Bryan Brothers many years ago in Bristol, and who I taught to fly, now lives here in Albuquerque and collected all our equipment from customs; Mike McDonald, who taught me to fly 25 years ago, is our crew chief and Kevin Barnes, another Bristol pilot, arrived yesterday to fly his balloon but will also be part of the inflation team. Its great to see how the camaraderie of ballooning extends across the world.’

Jon Mason arrived yesterday afternoon so he and Clive have been getting down to some serious planning. Today 70 sand bags need to be filled, and they have pilot’s briefing at 4:00 pm local time, when they will see what the launch weather holds for them.

Live tracking of this exciting event will be on our the Bailey Balloons website from Sat 6th October in the evening when the Gas balloons launch.

Press contact:
Please call Jo Bailey at Bailey Balloons for more information, or to arrange to speak to Clive on 01275 375300

Bailey Balloons is proud to be part of the Balloon Week on BBC One Show

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Bailey Balloons is again proud to be part of the Balloon Week on BBC One Show which has been on every night 26th-30th March 2012

The One Show balloon operated by Bailey Balloons has been busy again flying over different places in the UK for the BBC’s One Show.

Monday 26th March: Tilt-shift- specialist photography making the village of Bourton on the Water seem miniature!

Watch it here on BBC Iplayerhttp://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b01f4zf1/The_One_Show_26_03_2012/ 

Tuesday 27th March: Dying Forests- Many of our trees are dying of disease- the One Show Balloon flies over Wales to find out more.

Watch it here on BBC Iplayer http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b01f4zgg/The_One_Show_27_03_2012/

Wednesday 28th March- Black Out. Larry Lamb investigates how during WW2 many decoys were created to divert German bombs away from real targets such as airfields and cities.

Watch it here on BBC Iplayer


Thursday 29th March the Floating Harbour, Bristol with presenter Dick Strawbridge more info to follow

Watch it here on BBC Iplayer


Friday 30th March- The One Show balloon takes off from Caldicot Castle and flies between the two Severn Bridges looking at the amazing engineering and how the original bridge was the template for many other suspension bridges around the world.

Watch it here on BBC Iplayer

Article about Clive Bailey in Bristol Post

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

 It’s fine – just don’t get hit by lightning

Wednesday, October 03, 2012 The Bristol Post

HOT air ballooning is usually a sedate pastime – gentle, graceful short flights, hopping over Bristol on the early morning vespers, but veteran Bristol balloonist Clive Bailey is about to take on an altogether different sort of challenge.


On Saturday night, the 54-year-old will take to a small wicker basket with fellow balloonist Jon Mason, and set out into the dark skies above Albuquerque for a trip into the unknown beneath a gas balloon – a globe-shaped balloon filled with the highly flammable gas hydrogen.

“The great problem with gas balloons is that if they get hit by a bolt of lightning, they tend to explode quite spectacularly,” Clive tells me, as he chats over the phone from Heathrow airport, as he waits to board a flight for the United States.

For the past 12 years, Clive, from Ham Green, has devoted his free time to be part of the support team for David Hempleman-Adams as he tackled gas balloon races around the globe.

But now, having just completed his gas balloon pilot training, the tables have turned, and it’s Clive’s chance to pilot, while David leads the support team on the ground. The America’s Challenge Gas Balloon Race is set to launch from Albuquerque on Saturday. Clive is flying with Jon Mason, a British pyschologist, who is a hot-air balloon pilot, a fixed-wing pilot and a gas balloon pilot, who now lives in Australia.

Jon brings a wealth of experience to the two-man team – he won the America’s Challenge last year with David Hempleman-Adams while Clive was running their control centre on the ground. Clive and Jon will be flying in the balloon “Lady Britannia”, built by Cameron Balloons in Bristol.

“It’s a totally different discipline to hot-air ballooning,” Clive explains.

“Rather than being able to control the balloon by simply heating the air, with these balloons the only control you have is by lifting a flap to allow some of the gas to escape – that lowers your altitude.

“You have sandbags attached to the outside of the basket, and the only way

to lift the balloon is to cut them off one by one, lessening the weight.”

The object of the challenge is simply to fly the greatest distance from Albuquerque.

The balloonists often fly for more than two days, using the winds and weather systems to their best advantage to gain the greatest distance.

Flights of more than 1,000 miles are not unusual, and the winners sometimes travel as far as Canada and the US east coast.

