Touchdown! Balloonists take a mass dip at Chatsworth

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Hot air balloon pilots attempted to dip their baskets into the River Derwent before taking off again above Chatsworth House, at today’s start of the annual Chatsworth Country Fair.

A mass launch at dawn this morning marked the start of the three-day event in the Derbyshire Peak District.

Hot air balloon pilots attempt to dip their baskets into the river Derwent before taking off again above Chatsworth House.  Picture: F Stop Press Ltd

Hot air balloon pilots attempt to dip their baskets into the river Derwent before taking off again above Chatsworth House. Picture: F Stop Press Ltd

A Chatsworth park ranger said: “They try to do it every year, but I’ve only ever seen one manage it before - they need conditions to be perfect - I think it’s like the holy grail for the pilots”

Another crew member shouted down from his basket that his pilot didn’t want to get his new shoes wet after failing to get low enough for a splash-down.

Other attractions this year include the Ukrainian Cossack Stunt Team who will be bringing their riding skills to the Grand Ring.

The Band of the Corps of the Royal Engineers will provide the musical entertainment.

Other highlights include aerobatics, vintage cars, a hound parade and massed pipe bands.