Balloons & pilots

Here is your 2024 Balloon and Pilot lineup!

What made you want to become a balloon pilot?

Saw a balloon in the air, had some money set aside for a new business adventure, chased the balloon and talked to them at landing. Bought a balloon right on the spot and they trained me in my new balloon

If you could fly anywhere in the world, where would it be?  

I would like to fly everywhere in the world and see as many places from the sky as I can! But if I had to pick a place that I have flown and would currently like to fly on a daily basis it would be Teotihuacan Mexico flying over the pyramids

What has been your best flying experience to date?

Flying across the Austrian Alps in winter 1998, also twice over the English Chanel England to France

What has been your best flying experience to date? 

Sitting at 9000ft in the lower North Island seeing the edge of the west coast to the east coast and really understanding the shape of the NZ map is quite accurate

What made you want to become a balloon pilot?

Seeing all the balloons fly over hamilton at previous balloon fiestas. When I was old enough I started crewing and I haven’t missed a BOW event since – 20 years!

What is the coolest thing about your balloon?

It is dedicated to my wife Dianne’s Grandfather Reginald Calvert and great Uncle William L McKenzie. It was first inflated in New Zealand at the Waiouru army museum ANZAC Day 2015

What has been your best flying experience to date? 

Flying with the Piper Balloon and playing the bagpipes in the basket as we left Innes Common

What is your ultimate goal in ballooning?

To show and share my love of ballooning with children

What is the coolest thing about your balloon? 

It’s an experimental lightweight design. It was built by Brian Boland who was a USA balloonist who spent a lot of time in New Zealand

What has been your best flying experience to date?

Having the privilege of representing my country at the Woman’s World Hot Air Ballooning Championships in 2023 with my amazing team!

What is the coolest thing about your balloon? 

It has two aircraft logos on the envelope representing the original two owners who were commercial aircraft pilots in the UK

What has been your best flying experience to date? 

Being chased by the Darth Vader balloon at BOW in 2019 

What made you want to become a balloon pilot?

Since I was young I have had a fascination/awe of hot air balloons. It started from watching them fly over or land near our house and following them on my bike to where they would land

What is the coolest thing about your balloon?

What is the coolest thing about your balloon? 

Sweet Pea is a family-owned balloon designed by one of the owner’s grandchildren and flown by another

If you could fly anywhere in the world, where would it be?

Kilimanjaro

What is your ultimate goal in ballooning?

Improve on my longest distance flight of 260 kms in Australia

What made you want to become a balloon pilot? 

After getting a balloon ride for my 13th birthday present I was hooked. From there on I joined the Waikato Balloon Clubs Junior Balloonist program where we learnt more about ballooning which then lead to flight training within the club