The S.B.X. Crew is a great collection of individuals who volunteer their time because they enjoy ballooning. Our Crew Chiefs have many years of experience with most holding a private pilot’s license for balloon. A balloon team can never have enough enthusiastic crew members. If you’re not bashful of a little physical effort, contact us to see how you can become involved!
*Crew members welcome and appreciate any form of “Thank you” at the conclusion of the flight.
Blair Beard, Commercial Pilot
Blair, our chief pilot, started chasing balloons in 1979. In the fall of 1981, he became a student pilot. In the spring of 1982, he passed his private check flight and in the fall passed his commercial check flight. Over the years Blair has flown for Sky Signs Balloons, Horizons Balloon Team, Carousel Balloon Team, Magical Mystery Flights, Lollypop Balloon Rides, Air Ventures, USA Hot Air Balloon Team and now SPORT BALLOONING XPERIENCE. Blair has helped train many pilots including his wife Joanne, daughter Kimberly and son Ryan. As a family, they designed and build their family balloon “Northstar”, completed in 1998.
Although ballooning is a passion for Blair, his main occupation has been that of a music educator for 42 years. Volunteering as a Boy Scout leader, running and outdoors activities also occupy much of Blair’s non-flight time. His plans are to semi-retire and share his passion for flying with schools, camps, and seniors. He is currently developing an educational program about hot air ballooning.
Over the past 40 years, Blair has:
Owned: 5 balloons
Built: 1 balloon
Flown: 28 different balloons
Instructed: 15 student pilots
Flown: 1,800 flights
Cared for: ?????????? (many) passengers
Randy, Crew Chief + Private Pilot
Randy went for his first balloon flight in 1986 with Horizon's Hot Air Balloon Team. He loved it so much that he immediately joined the Team. He soon acquired his Private Pilot Certificate for Hot air balloons in 1988 and has enjoyed flying and chasing balloons for over 30 years. He is a member of the Balloon Federation of America and the Great Eastern Balloon Association.