Meet the balloon pilots: Airtight, Chain Gang, New Directions | SteamboatToday.com
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Meet the balloon pilots: Airtight, Chain Gang, New Directions

Twenty-three pilots will fly their hot air balloons high above Steamboat Springs on Aug. 29 and 30 during the Steamboat Springs Pilot & Today Balloon Rodeo. Here’s a little bit about some of the balloons, and their pilots, that you can expect to see soaring in the skies this weekend.

HABR-Airtight-Chris-Liberti

Chris Liberti
Highlands Ranch, Colorado
Head Rx 8 — Airtight

Chris Liberti, with 1,200 total pilot hours, enjoys flying in festivals around Colorado, New Mexico, Utah and Arizona in addition to other states around the country and in Mexico. His best flight was over Pikes Peak in 2013 and his favorite place to fly is in either Red Rock State Park in Gallup, New Mexico, or Valley of the Gods in Bluff, Utah.

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Thom Wright
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Head AX 8 105 — Chain Gang

Kenny-Bradley-N41908-Balloon

Kenny Bradley
Ault, Colorado
Aerostar S60 A — New Directions

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Twenty-three pilots will fly their hot air balloons high above Steamboat Springs on Aug. 29 and 30 during the Steamboat Springs Pilot & Today Balloon Rodeo. Here’s a little bit about some of the balloons, and their pilots, that you can expect to see soaring in the skies this weekend.

Jonathan Wright
Las Vegas, Nevada
Head AX7-70R — Unchained

Jonathan Wright is a two-time member of Team USA in the FAI World Hot Air Balloon Championships. He’s flown in 12 states and six countries. His longest flight was eight hours and 200 miles and his highest flight was 15,000 feet. The fastest balloon he’s ever flown was 78 mph, the smallest balloon flown was 62,000 cubic feet and the largest flown was 330,000 cubic feet.

Jon Seay, Sr.
Denver, Colorado
Aerostar S60A — Western Spirit

Jon Seay, Sr., has flown in many hot air balloon events across the United States and internationally. He has flown gas balloons over the Swiss Alps, landing in a small town in Italy, as well as hot air balloon flights in Mexico, Canada and Switzerland.

Tim Taylor
Holladay, Utah
Cameron Z105 — Dee IV

Tim Taylor and his wife got married in a balloon. He loved the experience so much that he bought the balloon they got married in and has been flying it ever since — for 30 years now.

For more information about the festival, visit http://www.hotairballoonrodeo.com and follow the Steamboat Pilot & Today’s full coverage of the event.



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