November 8, 2018

Flying Boot Gets Warning From TCCA


In an unusual marketing campaign, one that might be considered rather ‘kinky’, British boot seller Hunter Boot Ltd has embarked on a world tour to promote their line of Wellington boots, using a hot air balloon in the shape of, well, a boot.

The Edinburgh, Scotland-based Hunter announced plans to fly their 36-metre tall boot-balloon over Niagara Falls this week in celebration of the 162 years it has been in business. That’s when Transport Canada got involved, warning the balloon’s operator that to do so they must remain above 3,500 ASL when within the two-mile radius of the falls in order to keep clear of the high volume of helicopter traffic that provides sight-seeing flights over the falls.

Says TCCA inspector Ken Walsh, “We talked to them some time ago and told them they couldn’t go over the falls unless they were about 3,500 feet.” On Monday, Walsh again contacted the balloon pilot to remind him of the restricted airspace.

According to Niagara helicopter operator National Helicopters, local weather this week has been wet with low-hanging clouds and gusty winds, restricting their own operations and apparently keeping the flying boot firmly planted on the ground.

The balloon, resembling Hunter’s Original Wellington Boot, is on a continent-wide promotional tour.

The photo above shows the balloon flying over Scotland’s Firth of Forth.