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Jim Whitesell

Jim Whitesell

Corporate Balloon Pilot

Jim Whitesell has been a licensed pilot since 1978. He holds both Fixed Wing and Lighter-Than-Air ratings, including Commercial Pilot for Hot Air Balloons. He is a also an active hot air balloon flight instructor.

Mr. Whitesell has flown balloons in over 45 States and Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean. He has over a thousand hours logged as Pilot in Command of special shape balloons, the most difficult type to fly. He managed and was the chief pilot for the Uniroyal Tire Balloon Team, and has piloted the space shuttle Nassua Bay, the United Van Lines moving van, Famous Footwear's athletic shoe, the Rayovac Battery balloon, and the Klondike Ice Cream Polar Bear balloon. While living in Texas, he was the primary pilot for over 10 years in the Dallas-Fort Worth area for RE/MAX which operates the world's largest fleet of corporate balloons.

Mr. Whitesell also operated a passenger ride business in the Dallas area, and flies passenger rides in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. He has also flown balloons for Jack in the Box restaurants, Wilson Camera in Phoenix, The White Horse Inn in Madison, Wisconsin, SUNOCO oil, and Fonz By The Day in Plano, Texas.

He has been the Balloonmeister for the American Cancer Society's CAMP SUNRISE TAKES TO THE SKIES BALLOONFEST held in Phoenix, Arizona, and was the Balloonmeister for the Highland Village, Texas Balloon Race for over 10 years. He has served as a BFA (Balloon Federation of America) Accident Investigator, assisting the FAA and NTSB with the investigation of balloon accidents.

Mr. Whitesell has been a speaker at BFA approved Safety Seminars, and is a former newsletter editor for the North Texas Ballooning Association. He was voted 2002 Pilot Of the Year by the membership of the Plano Ballooning Association. He is the owner and webmaster of many of the top ballooning web sites including,,, and

Mr. Whitesell has flown thousands of passengers in hot air balloons, and has a perfect safety record with no injuries or property damage. He has been commended by the FAA for his conscientious attitude toward safety.

Jim can be reached through the Contact Us form on this site.

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