It was in 1984 that I sat eating breakfast with fellow commercial pilots after yet another woefully short flight out of the showground and down into the car park that I challenged them to see who could fly the furthest in one flight after the end of the season when the thermals died down a bit.

So the Long Jump was born and the month of October was ideal for such flights with 11 hours of daylight and the chance of some decent winds.

Anthony Smith was elected judge and he ensured it developed into the popular challenge it has become.

Mike Forster achieved 303 miles in 2000 although it is not the longest hot air flight in UK. Julian Nott and Colin Prescot once flew from Edinburgh to Colchester during the night in a balloon using paraffin as fuel.

All Long Jump flights are memorable but some more so, like 1994 when Andy Elson and Stephen Budd flew 274 miles from Glasgow to Ross on Wye - muuch of the flight being over the sea.

Most pilots are happy to just fly further than they have ever flown before. Others are more ambitious and really spend time planning a flight which avoids controlled airspace but still gives them a good long flight.

Rules and entry details HERE.

Good luck and happy landings.


Having just followed the exciting Gordon Bennett balloon race, and then the America's Challenge, I hope it has inspired you to see how far you can fly in one flight. Enter any time in October - we know you're all busy. Click on image... The 2015 Long Jump winners were.... Dom Bareford and Abi Bridge. 225 miles in 8 hours 20 minutes.

Read their flight report ( with pictures) HERE.

Read all the 2015 reports HERE. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The 2013 Queen's Cup balloon race was a huge success and you can read all about it HERE. and on the BBAC website HERE.

1st place is Richard Parry who landed just back from the Norfolk coast and a VERY close second is Dom Bareford whose brilliant landing could not have been further with his balloon touching the sandy beach!

Close behind in 3rd place was Andrew Holly in the Fortnum & Mason balloon. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- The 2012 winners were Rob Bayly and Andrew Gregory with a flight of 245.8 miles taking 7 hours and 26 minutes in a 105 from Haverfordwest in Wales to King's Lynn in Norfolk. Their average speed was 30.9 mph but max speed registered on their gps was 70.8 mph. max altitude flown was 12,102 ft and they did a stand up landing 20 minutes after sunset. They have my congratulations and you can read their excellent report by clicking on the image below.