Malaysian Digest

  • January 19, 2016

Photo: Mushamir Mustafa

Photo: Mushamir Mustafa

As a kid, I have always seen pictures of hot air balloons, just wished I could fly in one, and journey the greatest landscapes of Earth. Of course, that was just my wishful thinking back then.

But thanks to my job, my dream came true when I was assigned to ride on the first and only commercial hot air balloon in Malaysia, made possible by MyBalloon Adventure, in their exclusive launch on Tuesday, taking me, and some other lucky people, on a magical hot air balloon ride, in Putrajaya.

What Will Happen On The Day You Fly

Arriving at 7am in the morning at Monumen Alaf Baru, Putrajaya right next to the lake, we watched our pilots flare up the huge beasts full of hot air, which is an experience in itself.

Not too long later, the balloon is up, and we are cordoned off to our ‘gondolas’. There’s three hot air balloons, the smallest one can carry two passengers and the biggest one, nine.

Thankfully, it was a beautiful bright sunny morning with a touch of haze in the distance, climbing onto the ‘rattan’ basket, and departing on my maiden flight with the roar of the ‘jet engines’ forcing hot air into the balloon.

basket

As we slowly inched up, people started to look like ants and we could soak up the entire surrounding of Putrajaya. I must say, the 360 degree view is just breathtaking – so much more different than flying in a plane, or helicopter.

And since our departure was at Wakaf Baru, next to the Putrajaya lake, you can see, and even ‘touch’ the lake in the balloon and get the most scenic pictures you’ll ever get flying.

view Putrajaya

view Putrajaya

Our pilot, Captain Filip Audenaert, who hails from Belgium, has been flying for 15 years and has racked up 2000 flying hours, tells us how air balloons are unique.

“When you fly on a plane, a stunt plane, or a helicopter, all you see is through the cockpit or the windows. But in a balloon? You get to see everything! We are like a bird, a free bird.”

“How safe is it?” I asked.

“It’s safe, and in all my flying I’ve never had a bad experience. In ballooning there’s not many bad incidents. In US there are a few, but in Malaysia or Belgium, never. We’re flying now at 500 feet and this is the highest altitude that we’ll go,” he convinces.

our Pilot Filip

To describe it best, I would call it a gentle thrill. My ride felt safe, and comfortable – even for the height challenged, it doesn’t feel like you’re about to fall off.

Looking down I could see we were passing a lot of houses, a skyscraper that is under construction, a primary school, and we waved to all the people we saw, who all looked up excitedly in amazement at the hot air balloons.

The blue skies and green scenery and sunrise behind us was just beautiful! I guess this is what it feels to be like a free bird calmly flying.

Speaking To The First Female Hot Air Balloonist In Malaysia

Riding along in my gondola was Izzati Khairudin, who with her sister Atiqah, are the first female hot air balloonists in Malaysia.

MyBalloon adventure Director Izzati

Both sisters had obtained their hot air balloon licenses, following the footsteps of their father who was a balloonist himself. The sisters now run two companies, their father’s AKA Balloon, and Balloon Adventure, that caters to the wider public.

“Since he was one of the first balloon pilots in the country, it’s only natural that we picked it up from our father. It has always been in the family and it has always been our passion.

“Hot air balloons are of course something new here, and we should look at it as a new sport, an aviation area that we can explore, because it’s not just about planes and helicopters.

Malaysian hot air balloon

“Ballooning is something that you go with the flow with, you don’t have much control, but nevertheless it’s one of the calmest thing you can do”, Izzati says with a smile.

Relaying stories of her adventures, from flying in Spain and other countries, she then shared that flying during sunset would be unadvisable, because of the weather conditions and the lack of light when flying so late.

Since the two beautiful and adventurous ladies had gotten their pilot licenses, they are now aiming higher.

“We also want to do a tour throughout the Semenanjung, from up North all the way to the South, probably after the Putrajaya Fiesta,” she shared.

As we neared our landing spot, Izzati pretended to be the flight stewardess, announcing “Ladies and gentleman, please brace yourselves in the landing position.”

Back On Solid Ground, Back To Reality

Before you panic, the ‘landing position’ is basically holding onto yourself while the balloon softly thumps the land and skids to a stop.

For a split second I thought the basket was going to tumble, but that never happens.

We landed at a clear spot north of Putrajaya after our almost 1 hour joy ride. I got to deflate pull, tie, and physically sit on the envelop (basically the balloon) to let off air, from the hot air balloon we flew in, along with the others.

