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Meet Your Pilot

Hot Air Balloon Pilot

Your pilot, Howard Holmes, is not only a commercial balloon pilot but also a commercial single engine airplane pilot with an instrument and flight instructor rating. He started flying airplanes back in the mid-70's, hang gliders and ultralights in the early 80's and hot air balloons in the mid-90's and has logged over 2,000 hours of flight time in all types combined with no safety violations.

His interest in balloons began during college when he helped crew for couple of friends who had a balloon. After the first few flights everyone agreed that if they could bottle the sensation of floating over the countryside in a balloon, "We'd all be millionaires."

Although owning a balloon was still out of reach financially at the time, he stayed close to the sport by working as a scoring officer at the '78 and '79 Nationals at Indianola, IA. After moving to Nashville, he helped to score hot air balloon races at Edwin Warner Park and Bowling Green from the mid-80's to the mid-90's.

In 1996 he was able to purchace a used balloon with a deal that included flight training. After flying off minimum hours he continued to participate in the Nashville and Bowling Green races as a pilot rather than a scoring officer noting it was more fun to throw baggies (scoring markers) out of the basket than to pick them up.

He continues to fly balloons and airplanes as time allows from his project engineering work. For now, scheduling of balloon flights is generally limited to holidays and weekends due to these obligatons.

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