2021 Battle Creek Field of Flight June 30 - July 5, 2021

2020 FIELD of FLIGHT Cancelled

BALLOONS

Hot-Air Balloonists Confirmed as of 03/19/2020

       Balloonist Name  City/State

  • Aldridge, Blake Longview, TX
  • Adams, Jason Ontario, Canada
  • Anderson, Allen Minden, NV
  • Bennett, Meredith Columbus, OH
  • Bousselot, Matt Marion, IA
  • Campbell, Craig Springfield, MI
  • Coan, Larry New Hudson, MI 
  • Cook, Deven Battle Creek, MI
  • Crabtree, Chad Delton, MI 
  • Davis, Jason Milo, IA
  • Foelske, Aaron Channahon, IL
  • Gilles, Jeff Traverse City, MI
  • Hall, Dennis Howell, MI
  • Heartsill, Joe San Angelo, TX
  • Heartsill, Rhett Ft. Worth, TX
  • Jay, Kenny Hallsville, MO
  • Kerber, Rick Wayland, MI
  • Meyer, Mark Vass, NC
  • Mitchell, Steve Chagrin Falls, OH
  • Moore, Michael Augusta, MI
  • Nels, AJ Beavercreek, OH
  • Nels, Al Beavercreek, OH
  • Reeder, Eric Ravenna, MI 
  • Pestun, Jeff Holland, MI
  • Raya, Shawn Highland, MI
  • Rolfe, Pat Battle Creek, MI
  • Sitko, Steve Jackson, MI 
  • Smart, Chris Huntington, IL
  • Stamats, Susan Cedar Rapids, IA
  • Wall, Cameron Albuquerque, NM
  • Wilson, Dale Augusta, MI

Mesmerizing Balloon Illumes

As dusk falls over W.K. Kellogg Airport, some MAGICAL ILLUMINATIONS begin. During our "Balloon Illumes" the launch field will be lit up with the glowing burners of over 20 Hot-Air Balloons. This "picture-perfect" site, is something that you won't want to miss and will become one of your favorite family memories forever.

The Balloon Illumes also incorporate some audience participation. You will be asked to say "Twinkle" or "Light 'Em Up". When you say "Twinkle", the pilots will light their burners in spurts, causing them to twinkle. When you say "Light Em Up", the flame will stay lit and the grounds will light up. The "Balloon Illumes" are a fan-favorite part of the Field of Flight, year after year.

There will be TWO Balloon Illumes during our Event:
Wednesday, July 1st (see Tentative Schedule of Events for times)
Saturday, July 4th (see Tentative Schedule of Events for times)

 

 

Hot-Air Balloon Launch Weather Criteria

Weather conditions must be almost "ideal" in order for a Hot-Air Balloon Launch to take place. If there is any sign of a potentially non-safe flight, then the launch will be CANCELED. Experienced Balloon Pilot, Jim Birk, serves as our Balloon Meister. He is very trusted in the ballooning world and he makes the decision on if a safe flight can be executed or not. In addition, launches are also at pilots discretion. Here is some weather information on ballooning flights:

  • Winds
  • Winds Aloft
  • Visibility
  • Rain
  • Fronts
  • Thunderstorms

Hot-Air Balloons are a type of aircraft that rely on basic scientific principles to fly. Warm air rises over cooler air, thus the balloon is able to rise when the burner is thrusted. To help balloons rise, we neef thermals to be absent or at low activity. These thermals are least prominent in the early morning, just after sunrise, and early in the evening (the reason why launches are scheduled between 6:30 AM and 8 AM & between 7 PM and 8:30 PM during the event).

Prior to flight, a "Piball" (or Pilot Balloon) will be released. This is a helium filled balloon that lets the pilots know the general direction of the wind. This is the way the pilots balloon will drift. Wind directions do change based on height (especially if a front is in the area) and pilots must rely on (and know the direction) of the winds aloft. A balloon must also be able to land once in the air so the decision for "Go" or "No Go" for launch must take both the takeoff, flight, and a safe landing into consideration.

