In this episode Andrew chats to ballooning Hall of Fame legend, Bruce Comstock. Having started ballooning 50 years ago, he has achieved a huge amount in ballooning and has an incredible resume. The below is taken from Bruce's website - A Life in the Air.
Bruce Comstock’s extraordinary accomplishments in ballooning eventually landed him in both the international and the U.S. ballooning halls of fame.
Bruce has set world records, won major championships, guided the national organization of balloonists, revived and edited Ballooning magazine, flown all sorts of balloons, planned and made epic balloon flights, created the first U.S. balloon repair facility, established and built up a major balloon manufacturing company, designed and built the autopilot that made solo ultra long distance balloon flight possible, trained and educated other pilots, and represented the Federal Aviation Administration in the certification of new pilots and of newly manufactured balloons.
Driven by curiosity and blessed with an aptitude for physics and math, Bruce started college studying engineering physics. Despite doing well in this, the curriculum seemed too narrow to him. He transferred to the college of arts and sciences and graduated with a degree in economics. While in graduate school, his plan to teach economics in college was sidetracked by an unsolicited job offer designing and creating computer software. A chance series of events while he was doing this drew him into the then nascent sport of flying balloons. The rest is history.
In this episode Andrew chats to professional balloonist and competition pilot, Matthew Scaife. Matt is a second generation pilot that began ballooning as a kid in the UK. Having flown for many years commercially in England, he then migrated out to Australia to fly commercially and now runs Balloon Aloft.
Matt, along with his wife Nicola, took up competition ballooning in the early 2010s and they both quickly rose to the top ranks in international competition ballooning. Matt has won the Australian National Championships three times and has stood on the podium at many events in Europe and Japan.
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In this episode, Andrew chats to Brad Temeyer. Brad is an internationally renowned ballooning meteorologist. He has been the meteorologist for many record attempts, ballooning events (including the Albuquerque Fiesta), ballooning competitions and for the US team.
Brad was born in Rockford, IL on July 31, 1979. He graduated on the Dean’s List from Iowa State University with a BS Degree in Atmospheric Sciences. He also earned his MS Degree in Atmospheric Sciences at Iowa State University and continued his education with a MS in Public Administration from the University of South Dakota.
His professional career started in 2003 with the National Weather Service as an Intern Meteorologist in Glasgow, Montana where he regularly utilized observations and model data to create public, aviation and fire weather forecasts. He continues as a General Forecaster with the Sioux Falls, South Dakota office of the National Weather Service where, among other duties, he continued to produce public, aviation and fire weather forecasts. He led a team charged with developing Digital Aviation Services at the Sioux Falls and other offices.
His first exposure to ballooning was in 1982 at the National Championships in Indianola, IA when he was 3 years old. He soloed on August 7, 2007, received his private license on June 1, 2008 and his commercial license on June 6, 2010 all in Indianola, IA. To date he has amassed over 200 hours of flight time. His most memorable flights were in 2007 when he flew box winds over Devil's Tower and in 2009 when he flew with Jim Winker on the day of Jim’s induction into the United States Balloon Hall of Fame.
This is the first ever Aunty Monkey video episode.
Go to http://www.auntymonkey.com to watch the episode.
During this episode, Andrew walks through an array of helpful hints and tips about how to produce better ballooning videos. The topics he runs through include:Filming with phonesCamerasMounts Camera MovementSpeeding up shotsPeopleStorytelling and musicDrones
Kim Magee is a second generation pilot from Iowa in the US. Having got her license at the age 19, she has achieved a huge amount in the ballooning world in a relatively short period of time.
Kim has represented USA at the Women's World Championship, she has won the US BFA Long Jump and last year she did 2 World Record flights. So she is now the holder of six FAI World Hot Air Balloon records .
Three years ago, with her husband Adam, Kim set up the not for profit Balloon Training Academy. They help people get into ballooning and improve safety in the ballooning community. They have helped about 40% of all new pilots earn their rating in the USA and provide many continuing education resources.
Deano Pegg has been involved in ballooning since the mid 1990s. In the years since, he has worked extensively as a professional crew person and has been very active in crewing for balloon teams at international events. He is a much loved character in international ballooning and is friends with everyone.
In this episode Deano shares his background and his thoughts and philosophies about ballooning and balloon crew.
