Hot air balloon delights kids

Click here to see a gallery: A sky-high view of Castlemaine

CASTLEMAINE students received a visit from the Royal Australian Air Force balloon crew on Monday. 

A hot air balloon piloted by air force personal dazzled students from St Mary's and Castlemaine primary schools. 

St Mary's deputy principal Loris Stone said the students were delighted to hear about the air force. 

Pilot Damian Gilchrist said RAAF crews visit schools across Australia to help develop children’s understanding of aviation and science.

“It’s a way the general public can get close to aviation,” he said.

“They can come up and touch and feel the balloon."

Australia’s first RAAF pilot, Lieutenant Eric Harrison, was a former pupil of Castlemaine Primary School.

Castlemaine Primary School principal Peter McConnell said the students were currently studying a unit on Australia at war and that the RAAF visit was a fantastic way of introducing them to the topic.

“It was a great way for our kids to learn a little about the history,” he said.

He said it was especially poignant for the kids to think that one of the founding fathers of the RAAF went to their school all those years ago.

The balloon will travel to locations around Victoria before heading to Point Cook for the Centenary of Military Aviation 2014 Air Show on March 1 and 2.

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