Pilots & Balloons

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Pilot: Tyler Jaques

Balloon: Brittney's Rainbow & Pigasus

Home Town: Battle Creek, MI

Bio: Tyler is the organizer and balloonmeister for the Nashville, MI Balloon festival. He is also the owner of Magic Clouds Balloon Corporation based out of Battle Creek, MI.

Tyler has a long history of ballooning as he grew up flying the Post Cereal Balloons with his father and has taken over as President for the Post Balloon Club. Visit his website to schedule a ride today! www.BCBalloonRides.com

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Pilot: Pat Rolfe

Balloon: Cynthia Seal

Home Town: Battle Creek, MI

Bio: Pas has been a licensed hot air balloon pilot since 2006. He is a retired maintenance engineer for the Kellogg Company.

 

Pat had crewed for another local Pilot, Dave Emmeret for 25 years and that helped get him his start in ballooning and eventually becoming a pilot.

 

Pat will be easy to spot flying the his special shaped balloon "Cynthia Seal" which was built in memory of his late wife Cindy. Be sure to look for him and his "SEAL TEAM" at the festival!

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Pilot: Tom Brown

Balloon: Tomfoolery

Home Town: Plainwell, MI

Bio: Tom is approaching his 25th year as a hot air balloon pilot.  Having attained his Private certificate in Colorado, and Commercial in New Hampshire, he has flown around the country to include most Michigan events as well as The Big One - the Albuquerque International Balloon Festival. 

 

Tom is also a decorated military veteran, having served 22 years in the United States Air Force.  

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Pilot: Wes Dickerson

Balloon: Sugar Bear

Home Town: Battle Creek, MI

Bio: Wes is a Retired Automotive Engineer. He has been flying Hot Air Balloons since 1980. Wes received his private license in 1981 and his commercial license in 1983. He has participated in many international meets in Battle Creek as well as a fiesta pilot at the worlds.

 

Since retiring, he has started touring with the Toons special shape balloons all over the United States. In last five years, Wes has had the pleasure of being one of the pilots for the Great Sugar 
Bear balloon.

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Pilot: Dennis Hall

Balloon: Mighty MAX

Home Town: Howell, MI

Bio: Dennis always had a passion for aviation while growing up but never had an opportunity to pursue it. When a family friend started ballooning and needed crew to assist him, Dennis jumped at the opportunity.  Soon he was crewing for a separate highly competitive pilot and traveling the Mid-West to help crew for him at ballooning competitions.

 

After almost 5 years of helping, Dennis decided he was ready to take the next step. Dennis purchased his first balloon new from Cameron Balloons and acquired his Private Pilot’s License in 2007. In 2018, Dennis earned his Commercial Pilot’s License and started pursuing a career in ballooning. 

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Pilot: Paul Felty

Balloon: Hoist The Colours

Home Town: Danville, IN

Bio: Paul Felty is a graduate of Indiana State University with degrees in aviation. Paul is an air traffic controller in Indianapolis, Indiana.

 

Paul has been a hot air balloon pilot for 13 years! Paul's hot air balloon 'Hoist the Colours' is themed after Pirates of the Caribbean to go along with his family's love for Disney!"

Paul will be seen Saturday and Sunday providing tethered balloon rides, weather permitting.

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Pilot: Jeremy Droscha

Balloon: The Flash

Home Town: Charlotte, MI

Bio: COMING SOON!

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Pilot: Craig Campbell

Balloon: Hot Ziggity

Home Town: Battle Creek, MI

Bio: Craig has been around balloons for about 15 years and has loved every minute of it. It all started with his daughters wanting to chase balloons which led into crewing on a balloon team for a pilot Barbara Demaree from Indiana.  

Craig has had his private pilot license since 2013 and is currently working towards his Commercial License. He has been married to his AMAZING Wife, Mindy for 22 years. Craig also has three daughters Aubreana 20, Madelynn 18 and Alyssa 12. He is also a 9 year Army Veteran and was been deployed twice during his military service. 

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Pilot: Rob Lykens

Balloon: Wind Dancer II

Home Town: Washington Twp, MI

Bio: Rob started ballooning at the age of One.  Both of his parents are pilots and ballooning has always been a family event.  Now many years later, Rob is following in his parents footsteps making ballooning a family event with his wife Catherine and son Asher (5 years old). To Rob and his family, ballooning is more than floating in the sky, it is an opportunity to share the experience and excitement of Hot Air Balloons with friends, family and soon to be friends (aka strangers).  

 

Outside of flying, Rob loves to run long distances, Catherine loves to sing (she has performed at Carnegie Hall 3 times) and Asher loves Trains!  Rob and his family are excited to be a part of the Nashville Balloon event and welcome you to their basket for a tour and to answer any questions.

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Pilot: Joey Strutz

Balloon: Blue Moon

Home Town: Brighton, MI

Bio: Joey has been obsessed with hot air ballooning since he first saw hot air balloons at the age of 3, and has been a pilot for 3 years now. His balloon, "Blue Moon" was built in Galena, Illinois by Lindstrand Balloons, and was one of his favorite balloons when he was a little kid. He was able to purchase it in late 2020. 

Follow Joey's ballooning endeavors on facebook.com/StrutzBallooning
 

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Pilot: Dale Wilson

Balloon: Seventh Heaven

Home Town: Augusta, MI

Bio: Dale has been involved in ballooning since 1982, after watching the World Hot Air Balloon Championship in Battle Creek the previous year. He got his first balloon in 1987 and has flown in a multitude of events in Michigan and around the Midwest. He competes just for fun and has racked up several first place wins and lots of top tens in his ballooning career. Dale’s favorite ballooning experience was doing a splash & dash in the Rio Grande at the Albuquerque International Balloon Festival with Pat Rolfe’s “Cynthia Seal”.
 
Dale is retired from AT&T and now “works” for his wife doing chores for her miniature horses. He also enjoys volunteering at the Cheff Therapeutic Riding Center and helping with the Mini Whinnies 4-H Club.

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Pilot: Eric Reeder

Balloon: Mesmerized

Home Town: Hastings, MI

Bio: Eric has been a part of the ballooning community since he was a young kid. He started off crewing for family friends, and enjoyed many years of being able to attend events all over the US as well as visiting Africa.

 

He purchased his first balloon Freedom in 2014, and got his private pilot license thanks to the support of his family. Eric has always had a love for ballooning and loves being able to share it with others. His favorite part about ballooning is spending time with his family and friends.