This means that weather conditions must be almost "ideal" in order for a Hot-Air Balloon Launch to take place. If there is any sign of a potentially non-safe flight, then the launch will be CANCELED. Here is some weather information on ballooning flights.

  • Winds: Winds are obviously the most critical weather phenomena that effects balloons. Winds are the #1 reason that Balloon Flights are canceled. Balloons fly best with wind speeds ranging from 4 to 6 miles per hour. Balloons will never fly in winds higher than 12 mph. Strong winds can not only damage the balloon, but it can make a pilot overshoot a target, cause a hard landing and require more space for landing.
  • Winds Aloft: Winds aloft (or winds at higher altitudes) can also cause a flight to be canceled. There may be almost no wind at the ground, but at altitude, the wind may be blowing at 20 miles per hour. Winds aloft must also be taken into consideration when deciding whether to fly or not.
  • Visibility: Balloon Pilots operate under FAA VFR conditions. This means they must have a certain amount of visibility in order to be able to fly (which means NO NIGHT FLYING). Depending on flight location, the visibility must be AT LEAST 1 to 3 miles. For the most part, there will be NO flying in fog.
  • Rain: Balloons do not launch in the rain. Rain can damage the balloon and decrease visibility. Besides, would you want to fly in a Hot-Air Balloon in rainy weather?
  • Fronts: There must be no fronts in the area for a balloon launch to occur. Fronts usually come with a change in wind direction or increased wind speeds. If pilots can plan ahead for this, then it may be possible for a launch. But if the front will move through during time of flight, the launch must be canceled.
  • Thunderstorms: There must be NO thunderstorms within 100 miles of the launch point for a balloon launch to take place. Thunderstorms present hazards to any type of aircraft, but a balloon is the one aircraft that would be affected most by any type of weather condition. A lightning strike to a balloon is an extremely dangerous hazard. In addition, gust fronts can occur up to 100 miles in advance of a storm or line of storms, which could heavily impact a balloon. If the weather forecast calls for Severe Weather, it is a good bet that the balloons will NOT be launching at that time

With this basic understanding of conditions for Balloon Launches, we hope you understand why some flights during the event are canceled. You will now be able to know if a balloon launch is likely to occur or not just by checking the local area forecast for Battle Creek or W.K. Kellogg Airport, courtesy of Win 98.5. Also, remember that Launch Forecasts and Updates will be available on our FacebookTwitter and this website throughout the event.

ADAMS, JASON - 2 KICHAA BALLOON

Jason Adams - 2 Kichaa BalloonJason Adams - 2 Kichaa Balloon Jason Adams is from Ontario, Canada and will be returning this year flying in the Field of Flight Hot-Air Balloon Competition in his 2 Kichaa Balloon. Kichaa means insane or crazy in Swahili. He has been a licensed hot-air balloon pilot since 1993. Jason is also a professional hot-air balloon pilot. He flies balloons all over the world and holds licenses in 5 countries. He has attended Field of Flight twice before finishing #11 in 2014 and #14 in 2012 at the Battle Creek Event. He is also a former Canadian Champion.

ALDRIDGE, BLAKE - BALLOON TBD

Blake Aldridge - Balloon " Blake is from Longview, Texas and will be flying for the 1st time in the Battle Creek Field of Flight Hot Air Balloon Championships. He hasn't named his balloon yet, but when he does, we'll update it here. Welcome to Battle Creek Blake!

ANDERSON, ALLEN - TWISTED TOO BALLOON

Allen Anderson - Twisted Too Balloon " Allen is from Minden, Nevada and will be flying for the 1st time in the Battle Creek Field of Flight Hot Air Balloon Championships in his Twisted Too Balloon. 

BENNETT, MEREDITH - MOONSHINE BALLOON

Meredith Bennett - Moonshine BalloonMeredith Bennett - Moonshine Balloon Meredith is from Sidney, Ohio and will be flying her Moonshine Balloon for her 1st time this year in the Battle Creek Field of Flight Hot Air Balloon Championships. 

