2022 Pilot Roster


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: Tom Brown

Balloon: Tomfoolery II

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.  


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 Emmert 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: 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.


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”.


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. 


Pilot: Joey Strutz

Balloon: Blue Moon

Home Town: Brighton, MI

Bio: Joey fell in love with hot air ballooning when he saw his first balloon event in Howell, MI at age 3, and he instantly knew he wanted to be a pilot. He accomplished this feat, and received his private pilot's license in 2018. 2022 is Joey's first full event tour, and he will be making stops at balloon events in Michigan, Indiana, Ohio, & Texas. Joey's balloon, was named after his ability to score on the targets only "once in a blue moon". This will be Joey's second appearance in Nashville, after finishing runner up in 2021.

Follow Joey's ballooning endeavors & the 2022 "Hack" World Tour on Instagram @strutzballooning!


Pilot: Derrick Jones

Balloon: Zeigler Auto Group

Home Town: Hudsonville, MI

Bio: Derrick was the winner of the 2021 event, and is looking to defend his title this year!


Pilot: Michael Moore

Balloon: Shenanigans

Home Town: Battle Creek, MI

Bio: Michael got started ballooning crewing for pilot Dale Wilson at various events. He then bought his first balloon in 2002. Michael is the founder of the Hot Air Balloon Floaters Association. They promote all aspects of ballooning, and currently have over 2700 members from around the world.


Check out the Hot Air Balloon Floaters Association on Facebook at facebook.com/groups/200189240020625!


Pilot: Alyson Murray

Balloon: MGoBalloon

Home Town: Battle Creek, MI

Bio: Alyson Murray has been involved in the sport of Ballooning for almost 30 years as a crew member, crew chief, observer, event staff member and organizer, as well as now a pilot.  Although the MGoBalloon sports the colors of the University of Michigan, it is a privately owned balloon and not affiliated with the University.  Alyson is an alumnus of the University of Michigan Nursing program and a huge fan!


Pilot: Al Smith

Balloon: Northern Lights

Home Town: Grass Lake, MI

Bio:  Al got his start in ballooning in 1990 by crewing for a local pilot, which evolved into flight training with him, and then eventually to obtaining his pilot certificate more than 25 years ago.  He has flown at balloon events in Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Alabama and New Mexico. Al is a Dealer Representative for Cameron Balloons US; produced right down the road from his hometown of Grass Lake. He also participates as part of the inflation crew and flight management team for the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. assisting with inflating the giant balloons with helium and then guiding them down the parade route. Al  previously served as the Balloonmeister for the Jackson Hot Air Jubilee for many years. 

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