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Meet the Team

Images in Flight Limited, an Irish company trading as Irish Balloon Flights, is a commercial Hot Air Ballooning company providing a number of services to both individuals and companies throughout Ireland. These services include fare-paying passenger flights, aerial advertising and corporate events. We have been operating Hot Air Balloons for more than 30 years and we offer scheduled balloon flights throughout the country. We operate under a UK Air Operators Certificate (AOC BL203)) issued by the Civil Aviation Authority for the operation of passenger flights. We are fully sanctioned by the Irish Aviation Authority and the Irish Department of Aviation Regulation. Our pilots hold Commercial Pilots Licences and have the highest qualifications. Our balloons are fully maintained for public transport under the AOC and we carry full passenger and third-party liability insurance.

We operate a gift voucher system for balloon flights where a voucher is issued, valid for 18 months, to suit the availability of the customer. These flights take place at prestigious venues outside the Dublin area as well as a number of other stunning locations around Ireland - check our launch sites.

Our Pilots

Our pilots are fully qualified and have held Commercial Pilots Licenses for many years. Collectively, they have around 80 years experience as pilots and many thousands of hours flight experience. Please find below a brief overview of their experience.

Malcolm - Chief Pilot

Born in the UK and living in Ireland for more than 22 years, Malcolm has been flying Hot Air Balloons worldwide for 33 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. He has over 1,500 hours in balloons 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 has trained many pilots for both private and commercial licenses and has also flown Hot Air Airships. He is also the Project Director for the World Record flights undertaken by Pauline (see below), Irish Balloon Flights' Operations Director. Pauline currently holds 9 World Records.

Tom - Senior Pilot

Tom has been flying balloons for over thirty years and had his first instruction flight in November 1977. Almost a year and a half later he had less than 5 hours and made his first solo flight in EI-BBM.

The seed may have been sown a lot earlier when he saw the first hot air balloon to fly in Ireland at the Rothmans Air Rally in Ballyfree, Co. Wicklow in June 1968.

Since then he has had a passion for hot air ballooning and has flown sponsored balloons for various companies including the Club Orange Can for C&C. He has also flown balloons for several film and television productions.

Tom is an avid photographer and a superb artist with ballooning featuring in much of his work. See www.mccormackweb.com

When not in the air Tom works in the film and television industry as a producer/director.

Tom has represented Ireland at many World and European ballooning championships and has also flown in the USA, Malaysia and Syria.

And why does he do it? – every flight is a new experience; and you never stop learning from experiences.

Victor - Senior Pilot

Victor was born in Chile and has been living in Ireland, with his family, since 1998 following his retirement as a pilot of Pilatus PC-7’s and Embraer 110’s for the Chilean Navy. Victor was also a pilot with the Chilean National Airline, flying Boeing 707’s and 757’s and has clocked up over 5,500 hours in fixed wing flying.

In Hot Air Ballooning, he has also flown over 1,700 hours. He holds a balloon instructor rating in Chile and has trained more than 10 Commercial pilots in Chile and Nicaragua and assisted the Chilean CAA to write the Chilean ballooning legislation.

Victor is probably the most experienced Hot Air Airship pilot in the world with over 800 hours flying advertising airships for Kodak and Pepsi. Victor organised the logistics and operations for the crossing of the Cordillera de los Andes for World Record Balloonist, David Hempleman-Adams.

Apart from ballooning, Victor, enjoys sailing and holds several Chilean Championship titles in Vaurien, Lightning and Cruiser classes. Whilst a member of the Chilean National Sailing team he represented the country in the 1978 Lightning Class World championship and sailed home in 5th place.

Victor speaks Spanish, French, and some Italian (and, of course, English!)

Pauline - Operations Director

In addition to being Irish Balloon Flights Operations Director, Pauline is a superb pilot and carries out many of the companies advertising and media flights.

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 currently holds NINE World Records and 95 Irish Records in Hot Air Ballooning, with many more planned over the coming 2 years. She is Ireland's most accomplished aviator ever and 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. The balloon in the TV ad for Smart Telecom was piloted by Pauline and she has participated in several documentaries on TV relating to ballooning.

In October 2008 the FAI (Fédération Aéronautique Internationale, 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.

For more information see "World Records Page".

 

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