BOUSSELOT, MATT - SUNFIRE BALLOON

Matt Bousselot - Sunfire Balloon Matt Bousselot Matt Bousselot is from Marion, Iowa and has been flying since 2012. Battle Creek is one of his favorite places to fly because of the wonderful people! Joining Matt on his ballooning adventures are his wife and crew chief Anne, and their fun and friendly crew! This will be his 7th year participating in the Battle Creek Hot Air Balloon Championship. This year he will be flying a new 60X racer balloon: Sunfire. Matt placed #2 in the 2019 Hot Air Balloon Championship.

Facebook: Ballooning with the Bousselots
YouTubeBallooning with the Bousselots

COAN, LARRY - SUPERFLUOUS BALLOON

Larry Coan Hot Air BalloonLarry Coan Larry Coan is an Product Manager for the Ford Motor Company and has been involved in hot air ballooning since 1989. His wife, Amy is his Crew Chief and they are both from New Hudson, Michigan. This will be his 14th year participating in the Battle Creek Hot Air Balloon Championship. The name of his balloon is "Superfluous", pronounced su·PER-flu·ous, which means being more than is sufficient or required; excessive. This will be his 12th year participating in the Battle Creek Field of Flight. Larry placed #5 in 2017, #10 in 2016, #10 in 2015, #13 in 2014, #5 in 2011 and #3 in 2010 in the Battle Creek Field of Flight Hot-Air Balloon Competitions.

CAMPBELL, CRAIG - HOT ZIGGITY BALLOON

Craig Campbell - Hot Ziggity Balloon Craig Campbell - Hot Ziggity BalloonCraig Campbell is from right here in Springfield, Michigan. He has been flying since 2000 and has owned his Hot Ziggity Balloon since 2010. He has been a licensed balloon pilot since 2013 and has flown in multiple events. He loves enjoying this wonderful sport with his beautiful wife and Crew Chief, Mindy Campbell and their 3 daughters. He loves this sport so much because of the excitement he sees on the kids' faces when he flies. 

COOK, DEVEN - FREEDOM BALLOON

Deven CookBattle Creek, Michigan's own Deven Cook will be participating in this year's Field of Flight Hot-Air Balloon Competition. He will be flying the Freedom Balloon this year. He has been around hot-air ballooning since the early 1970s and crewed for many pilots across the country. He became a licensed hot-air balloon pilot in 2009 and now has a commercial rating. He is the operator and owner of Winds of Freedom Hot Air Ballooning in Battle Creek. He is an Air Force Veteran and is employed as a Information Security Officer for Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Battle Creek.

WebsiteWinds of Freedom Hot Air Ballooning
Facebook: Winds of Freedom Hot Air Ballooning

CRABTREE, CHAD - INDEPENDENCE BALLOON

Independence Balloon - Chad Crabtree Chad CrabtreeChad Crabtree was born and raised right here in Battle Creek, Michigan. Chad took his love and passion for Hot-Air Ballooning in the mid-1980s to find pilots and volunteer for crew for the Air Show. Ever since then, Chad has worked his way as Crew Chief for several different pilots. Chad has been to several World Hot-Air Balloon Championships. Chad has taken all of his knowledge and now has become a pilot. Now flying for several years, Chad is trying to become a Commercial Pilot. Chad's Balloon is called Independence and has the U.S. Flag on one side and U.S.A. on the other side. Chad placed #7 in the 2019 Hot Air Balloon Championships.

DAVIS, JASON - 2 PINK 4U BALLOON

Jason Adams - Ontario Canada - 2 Kichaa BalloonJason Adams - Ontario Canada - 2 Kichaa BalloonJason is from Milo, Iowa and will be flying his 2 Pink 4U Balloon for his 1st time this year in the Battle Creek Field of Flight Hot Air Balloon Championships. 

FOELSKE, AARON - THE HUMMINGBIRD BALLOON

AJ FoelskeAJ Foelske - The Hummingbird Balloon Originally from Indianola, IA, Aaron Foelske joins us from Channonhon, IL and will be flying in the Battle Creek Field of Flight Hot-Air Balloon Competition in his balloon called The Hummingbird Balloon. In previous years he flew his balloon called Basket Case. He started flying hot-air balloons in 2001. When Aaron is not flying his balloon, he is an Engineer for Southern Company Gas. Aaron won 11th place in 20194th place in 2018, 3rd place in 2017 & 6th place in 2016 in the Battle Creek Field of Flight Hot-Air Balloon Competitions.

