This month marks the 50th anniversary of independent India’s first ever hot air balloon flight – an event that was recalled recently by one of the craft’s passengers.
NDTV recently reported that Anil Kumar was treated to a fantastic hot air balloon flight when he was a teenager, as part of Children’s day in Bangalore. He was taken on the trip by a couple of German Pilots, Alfred Schulz and Hermann Johannes Scheer, who were flying the balloon in a bid to raise money for the Pestalozzi Children’s Village back in their home country of Germany – an event which Kumar’s father had helped to organise.
Looking back now as a grown man, Kumar still fondly remembers that day half a century ago, when he was lucky enough to secure his place on India’s first hot air balloon adventure.
Kumar is now making the journey to Germany, in order to meet up with Schulz. He also hopes to take a second hot air balloon ride in order to mark the anniversary of the flight.
Speaking of the incident, he said:
“Mr Hermann Scheer, he was the director of the Pestalozzi village in Germany, said would you like to go up in the balloon. I said wow, nothing like it. It was just the thrill of going up, of getting away from the ground, the ground going away from you was a fascinating experience.”
Kumar added that the ride was the first time he really saw the city of Bangalore.