Meet our Pilots

Black Hat Security Balloon

Pilot : Andy Wayner

Flying balloons for 22 years.  Andy has flown Special Shapes like the Polar Bear, American Eagle, ViewSonic Monitor, and Famous Footwear Shoe. In 1998 he ballooned in different cities around the world over a 57 day period. Andy has flown over Niagara Falls in the ViewSonic Balloon. Andy will be flying The Black Hat Security Balloon.

Pilot: Dwayne Osborne

Dwayne has been flying balloons for about 30 years. He is a commercial Balloon pilot flying part time for a local balloon ride company, usually in north Phoenix or the Gilbert/Chandler areas. Mostly he enjoys flying his own at balloon "Skyscraper at rallies around the country. One of his memorable flights was across the Grand Canyon a few years ago. 

Pilot: Bill Glen


A retired educator Bill says he always enjoys seeing families and the smiling faces on kids who see the balloons. Licensed Balloon Pilot since November 1974. Bill enjoys flying in smaller balloon events and has flown at The Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta for over 40 years. Sons, Michael and Chris are also pilots and fly their own balloons. Guess you can say ballooning is in their blood.

Pilot: Michael Glen

In 2006 Michael became the worlds first and only paraplegic hot air balloon pilot.  He is passionate and devoted to spreading his "anything's possible" message to a multitude of audiences. He feels very fortunate to have built a successful career speaking and flying that allows him to positively influence so many generations of people.  Son of Bill Glen also flying with us this year.

Pilot: Jim Dolan

Jim visit's us from Lake Havasu City, AZ.

Pilot: Ted Hunsaker

Ted has been flying balloons for over 40 years. He started his fly career in Mesa with the Stapley/Mabry Balloon. Ted went on to the KOY-55 and Y-95 Radio station balloons. Best known as "Captain Ted" he is also responsible for training several Balloon Pilots. Ted loves making people happy showing off his balloon and says "Anywhere in the air is the best"!

Pilot: Dean Baker


"Blue By U" is the name of Dean's balloon. It's a brand New Cameron Hot Air Balloon. Dean is from Lake Havasu City, AZ and I has been a Balloon pilot for 8 years.  He is a Commercial Balloon Pilot, Fixed wing pilot and Glider Pilot.

Pilot: Greg Lindsey

Greg and Susan Lindsey, both avid hot air balloon fanatics initially became involved crewing for pilots at many ballooning events. Greg, a fixed wing pilot for 32 years, woke up one morning and realized Susan, a recent breast and ovarian cancer survivor, deserved to live her ballooning dream. They bought a balloon, took lessons, became a Commercial Pilot and opened AZ Air Ventures Gila Valley.

Pilot: Judy Holt

Judy, a retired teacher took her first flight in 1980, buying her first balloon a year later. Desert Drifter is her 5th balloon. She has participated in many festivals across the United States, Canada, New Zealand, and France. She is an active member of the Arizona Balloon Club & enthusiastically shares her love of the sport wherever she goes plus through a presentation created for school groups. 

Pilot: Chris Kenworthy

Balloon is called "On The Rocks" - Chris grew up in Albuquerque, NM, chasing balloons on his bike as a kid, and now flying them years later. Ballooning is all about friends and family, sharing the joy and laughter and making new memories. Gallup, NM is by far my favorite place to fly, but give me 30 gallons of propane and a gentle breeze and I'll be happy in the sky just about anywhere. 

Pilot: Kevin Stephenson

Pilot: Dean & Kim Rosenlof

Dean and Kim Rosenlof have been flying balloons in the Valley of the Sun since 2002. They are bringing their third balloon, a 105,000 cu ft Cameron balloon called “Happy Hour,” to the Phoenix Balloon Festival. A pair of aviation enthusiasts, Dean is the president of a helicopter rotor blade manufacturer in Tempe, and Kim is an aviation writer. Both can fly airplanes and hot air balloons; Dean also has a helicopter pilot license. Their favorite place to fly is anywhere they can share of wonder of aviation with others. 

Pilot: Zerek Welz

Pilot: Michael Lavoie


Mike built his balloon it is a Lavoie AX6, 56,000 cu.ft. called "Cat Sass". The balloon belongs to his wife, Tammie Lavoie. Both are fixed wing pilots as well as LTA (Balloon). He has been flying airplanes for 45 years and balloons for 21. Mike's favorite places for flying balloons are Sussex, New Brunswick, Canada, and Chambley, France. Currently residing in Arizona City, but still consider New Hampshire home.

Pilot: Sally & Philip Heinrich


Sally's Balloon name is "Patience". When Philip Heinrich married Sally, he married into a ballooning family.  Sally's mother, Helen, first flew in 1972 and got her balloon in 1976. After Sally and Philip obtained pilot's certificates, son Paul also learned to fly. Sally's favorite place to fly is White Sand's National Monument; Philip's is Monument Valley.  Locally, she flies in Tonopah, AZ.

Pilot: James Cassell


James is from Albuquerque, New Mexico. His balloon's Name "Sleeptheif" James has been flying balloons since 1994 and his favorite places to fly is Red Rock State Park and Pagosa Springs.    

Pilot: Cheryl Lété

Cheryl & Fred Lété enjoy flying in the Southwest and introducing newbies to the sport. They primarily use their commercial certifications for student instruction. You can often find them flying over their hometown airspace near Albuquerque, New Mexico. They have brought their balloon "Twisted" to the Phoenix Balloon Festival.

Pilot: Kyle Goldney

Kyle is from Phoenix. He enjoys flying and crewing for hot air balloons in the southwest area.

Pilot: Ken Sklute


Ken Sklute, from Tempe, Arizona has been a commercial hot air balloon pilot for 27 years. Ken began flying his balloons on Long Island, N.Y., and developed a very successful ride business on the Island. "Fractals" is a 2017 105,000 cu ft Head Balloon. Ken is a professional photographer and a member of the elite Canon Explorers of Light educational mentorship team. Visit

Pilot: John R Ross

John Ross is from Appleton, WI. He started ballooning in 1992 and became a pilot in 2000.  John has flown internationally in Canada, Mexico and Europe.  He has enjoyed flying throughout the midwest, northeast and the southwest and has embraced sunny Arizona in the wintertime. Retired Chief Petty Officer from the US Navy, as well as also retired as a college Dean and IT instructor.  Enjoys sharing this. sport wherever he travels.  He has had the extreme good fortune to fly in some of the most unique locations in America, Monument Valley and the Valley of the Gods, Utah. 

Pilot: Debbi Waltman

Debbi Waltman, pilot of 'No Worries!!', has been flying for 25 years, mostly in the Southwest. She and husband/crew chief/photographer Don are based out of Windsor, Colorado, and fly in many other events in Arizona, Utah, Wyoming, Nevada, and New Mexico, as well as events in Mexico and Europe. 

Pilot: Neil Davison

Special Shape Balloons

The Little Bees, Joey and Lilly

The World's Favorite Tandem Flying Balloon.

Joelly The Baby Bee

You won't want to miss seeing Joelly

Betty Jean The Butterfly

Betty Jean lives right here in Peoria but she was born in Brazil. She has flown in many parts of the US, Canada and Mexico. She has also visited New Zealand. Her wings are 140 feet tal making her the largest butterfly on Earth.