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You’ve seen them up in the air, but how much do you know about your pilot? Get to know the people that make it all happen with our Pilot Q&A!
This month we’re featuring Captain Mike Drysdale, we hope you enjoy!
Mike “Captain Yee-Haw” Drysdale
Age: “I’m Old.” 48 years young
Hometown: Phoenix, AZ
Hot Air Balloon Flight hours: 2000+
How did you get into ballooning?
I started crewing part time with my family in the early nineties. I was working part time with my younger brother and cousin. My brother wanted to be a hot air balloon pilot, but he passed away at a young age. In his honor, I got my pilot license and ballooning became a passion of mine.
Where’s the coolest place you’ve ever been ballooning?
I get this a lot from passengers, but it’s a hard question. I’ve done sunrise and sunset flights over many different areas such as the Great Lakes, the Fall Lakes, and the Grand Tetons. Every flight is unique, and each area has its own charm that makes it enjoyable.
Any tips for first time passengers?
Lose the apprehension! It’s not scary or intimidating being up in the air in a balloon. Bring a camera, sit back and enjoy yourself, and take in the sights.
What’s one thing you hope passengers take away from their ballooning experience with you?
Memories. I’m very blessed to have the talent to give our passengers memories that they will hold onto for a lifetime.
You wake up at an ungodly hour, how do you get going?
I have always been an early riser, I’m always getting up early. As far as my job; when you do what you love and, you look forward to it, I never have a problem waking up. It’s always fun for me.
What can we find you doing in your spare time?
Usually spending time with my family. I love to cook and entertain. I have had people from all over the world come to taste my barbecue! I think the most I ever made was about 88 pounds of pork. I also love to fish. No particular area, just any where there is water.
Ballooning is on many Bucket List’s, what’s on yours?
I would like to go to the Mediterranean area, sample food and work my way north from there!
Have a question for your favorite pilot? Email them to Amanda@HotAirExpeditions.com and you might just see them pop up here!