There were hot air balloons as far as they eye could see in West Craven over the weekend of 5th April, when the North West Balloon and Airship Club took to the early morning skies to kick off a training weekend spread over four days. The event, which took place at Thornton Hall Farm Country Park, was attended by new pilots embarking on training that would allow them to take unaided balloon flights.
The park was set up with a classroom and the new balloon pilots were given a range of practical training, enabling them to get to grips with the ins and outs of hot air ballooning. It wasn’t, however, all business; the pilots got to take part in early flights over the picturesque Pendle countryside, which was once home to the famous Pendle witches, providing a fun start to the weekend’s events.
Four hot air balloons took flight at approximately 7am on the Friday. Eight balloons were launched on Saturday and Sunday morning, as eight pilots at various stages in their flight training were given tuition to take them to the next level.
Club member Tom Bulloch said:
“The conditions were ideal in the mornings: cold, clear and relatively still. We had planned flights in the early evening too but the wind became too strong.”
The North West Balloon and Airship Club was formed in 1981 on 31st May. It continues to meet for regular club nights at the Traveller’s Rest, near Croston, on the third Tuesday of each month at 8pm.