Reaching for the Sky – An Interview with an autistic balloon pilot

Charlie Timbrel

Charlie Timbrel

Today I was lucky enough to speak to Charlie Timbrell, an inspirational young man who was diagnosed Autistic aged seven, who has just achieved his life long dream of owning his own hot air balloon!

Charlie was keen to explain that in his words:

“ I felt since I have been become a hot air balloon pilot the only reason is because of my Autism, and I  would like to be able to tell my story to people that think their dreams won’t come true as U know for a fact that mine has come true.”

As a child Charlie had a fascination with balloons, their bright colours captivated him and a lifelong love was born, as he further elaborates for our readers.

“ Well the balloons all started for me since the day I was born according to mum and dad but it caused problems as well with balloon , mum used to hate bringing me to parties and weddings  as I would just take all the balloons!

A lot of this I don’t remember but somethings like I used to steal balloons from shops to the point mum had to pat me down before we left the shop as my pockets would be full with balloons.

First school was amazing I got along with every one and teachers was great and and were very with intrigued with my balloons. Then middle school came along and the second people found out balloons was my passion things went down hill,  bullying started and I hated going to school. The autism centre was dreadful and never let me in there when I had melt downs,  every one just thought I was just misbehaving and I would end up running away from school running home and things.

Mum  thought I was just being naughty as well as she had to learn about autism her self and had hardly any help with it.

Then when I was in high school teachers used to tell me be more realistic as I said I wanted my own balloon decor company and to be a hot air balloon pilot and both of those things came true! I own a bunch of balloons and a hot air balloon and the thing is people telling me I couldn’t  do it or it was unrealistic just made me even more determined to become a balloon pilot.

IMG_7130Then collage came around the corner and every one was so helpful encouraging me to follow my dreams and I did and now I am here!

Each and every year on my Christmas wish list was a hot air balloon but back in 2007 on August 8th at 8:30 am my dad and I flew in a hot air balloon for the first time and that then was the point I knew I wanted to be a balloon pilot.

In 2009 I was lucky enough to get in to the main arena of the Bristol  balloon fiesta and that was my first hands on experience with hot air balloons and of course I loved every second of it. That was also the first time I saw RC hot air balloons and I thought that was the closest I was going to get to owning a hot air balloon.

Last year ballooning really kicked off for me when I bought my first RC hot air balloon and then from there I got into competition ballooning and just normal hobby ballooning and then now we have  reached  2015 and I am very close to getting my pilots licence and I own a full sized hot air balloon”.

Charlie let nothing hold him back, shrugging off others doubts, and reaching for his goal of floating in the sky; guiding his own balloon through the clouds and accomplishing what at one time others had deemed impossible.


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Copyright 2017 Autism Daily Newscast

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About Emma Dalmayne

Emma Dalmayne has been diagnosed with Aspergers Syndrome along with Synthanesia. She has six children on varying degrees of the most spectrum so easily. When she is not writing exposes as an autistic advocate, her days are spent doing sensory play, reading, outings, and taking them to therapies e.g. play therapy, music therapy, speech, and language.