Hot air balloon pilot visits Kent Street Senior High School

Kent Street Senior High School students inside an inflated hot air balloon. Picture: Donna Tasker
Kent Street Senior High School students inside an inflated hot air balloon. Picture: Donna Tasker

KENT Street Senior High School students were given a taste of a hot air balloon flight by a commercial pilot – without leaving the ground.

Commercial hot air balloon pilot Donna Tasker said she wanted to be a pilot since her first balloon flight and wanted more kids to experience it.

“We lay the balloon out and inflate it on the ground then all of the sudden the ones who weren’t interested wanted to go over and check it out,” she said.

Ms Tasker and crew member James West have visited Midland Learning Academy and Kent Street to promote hot air ballooning.

Mr West said their visit to Kent Street was perfectly timed to assist students in the aviation program with their hot air balloon project.

“A lot of their inventions caught on fire or didn’t fly,” he said.

“We set up the hot air balloon with cold air and took them to see inside it.”

Ms Tasker said flying in Perth was difficult due to the winds and air traffic controls but she was working on a program for kids to learn practical skills in Northam.

“You can get kids working together to learn skills and responsibilities and learn to drive and navigate,” she said.

“Coming to the end of the ballooning season, now is the perfect time to put the program together.”

Mr West said there was a shortage of pilots and crew persons and wanted young people in Perth to be more involved.

“A lot of people are curious about it, being high in the air in a basket, but it’s actually one of the safest forms of aviation,” he said.