My Favorite Flights

3rd Favorite Flight: Palo Duro Canyon

In 1995, Phillip MacNutt, Nick Stanko and I launched three balloons in Palo Duro Canyon. We had driven 500 miles from Austin through thunderstorms. Weather turned out great, but damn cold.

Palo Duro Canyon 1995

2nd Favorite Flight: The Best Seat in the House 

Carrying the Flag

Lifting off, at the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta on opening morning, unfurling a huge American Flag while a band playied the Star Spangled Banner. I waved back at my crew, they had tears running down their cheeks. I was able to box back and stop the balloon high over the field and watch 750 other balloons inflate below. The sight of hundreds of balloons, inflating, launching in waves and filling the sky was incredible. 

1st Favorite Flight: The Astronaut

That's me, astronaut Dan Bursch and balloon pilot Brian Critelli. It's too long of a story to tell here. But, it involved flying an astronaut over Rocket Park at NASA, a balloon race, burning a huge hole in my balloon and Brian coming to the rescue.

Photo by Roni Bursch

Photo by Jeff Carrol

...and meeting Joe Kittinger

More stories to come...