Chris has been flying hot air balloons, and has flown in most NZ Balloon events. Flown ib the USA and Fiji. Hot air ballooning is a great sport, and has enabled me to create life long friends.
CURSONS, Scott – Wellington, NZ
Scott is a self-confessed adrenalin junkie with kite surfing amongst his list of adventure hobbies. He’s a licensed aircraft maintenance engineer with nearly a decade of competition experience at Wairarapa, Levin, Methven and Hamilton. Scott’s another pilot who has spent time involved in international balloon festivals in UK, Metz, and Chateau DeOux in France, as well as Mildura in Australia in 2004.
DRYLAND, Gail – Hamilton, NZ
Attended Balloons Over Waikato for 5 years. Has attended the Wairarapa Festival as crew. Been flying ten years attending Albuquerque and Mildura Australia. Lollipop is a ‘new’ secondhand envelope from Boland Balloons in the USA.
KING, Peter – Carterton, NZ
Peter has been another avid festival supporter, having flown around New Zealand. Peter usually launches from his own backyard and specialises in high altitude flight. This year Peter is flying his new Boland Balloon (first time at a Fiesta), which was manufactured in the Wairarapa by Brian Boland himself with a team of helpers in 2014.
KING, Dan – Carterton, NZ
Peter King's son Dan is also an accomplished balloonist, and loves nothing more than taking to the beautiful Wairarapa skies whenever he can … not as often as he would like with a cute little toddler keeping him and his wife busy.
SALE, Ross – Auckland, NZ
Ross originally got the ‘air bug’ when he was young and silly and did a number of parachute jumps. When living in the USA he took up hang gliding for a number of years before it came in conflict with sailing. Balloons were the answer – and he gained a pilot’s license in the USA in the 1980s. Ross flies his “speedy little ‘Boland Balloon.”
MCKEE, Daryl – Auckland, NZ
Daryl has been flying for almost 27 years here in NZ, Fiji, Canada (commercially) and USA. He attained third place at Albuquerque New Mexico, as well as being in the top 20 five times; won at Hamilton NZ and another third place at China, California. Poppies is dedicated to those lost in WWI, in particular William Louis McKenzie (Dianne McKee’s great-uncle) who was lost at Passchendaele on 4th October 1917 and Dianne’s grandfather Regionald Calvert injured at Passchendaele. Darryl loves ballooning and has done from his very first flight –Dzit has become our family life and livelihooddz– a passion that still remains.
SNODGRASS, John – Cambridge, NZ
Started his love affair with ballooning in 2000 crewing at Balloons over Waikato and finally bought his own in 2012 by diverting the funds saved for the kitchenupgrade and other things in his house. Having got used to cooking on an open fire Partner Clare enjoys the sport as wellJohn and his crew were in the Wairarapa in 2016 and the balloon (Wildfire ) went down last year under the command of John HoldenessJohn And Clare are looking forward to attending This years event
SCOTT, Craig – Wairarapa, NZ
Another local balloonist from Masterton, Craig is supported on the ground by his lovely wife and daughters. Crew training starts early with the Scott family, with recently born grandson accompanying mum to morning ascensions!
TOMKINSON, Jeremy – Hamilton
Born and bred in the UK and after spending the first 30 something years there moved to other side of the world with his wife and kids and has loved living in NZ ever since. Jeremy's love of ballooning started when he was invited to a fiesta in the UK and after the first flight rang, all the local balloon companies begging to help crew until one of them said yes; a few years later he bought his first balloon and then had to learn to fly it. 20ish years on he is still passionate about ballooning and loves hanging around in the sky but also hanging out with the awesome balloonists of the world.
WILTON, Mark – Carterton, NZ
When not ballooning, or assisting on the Fesitval committee, Mark can be found rocking and rolling on many Wairarapa dance floors!
WATSON, Howard – Wellington, NZ
Howard has been flying since 1996 and has attended Balloon festivals in Wairarapa, Hamilton, Levin, Blenheim, Hastings, Methvin and Oamaru. Ballooning is a Watson Family Sport with Sandra, Simon and Emma Helping as crew.
My introduction to New Zealand was back in 1998 on an invite from Brian Boland after I finished building my ship from his plans. I built and flew my balloon in Fairbanks Alaska so you can imagine my joy in seeing so much open and accessible land there was to fly upon arriving in NZ.
Life and work takes over and after a 16 year absence as a commercial bush pilot, I’ve been asked to return and pilot Poppies as well as reunite with old friends.
Has been flying hot air balloons since the age of 17- in fact when he qualified, he was the youngest pilot in Europe.
Over his 27 years in the industry, Paul has flown passenger flights all over the world, and has flown some of the best known shapes on the circuit, including the Kiwi Bird, the Little Girl and Little Boy, Busby the Queen’s Guard, Buster the Bulldog, and (at the time) the world’s largest pair of green underpants [for an online bookmakers]. He was also the first British pilot to fly in Vietnam.
Paul is currently the Director and chief pilot of Lighter Than Air Ltd, a company specialising in aerial advertising and shaped balloon management.
When not flying commercially Paul can be seen at the burners of his charity balloon for the Teenage Cancer Trust, a UK based charity dedicated to helping young adults battle this lifechanging illness.
Nicholas has been flying in balloons since he was 4 years old. He had his first solo flight at 12 and won his first Balloon Fiesta at 14. At 22 he gained his Commercial Hot Air Balloon License and started flying for the family business.
He’ll also be flying all of you who have booked in for your own flight during the Wairarapa Balloon Festival.
The Balloon Meister
STACEY, Martin – Christchurch, NZ
The Wairarapa Balloon Festival is very pleased to welcome Martyn Stacey back as the Balloon Meister for the Festival. Martyn is based in Christchurch where he is commercially flying balloons. He has attended every Wairarapa event, being the overall winner in 2003 and has been flying balloons for many years. He was part of the New Zealand team to compete at the World Hot Air Balloon Championships held at Mildura Australia 2004. He flies for fun as well as being a commercial operator. Martyn really enjoys the Wairarapa and meeting balloonists from overseas. He is the Past Chairman of the Ballooning Association of NZ (BANZ).