A balloon pilot can not take off or land safely without chase crew. An efficient crew performs as a unit, and is critical for the flight safety, from the initial inflation through the final pack up. Crewing is a never-ending personal and educational experience in human relations (“I have to be there at what time in the morning?”), navigation (“but the roads aren’t going the way the balloon is!”), and physical fortitude. The balloon goes the direction and speed of the wind- not where we “want it” to go (hence the term “chase crew“).
Good, reliable, dependable flight crew are hard to find (although we have been blessed with many outstanding crew that join us regularly). Why are they hard to find? Because what a potential crew person quickly discovers is that what looks exciting, thrilling, and fun , is actually hard work!. But for all the hard work, scrubbed flights, and lots of sweat, the thrill of watching and successfully chasing two tons of delicately contained hot air, drifting across the skies is worth it all. The excitement of flight after flight sharing the thrill of someone’s “first flight”, the awe of those that yearn to fly (but never dare), and the pride of being a trusted participant in a fascinating sport becomes contagious. And to those crew members that are willing to subject themselves to the “abuses” of chasing in order to reap the benefit of it’s infinite rewards-
We Thank you!