Six hundred balloons will be taking part in the race, which is modelled on the Coupe Aeronautique Gordon Bennett, but it differs from the older event by allowing balloons from all countries, without limits on the number of entries from each.

“The idea is to get to the optimum altitude to find the strongest wind current,” Clive explains. “Then you just sit there for as long as you can, travelling as far as possible.

“At night, as the Earth cools, the balloon will tend to descend a little, so you then have to release some of the sand bags.

“It is losing the sand bags that limits the time you can spend in the air.

“The prevailing wind tends to be south-westerly, so the chances are we could end up around the Great Lakes, or potentially even over Newfoundland.

“The initial take-off will be challenging, as there is a mountain range just to the north of the starting point – which means we will have to get up to 14,000ft pretty quickly, in order to get over the mountains in the dark.

“But after that the greatest danger comes from lightning strikes. A large part of the ground crew’s role is to track weather systems to ensure we keep out of the way of any storms.”

A lightning strike is believed to have been the reason why American pilots Richard Abruzzo and Carol Rymer Davis were killed when competing in the Gordon Bennett race, which took off from Bristol in 2010.

“It is certainly not an unknown risk,” Clive says, “but we will, of course, be doing our very best to avoid lightning.”

Aviation has always been a part of Clive’s life – he even proposed to his wife Jo as they floated over Bath at 8,000ft.

He was taking to the skies long before he set up his Bristol-based company Bailey Balloons, 19 years ago, to offer people the experience of hot air flight.

Clive’s father was a test pilot who moved the family to Bristol from their native Surrey in order to work on Concorde.

Clive earned a living as a commercial diver in the North Sea before following his father into the skies as a gliding instructor.

But it was love at first sight when he took his maiden flight in a hot-air balloon.

“I got chatting to a bloke in a pub who needed to get a crew together for his balloon at the fiesta,” Clive recalls.

“When the balloons landed they came down on the runway at Filton. I turned up as the recovery crew, but the airport manager rushed out to tell us we had to get off the runway immediately.

“So I jumped into the basket with the pilot, and from the moment we took to the skies with more than 100 other balloons, I was completely hooked.”

Since then, Clive has seen the world from his balloon basket – from skirting over the summit of Mount Blanc to becoming the first European to pilot a hot air balloon over the desert wastes of Iran.

But he says the experience in America should be unlike anything he’s seen before.

“It’s going to be a spectacular view from up there around 18,000ft,” he says.

“It won’t be comfortable – it can be as low as minus 14°C at night, so although we will be sleeping in shifts, we’re not going to actually get much sleep in a tiny freezing basket.

“But I can’t wait to see the scenery from up there. It’s going to be quite an experience.”

You can follow Clive’s race with real time tracking at www.bailey balloons.co.uk/americas-challenge- gas-balloon-race.

One Show Balloon flies over Pit Pony for the BBC One Show

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

During the Summer Clive Bailey flew over the Pit Pony in South Wales based at Penallta Parc, Hengoed in Mid Glamorgan.

The pony was built as an earth sculpture on the ground as a tribute to all of the pit ponies who worked in the mines right up until the 1960s.

The pony was called Sultan by one of the local miners who worked with a pony of that name.

You can watch the episode, with presenter Miranda, on the BBC Iplayer here:


Clive Bailey becomes the 5th UK Gas Balloon Pilot

Sunday, September 16, 2012

During the Summer Clive Bailey has been training for his Gas Balloon licence in Germany with Willi Eimers. He spent several days in July refining his knowledge of gas ballooning from inflations, to trail ropes to inflating and taking off at night.

He had some amazing flights flying over some stunnning scenery.

Then in late August, with bad ballooning weather here, Clive set off for Germany once more to take his flight test which he passed with flying colours! In early September he set off to Reading to meet an examiner to sit his written gas balloon exams – so now he is a fully qualified Gas balloon pilot- one of only 5 pliots in the UK to hold a British Gas Balloon rating!


Clive is now entering the America’s Challenge Gas Balloon Race launching from Albuquerque on October 6th. You can follow him in the race with a live race tracker on our website here:


Tuesday 7.00am The America’s Challenge Race is getting Exciting..

Thursday, September 13, 2012

All five balloons in the America’s Challenge Gas Balloon Race are still flying after being in the air for nearly 30 hours. The object of the race is to fly the furthest distance from the starting point in Albuquerque and so far they have flown over 650 miles. Clive Bailey and Jon Mason are now flying during their night as they are 7 hours behind us and are just South of Kansas.

