The Pig Yard

Hot Air Ballooning is one of our hobbies...

We have been involved in ballooning since 1988 when Steve had his first flight and Jane did her first retrieve. We have participated in every Northampton Balloon Festival either as crew or pilot. Since those early days we have crewed on many hundreds of commercial flights, Steve has learned to fly, firstly as a private pilot (June 1993) and then as a commercial pilot (September 1996).
For a typical flight click here...
Click for a larger image In October 1996 we took part in the 25th Anniversary Albuquerque Balloon Festival and flew alongside 800+ other balloons. Click for a larger image

Click for a larger image In July 1999 we were invited to take the Donor Card balloon to the Fairford Air Show. We tethered in the morning and managed to get two evening flights.

Jane enjoyed her time in the air as can be seen from her smile.

Click for a larger image

At last (October 1999) we have a half share in our own balloon and this was designed by Jane. Built by Sky Balloons. Although the weather was not good, the first flight was a very special event.

Click for larger image

Our first flight in G-CZAG in 2000 was quite a long event. We only intended a short hop but because of light winds and sensitive farm land Nick and I flew for 1 hour 45 minutes.

The sun was setting as we landed.

Click for larger image /

Click for larger image We crewed at Bristol in August 2000. It had been about 8 years since we'd been to the Bristol Fiesta and not a great deal had changed.

Masses of people, loads of balloons and traffic to give you nightmares.

Steve flew the Redletter days balloon which added another balloon to his log book. Flying a 250 balloon with only 8 passengers gives plenty of lift and makes it much more responsive

Click to go to Italy Ballooning We were forced to fly in Italy in June 2001 due to the Foot and Mouth Disease restrictions. What a hardship. It was great fun even though the visibility could have been better. We have to thank Giovanni Aimo for trusting us with one of his balloons. Italy Ballooning

Steve with two passengers packing away at the end of another flight in May 2002. The farmer's wife was on the field waving them down before Steve had landed which is always a very welcoming sight.

Whenever there are balloons around Jane is there with her wonderful smile and faithful camera but it is so rare for someone else to capture her on film.

Most, if not all of the pictures taken on this page were taken by Jane.

Some of the launches at the 2002 festival were in calm conditions and therefore it was reasonable to take off in close formation. Here you can see Dave flying Central Autos, Steve flying Redletter days and John Albury at the controls of Wrangler footwear.

We had an excellent festival with some long flights but generally easy landings. Jane flew with Steve on the Friday evening, sharing the pilots compartment. We landed at Harlestone golf club and had a wonderful welcome from the green keeper.