Meet the balloon pilots: His Victory, Pondemonium, Rubber Ducky |

Meet the balloon pilots: His Victory, Pondemonium, Rubber Ducky

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.


Hector Corominas, Jr.
Bourne, Texas
LindstrandA90 — His Victory

Hector Coronimas’ most treasured balloon memory is when he took his first-ever balloon flight while stationed in Germany with the U.S. Army. “I said to myself this is what I want to do for the rest of my life,” Corominas said. Several years later, he became a balloonist and has flown at locations across the U.S. and in Mexico. From time to time, he has surprised a spectator with a flight, and he always enjoys seeing their reaction to the experience. “It pleases my heart to see the joy in the people when they see or fly in a hot air balloon,” he said.


Deb Waltman
Windsor, Colorado

Deb Waldman, who has logged 1,030 pilot hours, said the Balloon Rodeo in Steamboat was the first event she attended as a crew member 30 years ago, and her pilot at the time performed a wedding in the air during the festival.

Bob O’Brien pilots Rubber Ducky at the 39th annual Steamboat Pilot & Today Hot Air Balloon Rodeo on Saturday.
Katie Berning

Bob O’Brien
Waupaca, Wisconsin
Rubber Ducky

Bob O’Brien took his first balloon ride in Albuquerque, New Mexico, in 1991. He returned home, and in three months, had purchased his first balloon, a Cameron Viva-77 “Big Bobber.” Since then he has owned five different balloons, including Rubber Ducky. This year, he and his wife and crew chief, Mary Jo, purchased a Lindstrand 90A, the watermelon-shaped Seedquel. “I have had several great adventures in ballooning, but for me, the best flights are when I get to share the air with my fellow balloon pilot friends,” O’Brien said.

For more information about the festival, visit and follow the Steamboat Pilot & Today’s full coverage of the event.

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