RAAF hot air balloon provides morning thrill in Gladstone
THE RAAF hot air balloon has been flying over Gladstone this morning as part of a two-week tour of southern Queensland.
The balloon is journeying through the Fraser Coast and Capricornia regions, with the first flight over Maryborough on Monday.
It will also visit Rockhampton, Bundaberg, Hervey Bay and Ipswich.
The balloon lifted off from a park in Gladstone and drifted slowly in a south-west direction.
It has been seen over New Auckland, Canoe Point, Sun Valley and Kirkwood.
The balloon crew is visiting the Rosella Park Public School in the morning, and Ambrose State School in the afternoon, as part of an educational program aimed at developing children's understanding of aviation and science.
After its visit to Gladstone, the RAAF balloon will be heading north by road, and will be on display for the rest of the week at Rockhampton.
There, it will take to the air on Thursday and Friday mornings, and will offer tethered flights in the afternoon and evening.
After Rockhampton, the balloon will head back down the central Queensland coast to Hervey Bay and Bundaberg.
The RAAF has two balloons which are based in Canberra and operated by pilots from Central Flying School in Sale, Victoria.
The balloons often travel to regional or remote communities that don't have an airport.
The visits are an opportunity for members of the community to meet air force personnel, introduce young people to aviation and inspire an interest in the Royal Australian Air Force.