After packing it all in a bag, we helped push the gondola and the envelope onto a trailer. It was nice to have fresh towels, a traditional post-flight celebratory balloon fliers’ toast (of apple juice) after, and most importantly a certificate to take home with me upon accomplishing my wonderful adventure − what a fitting finish to a nostalgic time!

Watch my awesome adventure here:

Want To Be Part Of The Adventure?

MyBalloon Adventures runs daily flights, and prices start from RM850 per person, that includes the breathtaking 45-minute to one hour sunrise flight with light pre-flight refreshments, a delicious breakfast line-up post-flight and a completion certificate.

inflight picture media

Looking at My Balloon Adventures Facebook page, they have even had a couple stage a wedding proposal high up in the air – so that could be part of your plan this year.

And one last tip from me, on your ride, do make sure you ask your pilots their adventures so far, because they sure have a lot to tell.

To find out more, check out their Facebook page or website www.mybaloonadventure.com or call 03-90440105. MyBalloon Adventure is the only company to have received an Air Operating Certificate (AOC) from the Department of Civil Aviation and all pilots are FAA-certified.

Full article : Malaysian Digest 

New Straits Times online

  • January 19, 2016

PEOPLE now have one more reason to visit Malaysia’s administrative capital Putrajaya, and this time they can do their visit 500 feet above the ground in a hot air balloon, while watching the sun rises.
Run by MyBalloon Adventure, the daily hot air balloon ride starts at around 7am in the morning at Monumen Alaf Baru, Precinct 2, Putrajaya; the same spot where the Putrajaya International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta is held every year.
Putrajaya bridge

One of the pilots is Captain Filip Audenaert from Belgium, who has been flying hot air balloon for the past 20 years. On the ride, passengers will see the beautiful view of Putrajaya and Cyberjaya.
If the day is particularly clear, Twin Towers, KL Tower, Genting Highland and the KLIA twin airports will also be visible. Just bring your cameras and GoPros to record the memorable experience.
Following the flight, passengers will be picked up at the landing spot, given a refreshing cold towels, bottles of mineral water and the traditional, post-flight celebratory balloon fliers’ toast.
To top the wonderful experience, passengers will be ferried to Cyberview Resort and Spa Hotel in Putrajaya for a buffet breakfast, and at the same time, be presented with a Certificate of Participation. The Myballoon Adventure experience starts from RM850 per person and advance booking need to be made at www.myballoonadventure.com.
inflight Amber Chia
Read More : NEW STRAITS TIMES PRESS

The Star Online

  • January 19, 2016

For a bird’s eye view of Putrajaya

MyBalloon Adventure Balloons

The Kedah balloon (left) , flown by local balloonist Sobri, and the two Willy balloons both piloted by Belgian pilots, Audenaert and Jonas Van Doorsselaere

“DON’T worry, the weather is beautiful and calm and you are in safe hands,” said one of the pilots-in-command, Captain Filip Audenaert looking relaxed and jovial.

His assuring and laid-back yet alert and attentive attitude, is the perfect remedy to ease any passenger’s worry.

At an exclusive media launch event that took place in Putrajaya, several people were given the opportunity to experience an unforgettable hot air balloon ride, organised by MyBalloon Adventure, the first and only commercial hot air balloon company in the country.

Inflight picture media flight

(The passengers flown by Audenaert in his 10-passenger basket enjoying an unbelievable aerial view of Putrajaya.)

It is 6.15am and the team of pilots and crew members start to unload three hot air balloons from their trailer and truck, ready for set-up and preparation.

It only takes the experienced crew a mere 45 minutes to have the balloons upright and ready to go; ready to fly the passengers for an experience of a lifetime.

Adhering to very strict guidelines, the pilots of MyBalloon Adventure radios the Department of Civil Aviation every single time a flight takes off.

“This ensures that the Department of Civil Aviation is aware of our presence in the sky.

“This is a must-do safety measure for us here at MyBalloon Adventure,” assured Captain Sobri Saad.

As the balloons begin to ascend above Putrajaya, the passengers are greeted with a beautiful sunrise.

As the ground below continues to get farther away, all the passengers can hear is the occasional sounds of the on-board gas cylinders which are used to keep the balloon afloat.

In the distance, one can see the Twin Towers and not too far from there, the KL Tower.

For the many passengers on flight, the experience is a “first”.

For the three pilots of MyBalloon Adventure, this is part of their daily routine and this is their “office in the sky”.

