Gone-with-the-Wind (GWTW) was established in 1985 by Phil Dunnington, one of the world’s most widely experienced commercial balloon pilots and world record holder, for flying balloons in 127 countries. His wife Allie became part of the team in 2003. She is now the sole director and manager of Gone-with-the-Wind, following Phil’s death from cancer at the end of 2021. When not travelling abroad, Allie is based in Bristol, which is also home to one of the largest balloon manufacturers, Cameron Balloons.
GWTW offers a high-quality consultancy to assist new start-up operations or for anybody considering a balloon-related event. The company owns a private fleet of various sized balloons to assist with initial trial flights or pilot training
Gone With The Wind - your consultant
Allie, born in 1967 in Germany, has worked and travelled in Asia since 1986. With degrees in Asian studies and anthropology she worked for more than 20 years as a professional tour leader. She is fluent in five languages, English, German, French, Mandarin Chinese, Japanese and some basic Spanish. Extraordinary expeditions to countries such as Mongolia, Georgia, Armenia and China that include activities such as hot air ballooning, horse-trekking and cultural visits are her specialty.
Allie started flying balloons in 2004 and she quickly became one of the leading female balloon pilots in the UK always seeking to encourage more women into the sport and profession. Allie is the first female PPL and Type-rating examiner in the UK. In addition, she holds a UK BPL and EASA Group D commercial licence and is also a qualified Part 66 engineer and instructor. She is also a board member of the General Aviation Awareness Council (GAAC) representing the British Women Pilots’ Association (BWPA).
Allie has flown in 115 countries (Jan 2024) and has ballooned in all countries of the entire Americas and Europe (excluding Vatican and Monaco). When she is not up in the air, Allie enjoys many kinds of sports from running, swimming, mountain climbing, golf and riding and plays several musical instruments. She is also a trained nurse.
Phil, my husband for nearly 20 years, passed away during our trip to Jordan in November 2021.
Phil was a keen aviator all his life from his early start working for BOAC in Guyana then going on to work in management and sales for various aircraft manufacturers/lessors. He started his ballooning in 1971 as a founder of one or the oldest balloon clubs in the world, the DANTE group which is still going after 50 years. He also was a key player in the Bristol International Balloon Fiesta.
Phil still holds the world record for most countries flown in by hot air balloon – 127 in all. Country nr. 100 was Libya and 127 (his last one) Mauritania. In order to achieve flying in one of the most difficult countries of the world, namely Cuba, he even bought a vintage Beech 18 to carry the balloon to Cuba. (see link to our documentary about our two expeditions in 2017/18)
The last years of his life saw the culmination of his aviation career: he was appointed by the UK Government as advisor to the Civil Aviation Authority and the Department of Transport on general aviation matters. Phil was a man of great knowledge, with strict but fair principles and a very kind and open, helpful heart.