In March 1999 Brian Jones and Bertrand Piccard completed the first non-stop flight around the world in a balloon. This achievement, which had eluded many, recorded the longest flight in aviation history both in distance and duration. The 29,000 mile epic lasted twenty days and achieved seven world records. Following their success, they were awarded the Olympic Order, and later that year Brian was invested as an Officer of the Order of the British Empire.
Brian's love of the air started at the age of 16, following his first flight in a glider. It continued throughout his 13 year RAF flying career, and beyond, when he specialized in gliders, airships and balloons as a flight instructor. By the early nineties Brian was a balloon pilot examiner, and the UK's Chief Flying Instructor responsible for the appointment and training of all balloon instructors.
It was this broad experience which led to his being invited to take part in the Breitling Orbiter project.
Today, Brian continues to instruct and examine balloon pilots and flies a hot air replica of the famous Breitling Orbiter 3 balloon in various countries. He is also a joint owner of a Rockwell Commander 112 TCA which is hard to miss in its newly painted Breitling livery.
He is the honorary president of the Swiss Handiflight, a relatively young association affiliated to Aerobility helping to extend the access to flying for the disabled in other countries of the world.
"I am proud to be considered an ambassador for Aerobility, and I look forward to making a significant contribution in the pursuit of its goals", he says.
Photo courtesy of Breitling.