Our Passion for
Ballooning started in 2007 when Susan became part of a hot air balloon chase team in Albuquerque, New Mexico. She fell in love with ballooning, and over the next eight years, crewed for various pilots. Her ultimate dream was to own a hot air balloon, but once she flew over the Gila Valley with friend and pilot Steve Adams, she was determined to make her dream come true.
Greg, who had been a fixed-wing pilot for 38 years, passed his lighter-than-air commercial pilot’s written test, then attended an FAA-certified Part 141 school in Park City, Utah. Under the guidance of some of the best pilots in the industry, Greg received intense and rigorous flight instruction. He practiced flying hot air balloons daily until he could demonstrate the knowledge and skill necessary to pass the oral and practical exams. He was certified as a commercial lighter-than-air pilot by Mike Bauwens, an amazing pilot, instructor, and FAA designated pilot examiner.
Upon returning to the Gila Valley, we began flying, almost daily. While we enjoyed taking family, friends, and crew on rides, we realized there was a strong interest from others wanting to ride in a hot air balloon. As long-time residents of Safford, we are thrilled to share our love for ballooning with residence of the Gila Valley. We hope AZ Air Ventures helps others experience the same love for ballooning that was shared with us many years ago.