The History of Hot Air Ballooning.

Montogolfier Balloon

Described as everything from amazing to wonderful, hot air ballooning has captivated people since mankindís first (successful) flight in France during 1783.  Intrigued by bits of paper flying up a chimney, the Montogolfier brothers constructed a bag to capture heat from the chimney, unlocking the simple principle that when heat was added to air it created lift.  By using this principle, the brothers became the first people to master flight.  Today, modern hot air ballooning still captivates the hearts of people around the world. 
 

The History of HIGH but DRY Balloons in Colorado Springs
Gary "Burner" Born - Owner, Pilot

I started ballooning in 1981.  I was working at a large manufacturing company in Minnesota, called Minnitonka, Inc., who had just come out with a new product called SOFTSOAP.  I had never seen a hot air balloon, but when the company said they were going to purchase one to use as a floating billboard and that they were going to train a couple of managers from the company as pilots, my hand shot up to volunteer.  This caused quite a bit of laughter because of my well-known fear of height.  My first flight was my first lesson and my first experience with hot air ballooning.  It was January 8th, 1981, and it was eight degrees below zero. We lifted off from a snow-covered field in a small town called Chaska.  We flew for over two hours and by the time we landed I was hooked.  While flying, in the balloon, there was no fear.  It was like looking at a picture, just a euphoric feeling thatís hard to explain.  

By the spring of 1981 I had acquired my pilot's license and the next day when I burned a 6' by 12' hole in the company's beautiful balloon , I was given the nickname "Burner."  

Gary "Burner" Born with Homemade Balloon

Excited Passengers

I purchased my first balloon in 1983 and by 1989 I had moved to Colorado and began my career as a full time balloon pilot.  I now have six balloons, which I fly in Colorado and Arizona, with over 3000 hours of balloon flight time in many states in the U.S. as well as in Austria, Prague, and the Czech Republic.

Ballooning is still as exciting today as it was that first day in Minnesota.  I love to share in the excitement of my passengers as they experience the marvel of ballooning.

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