Balloon Flights with a personal touch
A family owned business, estbalished in 1987, operating throughout Southern England.
The CompanyBritish School of Ballooning has been established for over 25 years.
Established in 1987, the British School of Ballooning is a family owned business operating many balloons throughout Southern England.
We employ only the finest pilots, some with over 3000 hours flying
experience, and many trained within the company, so as to make each and every balloon flight as safe and special as possible.
Meet The Team
Say hello to the Hotair family.
Graeme’s experience in ballooning helps to ensure your first experience of a balloon flight is and enjoyable one and is carried out in the most professional and organized manner. Graeme started ballooning in 1985 when he bought his first balloon to promote a photographic business he had and was part sponsored by Kodak. He then started the British School of Ballooning in 1997 along with Brian Smith a former BA Captain, before he took over the reins solely when Brian retired. They discovered many people wanted to fly in their balloon, since the sight of one in the sky was more of a rarity in those days. “There has to be a business here!” they thought. The business grew and grew and now Graeme operates fourteen balloons in the UK and ten in Australia.
Graeme is a CAA TR Examiner and Instructor in the UK and in Australia and is continually helping and encouraging young people to take up flying balloons. Both his sons are commercial balloon pilots, and theirs is probably the only family in the UK with three such qualified pilots.
He has accumulated over 3000 hrs of balloon flying, flown in over a dozen countries and his passion for ballooning is still with him after so many years.
Graeme’s experience in ballooning helps to ensure your first experience of a balloon flight is and enjoyable one and is carried out in the most professional and organized manner.
Matthew has been flying commercially for twelve years and has accumulated over a 1000 hrs and a wealth of experience, flying in the UK and Australia. His enthusiasm for ballooning is very obvious when you fly with him. He also competes in both the Australian and UK championships and has been extremely successful.
His charming manor and skills, we regularly receive praise for. You may have seen him recently on ITV with Stephen Tomkinson flying over Australia - he was the young competitive one!
Richard has been working for BSB since 1995 when the balloon company he was working for joined forces with BSB. At that time Richard was chief crew person and his enthusiasm for ballooning has only increased over the years.
He obtained his Private balloon license back in 1996 and enjoyed partaking in many balloon festivals throughout Europe. In 2005 he obtained his Commercial License and has flown for BSB ever since. He also has been involved in many special events like flying a balloon across Stonehenge at the Summer Solstice, dropping skydivers. He has flown in Syria , Abu Dubie, India, Australia and many countries in Europe. He is presently in Myamar ( Burma) flying tourists in Mandalay until March 2014. He will then be back flying for BSB in the Brighton area.
Probably the most experienced pilot of all of us, Ravinnder flies mostly in the difficult areas of North London and Kent. He started ballooning in 1984 and went on to run his own business. In 1996 he joined British School of Ballooning when his company was taken over by BSB. Ravinnder is one of our most popular pilots with our passengers and we receive many letters of praise each year.
Another pilot who just can’t get enough ballooning. John has over 1000 hrs and is one of our most knowledgeable and skillful pilots; he flies mainly in Hampshire and Sussex. His wife is a private pilot as well. John travels to many balloon festivals in the UK and overseas for his own enjoyment of the sport and has a great sense of humour, which he shares with the passengers.
Roddy has been involved with balloons all his life and became a pilot at 19 and a commercial pilot soon after. Roddy runs his own IT business in London and designs and maintains all of our web sites in the UK and Australia. Roddy flies most of our VIP engagement flights at present.
As you can imagine Judy’s experience in running the operation behind the scenes is second to none. Judy handles many of the sales calls and the operational and marketing side of the business. Her experience in ballooning can answer most of your questions and of course from the many corporate enquiries we receive.
Karen joined us at the start of the 2011 season, quickly gaining a thorough understanding of the business and all of the information needed when dealing with customers and organizing flights. Karen also comes out retrieving balloons for us at times, when not busy with her PT massage business or horse which she will begin competing on in 2012.
Bridget has worked part time for BSB for over 3 years now and being local can step in at the drop of a hat as and when she is needed. Our busy summer months during the flying season see her in the office quite regularly. When not at the office she is either taxi driver to her three teenage children or disappearing up the local footpaths and bridle paths of Sussex mostly as part of her own home based walking business.