GILLES, JEFF - LAWN DART BALLOON

Jeff Gilles - Lawn Dart BalloonJeff Gilles - Lawn Dart Balloon Jeff is from Traverse City, Michigan and will be flying his Lawn Dart Balloon for his 1st time this year in the Battle Creek Field of Flight Hot Air Balloon Championships. 

HEARTSILL, JOE - TEXAS RACER BALLOON

Texas Racer Balloon - Joe Heartsill Joe Heartsill Joe Heartsill, aka "Smokin' Joe", is from San Angelo, Texas. Joe attended the Albuquerque, New Mexico balloon festival in 1978 and knew he had to get one for himself. He purchased his balloon and didn't even know how to fly it! He has been a licensed balloon pilot since the early 1980's. Joe works in Investments. He is married to his wife Nancy and has a daughter named Kate as well as his two sons, Rhett & Lucas. The name of his balloon is "Texas Racer" simply because he loves to race and is from Texas. This will be his 28th year participating in the event. Joe placed #12 in 2019, #3 in 2018, #1 in 2016, #3 in 2013, #5 in 2012 & #6 in 2011 in the Battle Creek Field of Flight Hot-Air Balloon Competitions.

HEARTSILL, RHETT - TEXAS STAR BALLOON

Rhett Heartsill - Texas Star BalloonRhett Heartsill - Texas Star Balloon Rhett Heartsill's father is Joe Heartsill (Texas Racer). Due to this, Rhett was born into the hot-air ballooning world. Rhett and his wife Jobi are both from San Angelo, Texas. He has been a licensed balloon pilot since 2007. When not flying his hot-air balloon, he works as a geologist. The name of his balloon is "Texas Star", which looks very similar to his dad's balloon. This will be is 10th year participating in the event. Rhett placed #3 in 2016, #14 in 2013, #3 in 2012 and #12 in 2011 in the hot-air balloon competitions.

JAY, KENNY - MAI'KEN MEMORIES BALLOON

MAI'KEN MEMORIES Piloted by Kenny Jay Kenny Jay Piloting the Balloon MAI'KEN MEMORIESKenny Jay, from the small town of Brookfield, Missouri, was introduced to the Hot-Air Ballooning sport from the local balloon derby, "Great Pershing Balloon Derby." Kenny and his wife both live in Hallsville, MO. He has been a private pilot since 2009. He owns and operates a small commercial diesel repair shop and spends his free time hunting, fishing and flying his hot-air balloon. Kenny will be flying his Mai'ken Memories balloon for the 5th time in this year's Battle Creek Field of Flight Air Show & Balloon Festival

KERBER, RICK - MICHIGAN CAT / Cat Rental Store BALLOON

Rick Kerber in the Michigan Cat BalloonRick Kerber, Wayland, MI - Michigan CAT BalloonRick Kerber if from Wayland, Michigan. He came from a family of pilots and started flying at the age of 16. He flies the Michigan Cat/The Cat Rental Store balloon and has been with Michigan Cat for over 34 years. Rick's beautiful wife, Cris, and his amazing daughters, Jennie and Megan, will be his crew. He has been a licensed balloon pilot since 2002. This will be Rick's 16th year participating in the Field of Flight. He has placed #15 in 2019#11 in 2017, #9 in 2016 and #15 in 2012 in the Battle Creek Field of Flight Hot-Air Balloon Competitions.

Facebook: Kerber Family Balloon Team

MITCHELL, STEVE - OLD CAT BALLOON

Old Cat - Steve Mitchell - Balloon PilotSteve Mitchell - ScrumtrulescentSteve Mitchell is a 2003 graduate of Lakeview High School and 2008 graduate of Michigan State University. Steve currently lives in Chagrin Falls, Ohio with his beautiful wife Yolanda and son Grayson. He has been a licensed pilot since 2008. When not flying his hot-air balloon, he works as an Engineer for Nestle USA. The name of his balloon is "OLD CAT", because he purchased it from Rick Kerber, who used to fly it as the Michigan Cat balloon. This will be his 9th year participating in the Battle Creek Hot-Air Balloon Championship. Steve placed #1 in 2019, #10 in 2017, #2 in 2016, #6 in 2015 and #14 in 2014 in the Battle Creek Field of Flight Hot-Air Balloon Competitions. He also claimed Rookie of the Year honors at the 2014 US National Hot-Air Balloon Championship finishing 19th overall.

