Pitsford School junior pupils were treated to a demonstration and Q&A session from Virgin Balloon Flights on Monday 29 June. Pupils were taught about the mechanics of ballooning by commercial hot air balloon pilot Peter Philpott and crew member Andy Hale.
Pitsford School’s Headmaster and physicist, Mr Toone also learnt how to use the burners in a hot air balloon. There were claps and cheers all round after Peter’s display where fire was blasted from the burners, creating spectacular sights in the School’s beautiful 26 acre grounds.
The children were also allowed to jump inside the hot air balloon basket, giving them an insight as to what it’s like to go up, up and away in what is one of the most exciting, adventurous methods of air travel. The session was rounded off with Peter answering any questions the children had before teaching them the salute pose where they stood around the basket and had their photograph taken.
The educational session was organised after Peter landed his Virgin hot air balloon in a field close to Pitsford School in May. The landing, which took place after a sunrise flight from Hanging Houghton, created a lot of excitement amongst the children. Speaking after the demonstration and Q&A session, Headmaster Mr Toone commented: “The children enjoyed themselves enormously, especially when given the opportunity to climb into the basket. I was impressed by the range of questions posed by the children and also by Peter’s ability to entertain the pupils in a very informative way.”
Virgin Balloon Flights have been taking passengers up, up and away for 21 years. As the UK’s largest hot air balloon company they plan to do more education events like this, teaching children about the science behind the airborne activity.
Very many thanks to Virgin Balloon Flights for visiting Pitsford School.