Airventure's highly experienced pilots possess more than 60 years combined aviation experience. Their primary concerns are the passengers overall safety and enjoyment during the flights. All flights operate within FAA visual flight rules and are limited to winds of less than 10mph. In other words, no rain, fog, or high winds etc. Airventure has been owned and operated in Plano, Texas since 1988, and is a member of the Plano Chamber of Commerce.
Pete Carter- has been an avid balloonist since 1980. He took his first balloon ride on his 40th birthday and has been hooked ever since! He has owned his own commercial ride business and FAA certified balloon repair station since 1988. He has experience in all balloons built by major manufacturers and has recently retired as a 25 year pilot examiner. He is a dealer for Lindstrand Balloons US.
Cathy Carter- has been involved with balloons since 1990. She received her LTA private pilot license in 2001 and her commercial rating in 2003. During this time she served 3 ½ years on the Plano Balloon Festival Board. She has been flying with Airventure Balloonport for 9 years. Her regular job for the past 25 years has been as an elementary school educator. She has taught several people how to fly balloons.
Keith Berry- started his ballooning career in 1990 at a small balloon festival in Missouri. In 2002 he earned his Private LTA pilot license, and since then has been President of the Metroplex Ballooning Association (MBA), MBA Pilot of the Year and Member of the Year twice each, and has headed up the MBA Safety Seminar for pilots and crew for several years. He has also been the Weather Officer, Safety Officer and Balloonmeister for several hot air balloon festivals around Texas. Today Keith is a commercially rated LTA pilot and flies a balloon named Highly Cool.
Rick Garland-The year 1983 marked the 200th anniversary of man’s first flight in a balloon. It was also the year that Rick joined the sport of hot air ballooning. Rick earned his pilot license in 1989. He is a past president of the Plano Balloon Festival Board of Directors. He has participated in balloon events in many parts of the US, as well as in Canada. Rick most enjoys sharing the sport with enthusiastic first-time passengers.
Cory Atchley-From his first balloon flight in 1998 from a family friend, Cory was hooked with Ballooning. When he moved back to Albuquerque, New Mexico in 2005, he received his Private pilot license in 2006, and his Commercial pilot license 2 years later in 2008. While in Albuquerque, Cory became involved in several ballooning clubs, including being President of Top Gun, a competitive flying club. He also has flown for the Official Hot Air Balloon ride provider for the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta®. Since moving to Dallas in 2011, Cory has continued to be involved with Ballooning.