Link to see a news piece on the race from Monday 8th October on BBC Points West



The retrieve Crew Mike Mcdonald, who taught Clive to fly this morning said:
“We tracked the boys through New Mexico,  Texas, Oklahoma, and we beat them into Kansas but they didn’t make it quite that far! So we headed south 40 miles to wave goodnight to them and chat on the VHF. Both doing well and in good spirits. After 16 hours of driving we are getting heads down for a few hours while they are heading slowly towards us.”

David Hempleman-Adams and Simon Carey are in the control centre and David added: ‘It’s going a closely fought battle to see who wins, it is all to play for.’

People have been sending messages on the Bailey Balloons Facebook page and following their progress in the race live at

Bristol Balloon Fiesta 2012

Wednesday, August 15, 2012


What glorious weather came out for us at this year’s Fiesta! We had some fantastic flights over the weekend, which turned out to be the busiest Fiesta on record!






We were delighted to have BBC’s Blue Peter who were filming a piece on ballooning. They first spoke to Don Cameron, but they also wanted a new generation perspective so spoke to Jo and Clive’s 12-year-old daughter, Rosie Bailey. Here is Rosie with a friend talking to the Blue Peter Presenter.



They then filmed Rosie’s balloon flight on the Thursday night as part of the special shape launch.






There were two magnificent Night Glows and Fireworks displays on the Thursday and Saturday, with a very proud audience watching the finale; a tethered Great Britain Balloon took centre of the arena surrounded by spectacular fireworks to finish off the night in Olympic Gold style.









The Fiesta also hit a record number of visitors on Saturday evening for the Night Glow, choreographed by one of our pilots, Ian Martin – over half a million people came over the entire Fiesta week-end!






It was lovely to meet so many people at our Bailey Balloons Fiesta Stand, travelling from all parts of the world, and we had lots of laughs with visitors trying out our basket on display. We had to have a go at the Usain Bolt pose as it was the final week-end of the Olympics!

Oktocam hits the skies and the web

Monday, July 23, 2012

Bailey Balloons is delighted to launch a new filming service with their Oktocopter which is a very sophisticated radio controlled drone capable of flying up to 400 feet and reaching parts where other cameras can’t! Last week we filmed for BBC Bristol over the Bristol Harbourside Festival. To find out more see our new website at http://www.oktocam.co.uk

New Improved In-flight Photos

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

New for July! In June we began trialling a new and improved way of sending
out in-flight photos to passengers. Previously, we emailed posted
photographs after their flight, but now the majority of passengers can take
a selection of photos away with them on a USB stick straight after landing.
We collected feedback of what people thought of them and many passengers have commented how much they have enjoyed this new addition
and we look forward to many more being able to keep a lasting memory of
their experience when they fly with us.

The Bristol Balloon Fiesta 100 Club Dinner

Friday, July 6, 2012

We had a fabulous evening at the Fiesta 100 Club Dinner, attended by the Lord Mayor Peter Main, the Fiesta Directors (of which our Clive is one!) and all 100 Club Members for 2012. Congratulations to Jones Lang LaSalle who won the title sponsorship, making this year’s Fiesta the ‘Jones Lang LaSalle Bristol International Balloon Fiesta’!

Bath Ales will sponsor the Thursday nightglow, Kellaway Building Services the Saturday nightglow, and the patron of the Sunday night Blades Demonstration is Goodridge Ltd.

Congratulations to the Happy Couple

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

On the 19th June, we helped two passengers create a memory they will never
forget. The couple had booked an Exclusive Balloon Flight for Two over the
Usk Valley. It had been arranged as a surprise and so they were both a
little nervous before the flight, but for different reasons..!

During the flight, he got down on one knee, proposed and… she said yes! We wish them every happiness in their future together.

The BIG Green Week

Friday, June 8, 2012

Bailey Balloons is pleased to be part of the Bristol’s Big Green Week which is an amazing festival. The BIG Green Week festival features well one hundred events during a nine day period Bristol, from Saturday 9th to Sunday 17th June.
There is inspiring music, comedy, poetry, film, art and much more. Nearly half the events are even free of charge. We are offering balloon flights to festival goers for 10% off. http://biggreenweek.com/discounts-and-offers/green-pass-discounts/

The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Flights ‘reigned’ off but a right royal knees-up!