With more than 20 years of ballooning experience and thousands of flying hours under their belts, passengers would be rest assured that they are in the good hands of the FAA-certified hot air balloon pilots.

“Weather plays such a crucial role in the success of every hot air balloon flight.

“No flights are ever the same and it is this uncertainty that drives our passion,” said Kedah-born experienced hot air balloon pilot and MyBalloon Adventure chief executive officer Captain Sobri.

Weather permitting, MyBalloon Adventure operates daily. It is the only company in Malaysia to have received an Air Operating Certificate (AOC) from the Department of Civil Aviation and the only active ballooning experience company in the country.

“Once you are up in the sky, the feeling is more therapeutic than ‘edge-of-your-seat’,” shares one of the passengers.

As the balloons glide and soar gracefully in the sky, the passengers are seen taking plenty of picture-perfect moments; taking in the stunning views from 150m in the sky.

As the balloons glide lower during the flight, they not only brush the tops of trees, but also hover a couple of metres above the beautiful serene Putrajaya Lake.

After 45 minutes in the air, the balloons begin their descent to their safe landing places.

Within a few minutes, the balloons come to a halt and the crew members quickly deflate the balloons before safely disembarking all the passengers.

Following the flight, with feet firmly on the ground, the passengers participate in the packing up of the balloons before being welcomed with refreshing cold towels, bottles of mineral water and the traditional, post-flight celebratory balloon fliers’ toast.

MyBalloon Adventure offers bespoke ballooning experiences starting from RM850, which includes a breathtaking 45-minute to 1 hour balloon flight conducted by their vastly-experienced FAA-certified hot air balloon pilots; light pre-flight refreshments; a delicious breakfast line-up post-flight and a completion certificate to top off the experience.

For passengers looking to pop the question to a loved one up in the sky or raise a toast with colleagues in mid-air, MyBalloon Adventure can make it happen.

Visit www.myballoonadventure.com for more information.

Original article you can find on : The star online 

#Christmas: Celebrate Up In The Sky With Malaysia’s First Commercial Hot Air Balloon Ride

  • December 9, 2015

Published at Hype.my :

When you are a child, there is an undeniable sense of magic to Christmas. But as we get older and wiser, we realise that gifts are meaningless if they can’t be shared with the ones we love.

The best times are those that family and friends experience together and Christmas can be much more than a day spent giving “stuff” to one another. Instead, it can be a fairy-lit dance of memories!

Malaysia Commercial Hot Air Balloon Ride

And what better way to share the festivities with family and friends than a magical experience on a hot air balloon?

Greet the stunning sunrise this December, as you float majestically through the clouds. Imagine the scenery below you as the breath-taking vistas of Putrajaya with its picturesque architectural and modern cityscape unfolds before you and the ones you love.

1Putrajaya Scenic Bird's Eye View from Hot Air Balloon

Family and friends will appreciate the gift of a magical voyage of discovery over Putrajaya’s celebrated highlights, experiencing first-hand what it’s like to soar in a graceful hot air balloon and gain an unforgettable bird’s eye view, just a stone’s throw away from the city of Kuala Lumpur.

With the wind plotting your course, each magical flight is unique and one that a loved one and you will surely remember for a lifetime. Passengers are not only greeted with delicious, light refreshments before the flight, but they are also encouraged to get hands-on by helping with the balloon inflation.

3Inflation Process and Passengers Ready for take Off

Following the flight, with feet firmly on the ground, there is the traditional balloon flier’s toast and a beautifully-set sit-down breakfast at the Cyberview Resort and Spa Hotel in Putrajaya.

Myballoon Adventure, the first company in Malaysia to operate commercial hot air balloon rides, is offering various gift packages starting from RM850 all-year round (not just festive seasons!) which includes a stunning, breathtaking 45-minute to 1-hour balloon flight conducted by their vastly-experienced FAA certified hot air balloon pilots; light pre-flight refreshments; a delicious breakfast line-up post-flight and a completion certificate to top off the wonderful experience.

Source: facebook.com/myballoonadventure
Source: facebook.com/myballoonadventure

Be sure to purchase your hot air balloon experience as a gift for family and friends (or even yourself!) as early as possible to avoid disappointment by booking online here.

For more information, visit their Facebook page.

MyBalloonAdventure kick off!

  • September 8, 2015

Hello,

Welcome on our brand new website. Hope you can find all the information you need for your dream flight over Putrajaya

Ipoh Balloonflight with Myballoonadventure