RAAF balloon fans flames of fun at Rosella school

(From back) Warrant Officer Peter Smith, Sq Leader Damian Gilchrist, Officer Cadet Tim Lehane, Cpl Dave Bremner and Sgt Chris Bradley, (middle) teacher aides Carolyn Morris and Patricia Johansen, (front) Room 3 students Kassidy Ashworth, Robbie Huddleston and Shontae Denniss at the RAAF's ballooning demonstration at Rosella Park School, Gladstone.
(From back) Warrant Officer Peter Smith, Sq Leader Damian Gilchrist, Officer Cadet Tim Lehane, Cpl Dave Bremner and Sgt Chris Bradley, (middle) teacher aides Carolyn Morris and Patricia Johansen, (front) Room 3 students Kassidy Ashworth, Robbie Huddleston and Shontae Denniss at the RAAF's ballooning demonstration at Rosella Park School, Gladstone. Luka Kauzlaric

WATCHING flames blasting into the air made Wednesday a memorable day for Gladstone student Angel Van Hassel.

She said she was "excited and happy" by the visit of the RAAF's hot air balloon "Bob" to Rosella Park School.

>> RAAF hot air balloon provides a morning thrill in Gladstone

Angel and her fellow students were told about how two Frenchmen discovered ballooning in 1783.

The students communicated with RAAF pilot Squadron Leader Damian Gilchrist via radio before being shown a demonstration of the balloon's thrust.

RAAF Sq Ldr Paul Lineham said the balloon was operated by pilots from Central Flying School, based in Sale, Victoria.

"The balloon goes to regional areas where aircraft don't often visit," he said.

"It gives people in the district a chance to see a form of flying.

"We love visiting schools and seeing the looks on students' faces."

The balloon took a tour of Gladstone in the morning, but high winds prevented it from an afternoon flight.