This June Bank holiday we celebrated the Queen’s Jubilee in royal style. We had planned a very special launch from the Clifton Downs. Unfortunately, the weather was not suitable to fly but it did not hamper our celebrations. The baskets were decorated with bunting and we toasted Elizabeth with champagne, freshly baked cakes and cream teas, whilst overlooking one of the spectacular blazing beacons lit around the country in the Queen’s honour.

Olympic Torch Relay in Bristol

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Bailey Balloons really enjoyed the Olympic Torch Relay in Bristol and flew over the event being held in Millennium Square on the evening of 22nd May. We took off from Ashton Court and flew right across the city of Bristol and the Bristol Harbourside.

On board we had Rachel who was chosen by VisitBritain to travel around the UK following the Torch Relay. She was given a camper van and named Fan in A Van. She really enjoyed her balloon flight over Bristol with us and loved the views and the landing – oh and of course the Champagne afterwards! You can see her entry about us here
http://www.visitenglandblog.com/faninavan/balloons-boats-and-pirates-must-be-bristol/ and you can follow her blog herehttp://www.visitenglandblog.com/faninavan/

Hot Air Ballooning in Style Lunch with Bailey Balloons

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

At Ston Easton Hotel, Somerset

From 12.30pm, £39.50 per person
Monday 14 May 2012

Enjoy an “up up and away” luncheon with a difference!

Our special guests, hot air balloon experts Bailey Balloons will give you an out of this world view from their many adventures, including flights over the Alps and secrets from behind the scenes at the Bristol Balloon Fiesta.

To book your place for this brilliant event, £39.50 per person includes a welcome glass of wine with a 2 course lunch.

To make a reservation please telephone Ston Easton 01761 241631

Will You Marry Me

Monday, April 16, 2012

Over the Easter week-end we had a proposal in one of our balloons but this one was slightly different…

Getting ready for a very special flight – although one of the two passengers doesn’t yet know how special!

The man popping the question had found a farmer who kindly let him write the question in flour….and then took off in one of our balloons and she saw the question as they took off!

So romantic we think and she said yes as you tell by the ring!

Don’t they look happy- Chris and Lucy enjoy the rest of their flight and toast their engagment with a bottle of Champagne!

Bailey Balloons becomes Author’s pick for Rough Guides 2012

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Article on Bailey Balloons Aerial Filming

Friday, March 2, 2012

Article in the Weekly News

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Bristol Balloon Fiesta Scoops Gold at the SW Tourism Awards

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Bristol International Balloon Fiesta came top at this year’s South West Tourism Excellence Awards, being awarded Gold in the Tourism Event of the Year category.

The award, which celebrates the most outstanding tourism Event in the South West, has been awarded after 33 successful years of the Bristol based festival, held in the beautiful surroundings of Ashton Court.


The Bristol Balloon Fiesta is the largest event in the South West and one of the top five outdoor events in the UK, generating £13 million to the local economy.


There are over half a million people who attend the event over the four day festival and Clive Bailey is one of the key directors who works though the year to ensure the success of the event. Each year Bailey Balloons also flies many passengers at the event who enjoy the stunning sights and being part of the mass event.


Clive Bailey was with Ben Hardy and Mike Richmond of Richmond Events, to accept the award at the South West Tourism Awards in Torquay.


Chris Hathaway, chair of the Bristol International Balloon Fiesta, said:

“The Fiesta has become synonymous with Bristol and the South West and it’s with great pride that we accept this award, having worked hard to deliver a world class ballooning event that promotes Bristol regionally, nationally and beyond.”


The Bristol Balloon Fiesta takes place over four days 9-12th August.

Book now to secure your place to fly with up to 150 balloons or call 01275 375300 or email info@baileyballoons.co.uk for more information.


Chateau d’Oex Balloon Fiesta 2012

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Chateau d’Oex Balloon Fiesta 2012, Switzerland



Every January Clive Bailey and Jo Bailey take balloons to the Swiss Alps to take part in the Chateau d’Oex Ballon Fiesta that lasts for 10 days. It is the highlight of the balloonists Winter calendar where balloonists from all over the world come to fly in the amazing scenery of the Swiss Alps.


The brightly coloured hot air balloons look simply stunning against the manificent backdrop of the snow-clad Alps and blue sky. Up to 100 balloons take part so the sky can be filled with balloons of all shapes and sizes!








Each Clive and Jo take their clients to fly amonsgt this scenery and even to the most sesaoned pilots it remains one of the world’s best places to fly.