Leandro Corradini is a multi-discipline pilot and has been intimately involved with the paragliding and paramotoring world. His love of light weight, portable, personal aircraft led him to identify a gap in the ballooning market for this type of aircraft, so he decided to do something about it. After two years of planning and design, he launched his new Light Sport Aircraft, named FLYDOO, two weeks ago, and a new balloon company was born.
As you will hear in this interview, Leandro is passionate but realistic about the innovation his company is delivering. He has identified his market as other sport aviation pilots (such as paragliders or glider pilots) and also existing balloonists looking to down scale or looking for something lighter for their recreational flying.
In this episode, Andrew chats to the newly crowned World Champion, Dominic Bareford. Dom is a young UK pilot that has been dominating competition ballooning this year. You just need to look at some of his results in the last 6 months to see how well his is flying.1st - 23rd FAI World Hot Air Balloon Championships1st - 2018 British Nationals1st - 2018 POST Luxembourg Trophy2nd - 2018 Coupe d'Europe de Montgolfières3rd - 4th FAI Junior World Hot Air Balloon Championship
In this interview, Dom talks about how he got into competition balloon, his preparations for competition ballooning and he reflects on the World Championships.
Tim is the lead protagonist in the birth of the modern Annex 2 ballooning scene in the UK, more commonly known as experimental ballooning to the rest of the World. Tim is a force of nature when it comes to his passion for life and encouraging and training other people to get involved in building their own balloons.
Tim comes from a family of fixed wing pilots with his grandfather and father being pilots, his 4 daughters are also now pilots. Aviation runs in Tims veins but his primary career has been in agriculture, specifically targeted at pregnancy scanning in animals. At 40 Tim decided it was time to make a shift in career and set about becoming a commercial airline pilot and did this for the next 18 years.
Tim's family owns Sackville airfield in the UK and has dedicated himself to saving the local gliding club. Sackville also forms the base for his balloon building exploits and also hosts one of the biggest ballooning events in the UK. He has been the Chief Flying Instructor for the gliding club and is a true enthusiast in all senses of the word.
In this episode, Adam talks to some of the World's best pilots about the upcoming 2018 FAI World Hot Air Balloon Championships in Großsiegharts, Austria. The guests include:Rhett Heartsill - 2016 Open World ChampionNicola Scaife - 2016 Women's World ChampionRokas Kostiuskevicius - 2016 Junior World ChampionDaniel Kusternigg - 6 time Austrian Champion
In this episode, Adam sits down and chats with Paul Stumpf. Paul Stumpf has been building, flying and maintaining balloons for over 40 years. He is one of the best known repairmen in the US and is based out of the North East USA in the state of Vermont.
Paul's business Stumpf Balloons is best known to the wider ballooning community for its revolutionary Mail Order Catalogue which was extremely popular through the 80’s and 90’s providing bespoke balloon accessories to its customers.
Paul's passion for photography led him to cross paths with his now long time Mentor, Brian Boland while in high school in the early 70’s and the rest, as they say, is History.
Paul build his first balloon when he was 17, right when the ballooning scene was starting to mature in the USA. After finishing his Fine Arts degree at University and still hoping to become a photographer his life took a different turn and he became a full-time balloonist, and the two passions have never left him.
In 1982 he opened his repair station and with this, his ride business, the mail order catalogue and the enormous growth of ballooning through the USA in the 1980’s, he was a very busy guy.
Over the past 10 years Paul has gone back on his original entry point into ballooning by focussing on making balloons again. His experience and skill are well used in building ultralight, compact balloons for his customers and pushing the boundaries of what is possible in the ultra-light field.
In this episode, Andrew sits down and chats with ballooning manufacturer and pioneer, Phil Kavanagh. Phil has been building and flying hot air balloons for 50 years.
In this interview, Phil talks about the early days of ballooning and some of his adventures including attempting to fly over Mt Everest in the 1980s and trying to fly across Australia in a Rozier balloon.
In this episode, Andrew sits down and chats with The Flying Lemmings. They are a self proclaimed bunch of self-indulgent millennials flying balloons and mucking around.
The Lemmings are all about promoting the fun of the sport of ballooning and have created an exciting young culture in the the sport that has started attracting more and more like minded folks to ballooning.
In this episode, Adam chats to FAI President of Honour, Dr John Grubbström. John is one of a kind. Intelligent, respectful, committed, fun, and completely addicted to all forms of aviation.
John’s ballooning career started in the early 1970’s and in 1974 he acquired his hot air balloon pilot license. John is not the sort of guy who can just be involved though and his leadership and commitment and it wasn’t long before he became president of his local balloon club John organised the first European Championship in Sweden 1976 and was the event director. In 1979, John was in the organising committee of the World Hot Air Balloon Championship in Sweden and was also its event director.
