Balloon pilot ‘stoked’ over fiesta

Main picture: The hot air balloon Twirl flies across the Avon Valley. Inset: Donna and Michael Tasker
Main picture: The hot air balloon Twirl flies across the Avon Valley. Inset: Donna and Michael Tasker

The hot air balloon pilot said she was ‘stoked’ when organisers invited her and husband Michael to take part for the first time this year in the Kuala Lumpur event, to be staged from March 28 to 31.

Mrs Tasker only gained her commercial hot air balloon pilot licence last year, after six years of training.

‘You have to be devoted to take up hot air ballooning,’ she said.

The Putrajaya Balloon Fiesta draws participants from all around Asia.

It will feature hot air balloon flights each morning and a ‘night glow’ on the Saturday night.

‘A night glow is when the balloons are tethered to the ground and we fire off the burners to music,’ Mrs Tasker said.

There will also be a jazz festival, extreme sports and helicopters to entertain the crowds.

More than 200,000 people squeezed into the Monumen Alaf Baru venue last year.

Mrs Tasker, who also owns a fancy dress shop in Kalamunda, said the fiesta’s organiser would pay for all accommodation and shipping for their balloon.

The balloon Twirl belongs to Windward Balloon Adventures chief pilot Damien Hays.

‘We sent our balloon up to Kuala Lumpur last week and I’m really looking forward to the trip as I have not flown in Malaysia before,’ Mrs Tasker said.

Windward Balloon Adventures is almost ready to start flying again for the next season. Flights will be held from March 31 until the end of November.

The company, now in its 31st year, utilises the ‘bowl’ in the Avon Valley topography, which holds cold air and provides ideal flying conditions.

For more information on the Putrajaya Balloon Fiesta, visit myballoonfiesta.com