MOORE, MICHAEL - SHENANIGANS BALLOON

Michael Moore - Shananigans BalloonMichael MooreMichael "One Burn Too Many Mike" Moore is from Augusta, Michigan. He got into ballooning by crewing for Dale Wilson, Lori, his wife, actually is the one that named my balloon, Shenanigans. After buying my balloon in 2002, she asked if I had a name for it yet and I replied, "I was going to treat it like a new puppy. After you have it for a while, a name usually just comes to you." She said, "Good idea cause Lord knows the SHENANIGANS you're gonna pull...!" And the rest is history. The Battle Creek event is, of course, my favorite event being the first I ever attended, so I look forward to participating every year, especially now that I'm retired. Join the Hot Air Balloon Floaters Association group on Facebook.

NELS, ANDREW "AJ" - ASTRO RACER BALLOON

Mavrica - Pilot AJ NelsAndrew Returning to Battle Creek for his 5th year, Andrew 'AJ' Nels, from Beavercreek, Ohio will be flying his new balloon called Mavrica in the Field of Flight Balloon Competition. AJ has been a licensed hot-air balloon pilot since 2005. When he's not flying his balloon, he is employed at an Engineer at Delta Airlines. AJ placed #8 in the 2016 hot-air balloon championship.

NELS, AL - TIME FLIES BALLOON

Time Flies - Balloon Pilot Al NelsAl Nels - Balloon Pilot of Time FliesAl Nels, from Beavercreek, Ohio, launched his first hot-air balloon at age 11 followed shortly thereafter with a hydrogen balloon. Those first balloons were made from dry-cleaning bags, the former powered by birthday candles. After getting his first ride in a hot-air balloon while in college, he embraced the sport and earned his commercial license about a month after that first ride. After a few years of sport ballooning Al entered competitive ballooning with gusto. Over the years he has won multiple United States Nationals and World Championships in hot-air balloons. He has served as competition director for multiple events and as the Team Manager for the US Team at several World Championships. Al holds commercial ratings for balloons (gas and hot-air) and instrument airplane. He is a recent recipient of the Ed Yost Master Pilot Award.

PESTUN, JEFF - SPECIAL PURPOSE BALLOON

Special Purpose Balloon - Jeff Pestun Jeff Pestun Jeff Pestun is originally from Battle Creek and got started in hot-air ballooning by helping out-of-town pilots at the first events here in the early 1980s. He is a graduate of Gull Lake High School as well as Hope College, where he has been employed for over 21 years. Jeff resides in the Saugatuck, Michigan area with his wife Robyn, Son Andrew and daughter Allison. His parents, Marilyn and Nick, still live in Battle Creek and often assist with his flights when he is in town. This will be Jeff's 20th consecutive year flying in the Battle Creek Hot-Air Balloon Championship. The name of his balloon is "Special Purpose" which is a reference to the movie "The Jerk". Jeff placed #14 in 2019, #5 in 2018, #1 in 2017, #4 in 2011, #11 in 2013 & 2012 and #9 in 2011 in the Battle Creek Field of Flight Hot-Air Balloon Competitions.

RAYA, SHAWN - SULLAIR BALLOON

Shawn Raya - SULLAIR BalloonShawn Raya - SULLAIR BalloonShawn Raya is from Highland, Michigan. Shawn grew up with his dad flying the Father & Son Construction balloon. He has been a licensed balloon pilot since 1987. Shawn is a purchasing manager at RHK Technology. He has a wife named Sandra and 4 kids; Joshua, Audrianna, Ashley & Victoria. Shawn will be flying his "Sullair"  balloon with the "Sullair" - A Hitachi Group Company banner. This will be his 14th year participating in the event. Shawn's family helps him crew the balloon. Shawn has placed in the top 10 for the last several years, placing #7 in 2016, #4 in 2015, #5 in 2014, #7 in 2013, #8 in 2012 and #3 in 2011 in the hot-air balloon competitions.

