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Hot-air Balloon Enthusiasts Share a Passion for Flying

Hot-air balloonists are a tight-knit group whose passion for ballooning has them out before dawn on many days preparing to soar into the air. Dave Garner, owner and operator of the Big Red Balloon Sightseeing Adventures, notes, “Most everyone who does hot-air ballooning does so because of a passion for flying. Everyone shares the same passion to do it, because there is nothing else like it.” David Justice, who has been flying balloons for more than 31 years and is the owner of Celebration Aviation, adds, “Passengers are anything from tourists to mostly locals just looking to go for a ride. It’s about half and half that you’ll see people just doing it for fun and others, it’s their business. For us, it’s a full-time job.&quo; Ron Davis, owner and operator of Crystal Magic Balloon, says, “It’s no different than taking your boat, finding a spot for a boat ramp and going out in the hot sun and baking all day and fishing. Except we’re done quicker and it’s done in a better and earlier part of the day. It’s very much like sailing. We’re just sailors of the sky.”

June 16, 2009

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