Hot air ballooning in Australia is particularly male-dominated sport, but one Melbourne-raised female hot air balloon pilot hopes to change all of that.
Georgia Croft is a record-breaking hot air balloon pilot working principally over the Yarra Valley in Melbourne, Victoria, and she numbers among only five female hot air balloon pilots in the country.
Historically, hot air ballooning has been a sport enjoyed by people of all ages, but Croft wants to expand its appeal to women like her so that they can also enjoy the adventure and thrill of a life in the skies. Croft had recently qualified as a hot air balloon pilot instructor, so she is already one step closer to making her ambitions a reality.
Croft explains how the lure of hot air ballooning drew her away from the world of anthropology and into a world of aviation. To train as a pilot in Australia, apprentices need to undertake 16 hours of supervised flight, followed by 75 hours of private practice. Then they are all set to take passengers on breath-taking tours of their own.
Croft attributes the lack of female pilots to the fact that significant physical strength is required to navigate the balloon though the skies. However, she told ABC News that developments in hot air balloon designs have made this less of a barrier to women, and that she cannot wait to be part of a female ballooning revolution.
For those in the UK that wish to experience the magic of hot air ballooning, hot air balloon flights over Bath, Bristol and other areas in the southwest can be had.