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 launch.net, HotAirBallooning.com, BalloonistsPilotShop.com, balloonweather.com and BallooningMail.com.
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.