Balloon Name: ‘G-BXWG’
Pilot: Malcolm White
Malcolm was born in the UK but he has been living in Ireland for more than 20 years. He has been flying Hot Air Balloons worldwide for 30 years and has experience of flying all types of balloons ranging from one man 'Cloud Hoppers' to weird and wonderful Special Shapes.
His passion for ballooning developed after his first flight and he immediately started training to become a private pilot and then on to become a commercial pilot 25 years ago. He has over 2,000 hours in ballooning and enjoys every flight like it was his first.
Malcolm has been successful as a competition pilot and has participated at events all over the world. Notable flights include an Irish Sea crossing from Tipperary to Wales, several winter Alpine crossings in temperatures as low as minus 40 degrees centigrade and altitudes of up to 20,000ft.
Malcolm is Chief Pilot for Irish Balloon Flights who provide passenger flights and aerial advertising around Ireland.
Pilot: Pauline Baker
Born in Co. Meath, Ireland, her love of flying developed at a very young age when she dreamt of flying like a bird. To try and live the dream she participated in skydiving, paragliding, Micro lighting and fixed wing flying, however, the day she took her first balloon flight was her flying dream come true. Hot Air Ballooning is what she calls "real flying" as balloons have no engines and are carried majestically by the breeze – "when you take off you don't know where you are going to land or who you will meet when you get there so this to me is the best and most enjoyable form of aviation".
Pauline has broken 10 World Records and 95 Irish Records in Hot Air Ballooning, with many more planned over the coming winter. She is the first and only Irish pilot to hold World records for manned flight.
Pauline has completed Alpine crossings in Italy, Austria and Switzerland and has participated in ballooning events in Albuquerque, New Mexico; France; Canada; Florida; Australia; UK; Alaska; USA and of course Ireland.
She is the Operations Director for Irish Balloon Flights who provide passenger flights and aerial advertising around Ireland.
In October 2008 the FAI (FédérationAéronautiqueInternationale, the world governing body for Aviation World Records) awarded Pauline the Paul Tissandier Diploma "in recognition of remarkable services rendered in aviation and aerial sports in particular Hot Air Balloons". She was also awarded a diploma from the BBAC (British Ballooning & Airship Club) in recognition of her achievements in the sport.