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100 year old goes up, up and away!

October 2017

Chrissie Miller up in the hot air balloon

It is never too late to fulfil your dreams!

That at least was the view of 100 year old Glasgow woman Chrissie Miller. Just before her very special three figure birthday, her good friend and carer Jacqui Malerkey asked her if she wanted to do anything special to celebrate and Chrissie came back with a very surprising response.

“Chrissie is well travelled and been to many countries over the years,” said Jacqui. “But she has never been up in a hot air balloon. When I asked her what her birthday wish would be, she said she would like to go...”up, up, up”.  

It seems a flight in a hot air balloon had been a lifelong wish so Jacqui contacted Virgin Balloons to see if there was any possibility.

Chrissie Miller waiting for her balloon to be inflated

The answer was yes! Jacqui organised a party for Chrissie and then surprised her by telling her a flight had been organised.

On a calm afternoon, Chrissie joined 14 other passengers in the spacious basket of the Virgin hot air balloon and took off from Auchterader in Perthshire. Up in the sky, Chrissie gently floated across Gleneagles and the beautiful Scottish landscapes for an hour giving a slow bird’s eye view of the world beneath her.

The pilot ensured a lovely gently landing and Chrissie left the basket still on cloud nine! Jacqui said the pilot and crew looked after Chrissie so well and she loved every second of the experience.

Chrissie celebrated after the flight with a glass of her favourite whisky drink and evidently she hasn’t stopped smiling since.

Virgin’s Scottish balloon pilot Martin Cowling said: “Chrissie was a great character and it was lovely to have her on board. I feel honoured to have flown our oldest passenger and I’m so glad she enjoyed her sky-high adventure.”

It is also thought Chrissie may be the oldest person in the UK to have flown in a hot air balloon.

If a balloon flight has also been a dream of yours, it clearly is never too late to take to the skies. You have to be fit enough to climb into the basket and stand for the length of the flight, and of course here in the UK you have to wait for the right weather. Wind is the main problem as balloons cannot take off or land when it is too windy.

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