RAAF hot air balloon tours through Cobram

By Dylan Arvela

Students got to experience the thrills of being in a hot air balloon last Friday morning as the RAAF stopped in at Cobram Primary School.

The RAAF personnel, with hot air balloon in tow, made the visit enroute to the Tocumwal Air Show which took place the next day.

A group of students from Cobram Primary School and Cobram and District Specialist School had the opportunity to go on a tethered flight in the balloon while others also got to try firing the burners.

Squadron leader Sam Wright took the time to answer a wide range of questions from how high the balloon could go (about 900m), what is the most dangerous thing about flying a hot air balloon (power lines) and various other questions about the RAAF.

"Today was all about visiting these local schools," Mr Wright said.

"We were able to do a few tethered flights for about an hour before there was a bit of a breeze and then we put on a burner display for the rest of the kids.

"We try and focus our efforts on (bringing the hot air balloon) to regional Australia where it and the air force have a bit of a novelty factor.''

At the air show, the RAAF gave show-goers the opportunity to experience flying in a hot air balloon for themselves.