17 Sep 2016

Will Wood flies far, in memory of his dad

Two English pilots had a very British adventure on Friday, when they launched a 500m3 fiesta gas balloon from Gladbeck on a flight performed in memory of Chris Wood, a former Coupe Aeronautique Gordon Bennett pilot.

Jonathan Harris, left, and William Wood launch a 500m3 fiesta balloon on the Friday before the offical competition launch at the 60th Coupe Aéronautique Gordon Bennett. Will Wood's father Chris was a regular pilot in the Coupe Aéronautique Gordon Bennett and sadly passed away 18 months ago. The flight was in commemoration of that. British pilot Clive Bailey, who is taking Chris Wood's place in Team GBR-02 this year, said: "It's great to see William going flying ... It's very sad, but very happy."

Will and Jonathan had a "really good flight" Will said later that evening. "We flew for two-and-a-half hours, it was very memorable, very enjoyable," Will said. "We wanted it to be special and it was Jonathan's idea to dress up." Jonathan Harris is part of  a syndicate of four British pilots that own a gas balloon. They come over to Germany regularly to fly from Gladbeck.

 Photo: FAI / Marcus King