OUR PILOTS AND CREW
James Lawson, Owner and Pilot
James Lawson, owner of Sky’s the Limit Ballooning Adventures and also the Southern California sales representative for the second largest balloon manufacturer in the world, UltraMagic Balloons, located in Spain. He was born and raised in Encinitas, California and is proud to say that his company is family owned and operated and has been in business since 1997. He is an experienced pilot that has been flying all types of aircraft since he was 16 years old. He has flown hot air balloons in Mallorca Spain, Hawaii and Albuquerque, New Mexico. He got his inspiration one night to fly hot air balloons when he noticed one fly over him in the city of Encinitas. He then got his pilot certificate and later became an instructor for student pilots that are looking to obtain their pilot’s certification. In addition, he is one of 24 pilots in the nation that is allowed to fly passengers in the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta. “It's not the flying I love so much, its changing the way people think for a moment while they are up in the air. I also enjoy taking the handicap and the blind up. When they sometimes feel they cannot do it, we make it happen.
We all need to step out of the box once and a while of day to day life!”
Pete Brunner, Pilot
One cool cat! What more can you say about a pilot with that much experience. Learned how to fly at an early age. Has 30 years flight experience and is one of 24 pilots in the Albuquerque balloon festival to take passenger. He is also our insurance salesman so we had to say something about him.
Matt Downin, Pilot
Growing up in upstate New York, Matt learned about ballooning at a young age. Family friends owned a balloon that he often helped chase, sparking an interest in ballooning that's still going strong today. After moving to California to attend college, Matt began working for local balloon companies, putting to work the skills he'd learned growing up. After finishing college to become a middle school math teacher, he also pursed his commercial pilot's license to continue being around balloons. To this day he enjoys every balloon ride as much as his first at age 10.
Balloon Ground Crew
We could go on and on about the crew Nick, Mike and Aaron, but it might go to their heads they are still young. Nick is in firefighting school along with Aaron. Mike is going to school to be an engineer. All inspiring pilots and an outstanding group of guys. They have been crewing for 5 years now and they just can’t get enough of the chase.