John was also the president of the Swedish Balloon Federation and for 6 years was the president of the Swedish Air Sport Federation. John loves to fly and has represented Sweden in 9 European, 4 World championships and a further 3 times at the World Air Games. He has also been an official at many international events including World and European championships.
After 10 years serving as Vice President of the World governing body for Airsports the FAI, John became President in 2010 and completed his maximum 3 terms in 2016. He was subsequently awarded the title of FAI President of Honour, a role he fulfils to this day.
In this episode, Adam chats to Petr Kubicek. From humble and quite recent beginnings Kubicek balloons has grown into one of the powerhouse balloon manufacturers in the World. The Kubicek story is fascinating with the beginnings of the business directly linked to the end of communism in the then Czechoslovakia. Petr’s father Ales founded Kubicek balloons and was one of the pioneers of ballooning in Czechoslovakia in very difficult times. Following a sudden and terrible accident to his father, Petr is now responsible for all the Kubicek family businesses which include hot air balloon production, fabric manufacturing, inflatables.
In this episode, Andrew talks to Nicola Scaife about competition ballooning.
Nicola is an Australian balloon pilot with a passion for competition. She lives and flies in the beautiful Hunter Valley, NSW, Australia, with her husband Matthew and their son Hugo. She works as a commercial hot air balloon pilot for Balloon Aloft, flying up to 20 people in her basket each morning.
In 2013, Nicola competed as a pilot in her first ever hot air ballooning competition. Since then she has achieved some great results and is continuing to improve. In 2014 she became the 1st Women’s World Hot Air Ballooning Champion. In 2016, she defended her title. Her goal is not only to be the best female but also to be a competitive pilot in open competitions and to challenge the men!
In this episode Andrew chats to inspirational New Zealand pilot Andrew Parker. Andrew is daring to live his dream and use his passion for flying to change the lives of children around the world. The Flying High for Kids World Balloon Project was launched in 2013 and aims to reach communities in over 100 countries by 2018.
To welcome in the new year, Andrew and Adam chat to each other about some of the Aunty Monkey highlights of 2017 and what is planned for 2018.
They also share some stories about some interesting moments in ballooning history that they never knew about.
As podcasting is new to many of the Aunty Monkey subscribers, the boys also share details about some of their favourite podcasts.
Happy New Year!
In this episode Adam chats to one of the most gifted balloon makers in the World, Bert Padelt.
Bert’s is best known for custom building record setting balloons. As testament to his enormous talent and skill, Bert’s balloons hold FAI World records in the hot air, gas and Rozier categories. Along with his wife Joanie, Bert runs a full time repair station in Bally, Pennsylvania. Bert and Joanie have been married for 27 years, and Bert has been married to ballooning for over 40!
Bert has a storied history in record setting ballooning. He was involved in all but one of Steve Fossett’s round the world balloon attempts and was Systems Director on Steve’s successful circumnavigation in the summer of 2002.
Bert also built the smallest manned gas balloon system to ever cross the Atlantic Ocean with David Hempelman Adams in 2007 which was an extraordinary flight in so many ways! This flight set 5 FAI world records in distance and duration. Bert and Joanie also built the Two Eagles Transpacific balloon and Bert was responsible for its logistics, assembly, launch and recovery procedures during the successful 2015 flight.
In 2011 Bert was awarded the FAI Montgolfier Diploma, ballooning’s highest honour, for his contribution to the sport of gas ballooning. In 2015 Bert and Joanie were awarded the Sheilds-Trauger Award, the highest honour of the Balloon Federation of America.
Bert is a founding member of the Aero Club of America; the first active gas balloon club in the United States since the 1950’s. In 2015 this club received the FAI’s Honorary Group Diploma recognizing the club members’ contribution to the sport of gas ballooning. Bert is also Vice Chairman of the BFA Gas Division where he has sat on the board for nearly 20 years.
Troy is a full-time balloonist with over 7,109 balloon piloting hours (296 days aloft). As one of the most prolific record-setters the sport has ever seen, he has set 64 World Records in Hot Air, Gas and Rozier (hybrid) balloons. Troy has flown 223 different balloons ranging in size from 8,000 to 500,000 cubic feet. He has flown balloons on 5 continents, including 16 countries, and in 45 of the U.S. states.