Flight Report: G-CEGG ~ Marching To Marcham

They say that one of the things that attracts people to hot air ballooning is the fact it is an unplanned adventure. Taking to the skies in a craft which, in the eyes of most, is overly simplistic and obviously unsteerable. While it is hard to argue a big fabric bag, some wicker and a ‘Bunsen burner’ in grown up disguise isn’t simple in comparison to the heavier-than-air flying machines it shares the skies with, balloons can be steered by reading the winds. To a point. And you will often find people talking about their love for launching into the sky, into the unknown. Pilots’ will often to be heard musing about how “no two flights are ever the same”.

But that last statement isn’t 100% true. To a point. Flights may never be exactly the same: the wind will always be a different strength, the cloud base a foot or two lower, it may even be morning versus evening, but for all their subtle differences flights can on occasions pretend to be twins. To illustrate this point perfectly, we have my flight on Friday morning and one I made in April 2007. On Friday, I flew G-CEGG from The Dog House Inn, Frilford Heath landing an almost apologetic 8 minutes later in a lovely grass field 2km south at the village of Marcham.

G-CEGG - Flight Track - 11th July 2014

11th July 2014: The Dog House to Marcham

However, this did have an all too familiar feel to it because as previously mention in April 2007 I had also flown in G-CEGG from The Dog House, landing in the exact same grass field on the edge of Marcham! Seven years ago, when I first landed here it wasn’t a cold and awakening morning flight, but rather a glorious April evening with Oxfordshire basking in the last throws of a Spring sunshine and rather than travelling to the field in less time than I have fingers and thumbs, it took me a rather snailesque hour-and-twenty minutes to drift the 2km route.

7th April 2007: The Dog House to Marcham

Both these flights, while totally different were wonderfully enjoyable and this just goes to show that while flights may always be different, you father may be needed to catch a train to work thus requiring a shorter than expected flying time (I think even he was surprised I elected for only 8 minutes though) or the world may be waking up where it was once was going to sleep. There can and always will be those little moments of familiarity, of repetition. Those moments where memories of times long gone come flooding back and they can be as enjoyable as any new experience or adventure.

Photographs © Jonathan Harris

Posted on by 5WC in G-CEGG, Hot Air Ballooning First Edition

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