We have been making our passenger balloon flights over Central London since 1985 and it is no co-incidence that the call sign we use with Heathrow’s air traffic control centre based at Swannick is "Redbus". It was coined when one of London’s big red buses went across the view of our balloon recovery vehicle waiting at the traffic lights at Hyde Park Corner en route to a balloon launch for one of our London balloon flights. Being just two syllables long, short and sweet, it is a much preferred way of identifying oneself when you talk to air traffic control. The alternative, the aircraft registration, for example G-ABCD, or Golf Alpha Bravo Charlie Delta, would be 9 syllables and takes up an unnecessarily long time in a very busy radio communication channel with large long haul passenger aircraft flying into Heathrow from all over the world at around 6am each weekday morning.

These days this moniker is doubly appropriate. With seemingly fewer weather slots meeting the critical criteria required for a flight over London in a hot air balloon we are playing guerrilla warfare, keeping a second balloon up our sleeve when we see a good weather slot approaching, to enable our passengers who have ticked "standby" on their customer record to be notified of a good weather opportunity. We saw this "slot" coming nearly a week ahead and within an hour nearly all the 16 extra spaces afforded by our second balloon had been snapped up by our customers via the customer on line date booking facility. So just like the London Red Bus, you wait for ages and two come along at the same time.

In true London balloon flight serendipity, one of the local park keepers was on his way to work as we landed to the east of Wood Green and he stopped and opened the gates to let our balloon recovery vehicles in. How lucky is that! Well, even more amazing, in talking to the security police to check we could get clearance for our flight today, we found we found we were talking to an officer who had given us permission for a flight about 10 years ago, and had on that occasion been “followed” by our balloon as he drove back from central London after his shift finished. As he said, a co-incidence and a memory he has clearly not forgotten!

And here is another recent cross London balloon flight story to enjoy with Shaun Keaveny from BBC Radio 6
and another great video from one of our passengers at

An aerial ballet of hot air balloons over Oxford Street

British Summer Time event site after

Looking back over London as our second balloon follows

Our two balloons inflated between the trees

Sixteen happy passengers over London

A final landing at Wood Green near White Hart Lane

Adventure Balloons Ltd, Winchfield Park, London Road, Hartley Wintney, Hampshire, RG27 8HY.
Reg No 4837166

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