As well as ballooning there is ski-ing, toboganning, helicopter rides, parascending, to mention but a few activites as well as visits to Gstaad, Gruyere Castle, L’Etivaz Cheese Caves and outside salt baths.




One of the highlights of the week is the Night Glow which takes place on the mountains with the balloons glowing in time with music, skydivers, fireworks and skiers with torches.






The views acrosss the Alps are breath- taking but don’t take our word for it- come and join us next January 2013 for the 35th Chateau d’Oex Balloon Fiesta!


Call us on 01275 375300 for more information. We’d love to hear from you!




BBC One Show Balloon Flies over the Water

Thursday, January 5, 2012


Clive Bailey flew the One Show balloon on Friday 2nd December from Caldicot in South Wales to Thornbury between the two Severn Bridges.




It was just one of those perfect mornings and the sun was shining.



One of those flights to remember!

Clive wins Western Region Montgolfier Award

Thursday, January 5, 2012

We were all delighted to learn that Clive Bailey had won this year’s prestigious WRBBAC (The Western Region British Balloon and Airship Club) for his services to ballooning and in particular for doing the Metline- a weather phone line for local balloonists for 13 years.


Clive was presented the award by the Chariman of the WRBBAC, Phil Dunnington- in the pub of course!


This award is given out on Montgolfier Day. This day is remembered for the first manned balloon flight on the 21st November in 1793. The montgolfière-style hot air balloon, globe aérostatique was designed by two brothers, Joseph-Michel Montgolfier and Jacques-Étienne Montgolfier. The brothers succeeded in launching the first manned ascent, carrying Étienne into the sky, so that he was the first person to fly in a balloon.


A big congratulations to Clive!


David Hempleman-Adams & Clive Bailey receive Aviation Award at Buckingham Palace

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

David Hempleman-Adams, & Clive Bailey received Aviation Award at Buckingham Palace from HRH Duke Of Edinburgh for Ballooning.

David Hempleman-Adams world class explorer based in Wiltshire, who brought the historic Gordon Bennet Gas Balloon Race to Bristol & the UK last September is receiving a very special award along with his flight Director, Clive Bailey of Bailey Balloons and Don Cameron of Cameron Balloons who built and designed the gas balloon for David. The award is the ‘First Aero Club Cup’ which was the first ever trophy in the world to be awarded for an aviation feat and was initially given to Frank H Butler back on 7th July 1906 for a 3 mile flight.

It has now been awarded for the second time to David Hempleman-Adams for his outstanding contributions to ballooning with his historic and record breaking flights.
Gas balloons are the ultimate challenge for balloonists. They fly farther than hot-air balloons, exposing pilots to all the peculiarities of the weather over a four day period . This extreme ballooning pushes fliers’ skills and stamina to the limits. Dating back over 100 years, the Gordon Bennett race is the premier gas balloon distance race, and attracts some of the most experienced and distinguished pilots from around the world. This legendary race is often compared to the America’s Cup Yacht Race for the endurance necessary to compete and win. While the mission of the race is simple, executing the mission is anything but easy. The winning team is the one that flies the furthest distance from the launch site. Physical resistance, mental strength, strong moral and incredible knowledge of winds and weather are the keys to taking home the cup.

David has also flown in a hot air balloon to the North Pole in an open wicker basket, won the Gordon Bennett Gas Balloon Race in 2008 which meant the Race came to the UK for the first time 2 years later, flown across the Atlantic in a tiny gas balloon amongst many other flights with Clive Bailey as his Flight Director, and using balloons from Cameron Balloons.

The One Show Balloon Week Autumn 2011

Monday, January 2, 2012

It was an interesting and busy week seeing the films Clive filmed from the One Show Balloon for their 2011 balloon week. On Monday he flew over the tulip fields in Norfolk, Tuesday he was flying over Stonehenge, Wednesday we saw the clay pits in Cornwall and Thursday was the recreating the balloon flight in 1785 in Chester. Friday’s film is Dick Strawbridge taking to the Norfolk skies!

You can watch them all on the BBC Iplayer:


Monday – Tulip Fields, about 9 and half minutes into the programme:


Tuesday – Stonehenge, at about 18 minutes in into the programme:


Wednesday – Clay pits in St Austell, at about 18 minutes in into the programme:



Thursday – Recreating Balloon Flight in 1785 over Chester, at about 20 minutes in into the programme:



Friday- Taking to the Norfolk Skies over the Norfolk Broads with Dick Starwbridge



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