REEDER, ERIC - MESMERIZED BALLOON

Mesmerized Balloon - Piloted by Eric Reeder Eric Reeder Eric Reeder is from Ravenna, Michigan.  He, his wife Amy and two children, Chloe & Owen, love to do ballooning as a family. Eric has been around ballooning his entire life, spending many years crewing for close family friends Doug & Karen Mills. He was even able to spend a month ballooning in Africa with the Mills family in 1999. After many years of loving the sport he finally decided it was his time and got his Private Balloon Pilot License in 2014. They have since spent the years taking friends and family up in their beautiful balloon. Eric loves sharing his passion for ballooning with others and is honored and looks forward to his 4th time flying at the Battle Creek Hot-Air Balloon Championships. He will be flying his balloon called Mesmerized Balloon.

ROLFE, PAT - CYNTHIA SEAL BALLOON

Pat Rolfe - Cynthia Seal Balloon Pat RolfePat Rolfe is from Battle Creek, Michigan. He has been a licensed hot-air balloon pilot since 2006. He is a retired maintenance engineer for the Kellogg Company. He has a wife named Cindy and 4 children; Patrick, Jennifer, Michael & Russell. He also has three grandchildren named Trevor, Madison and Natalie. He will be flying his Cynthia Seal Balloon. This is Pat's 35th year participating in the Field of Flight Hot-Air Balloon Competition in any way, shape or form. Pat crewed for Dave Emmeret for 25 years and now the tables have turned and Dave, who is now a retired balloon pilot after 30 years of flying, is Pat's crew chief.

SITKO, STEVE - MAVERYX BALLOON

Maveryx Balloon - Piloted by Steve SitkoSteve Sitko - Piloting Maveryx BalloonSteve Sitko is from Jackson, MI and will be flying for his 4th year in the Battle Creek Field of Flight Air Show & Balloons Festival. He has been a licensed balloon pilot since 2012. When not flying his balloon, Steve works in purchasing for a local Tier 1 automotive supplier. The name of his balloon is Maveryx, which is a mash-up of his two daughter's names together. Steve is almost always accompanied by his Crew Chief and loving wife Sara. In my own words, "my finishes aren't quite good enough to publish". His one major accomplishment in Battle Creek is after years of rejection, he finally received the "team" hat from fellow pilot Rick Kerber in 2018. He placed 1st in the 2016 Jackson Hot-Air Jubilee. Steve loves to fly and see the reactions from the kids of all ages upon landing his balloon.

SMART, CHRIS - DREAM RACER / BLU FISH BALLOON

Chris Smart - Blu Fish BalloonChris Smart - Blu Fish BalloonChris Smart, also known as "CCD" (Chris Can Do), is from Huntington, Indiana and loves to compete. When not competing, he enjoys putting smiles on people's faces while taking them up in his ride balloon, "Dream Catcher". He has been a commercial pilot since 1992. He is father to 3 daughters and 1 son, and also grandfather to 10. Ballooning has been a family hobby for more than 30 years, starting as crew for a local pilot. He has done pretty well most years in Battle Creek, and not so good the other years. Most of all, he enjoys being around his ballooning family. Chris returns to the Battle Creek Hot-Air Balloon Championship for his 8th year flying his Dream Racer Balloon with the Blu Fish Consulting banner.  Chris has finished in the top 10 many times since starting in Battle Creek, placing # 10 in 2019, #6 in 2017, #9 in 2014 & #6 in 2013 & in 2012 in the Battle Creek Field of Flight Hot-Air Balloon Competitions.

STAMATS, SUSAN - ALLEY CAT BALLOON

Alley Cat Balloon Susan Stamats Susan Stamats is from Cedar Rapids, Iowa. She saw a hot-air balloon and then she was hooked. She now has been a licensed balloon pilot since 1986. Susan flies the "Alley Cat" balloon. She has participated in every event at the Battle Creek Field of Flight Hot-Air Balloon Competitions except one. She says her balloon crew is the Best in the World! Susan placed #13 in the 2019 Hot Air Balloon Championships.

WALL, CAMERON - SUMMER SAVER BALLOON

Summer Saver Balloon Cameron Wall - Balloon PilotCameron Wall is a first generation pilot as no one else is his family flies. "Cam" is from Albuquerque, New Mexico, although he is currently attending LeTourneau University in Longview, Texas. In 2018, he went to Poland to compete in the FAI Junior World Hot-Air Balloon Championship as a part of Team U.S.A. "Cam" also placed #6 in the 2019 in his first year competing in the Hot Air Balloon Championships.

WILSON, DALE - SEVENTH HEAVEN BALLOON

Seventh Heave Balloon - Dale Wilson Dale Wilson Dale "Captain Boomerang" Wilson is from Augusta, Michigan. After crewing in the 1981 World's Championship, he bought his first hot-air balloon in 1987. He has been a licensed balloon pilot since 1988. He is retired from AT&T. His wife's name is Lori. His mother-in-law came up with the name of his balloon "Seventh Heaven". This will be his 35th year participating in the Battle Creek event. Dale's crew consists of members with an average age in the 60's.

Final Balloon Competition Standings 2011 - 2019

2019 Hot-Air Balloon Competition Final Standings

Steve Mitchell - Old Cat Balloon Steve Mitchell - Old Cat Balloon

  1. Steve Mitchell - Old Cat Balloon
  2. Matt Bousselot
  3. Steve Wilkinson
  4. Gary Heavin
  5. John Petrehn
  6. Cameron Wall
  7. Chad Crabtree
  8. Justin Wilkinson
  9. Jeremy King
  10. Chris Smart
  11. Aaron Foelske
  12. Joe Heartsill
  13. Susan Stamats
  14. Jeff Pestun
  15. Rick Kerber

Congratulations and Thank You to all who participated in 2019!


2018 Hot-Air Balloon Competition Final Standings

  1. Rhett Heartsill - Texas Star Balloon Rhett Heartsill - Texas Star Balloon Rhett Heartsill - Texas Star Balloon
  2. Shawn Raya
  3. Joe Heartsill
  4. Aaron Foelske
  5. Jeff Pestun
  6. Jason Kimball
  7. Rob Nutting
  8. Christopher Cliver
  9. Steve Wilkinson
  10. Jeremy King

Congratulations and Thank You to all who participated in 2018!


2017 Hot-Air Balloon Competition Final Standings

  1. Jeff Pestun - Special Purpose Balloon Jeff Pestun - Special Purpose Balloon Jeff Pestun - Special Purpose Balloon
  2. Shawn Raya
  3. Aaron Foelske
  4. Al Nels
  5. Larry Coan
  6. Chris Smart
  7. Chris Cliver
  8. Dom Bereford
  9. Andrew Nels
  10. Steve Mitchell
  11. Rick Kerber
  12. Harold Cliver
  13. Jeremy King
  14. Bret Christian
  15. Richard Parr

Congratulations and Thank You to all who participated in 2017!


2016 Hot-Air Balloon Competition Final Standings

  1. Joe Heartsill - Texas Racer Balloon Joe Heartsill - Texas Racer BalloonJoe Heartsill - Texas Racer Balloon
  2. Steve Mitchell
  3. Rhett Heartsill
  4. John Petrehn
  5. Joe Zvada
  6. Aaron Foelske
  7. Shawn Raya
  8. AJ Nels
  9. Rick Kerber
  10. Larry Coan

Congratulations and Thank You to all who participated in 2016!

2015 Hot-Air Balloon Competition Final Standings


  1. Joe Zvada - International Chicken Balloon Joe Zvada - International Chicken BalloonJoe Zvada 8660 International Chicken Balloon
  2. Johnny Petrehn 8567
  3. Jeff Pestun 8191
  4. Shawn Raya 8005
  5. Yudai Fujita 7997
  6. Steve Mitchell 7710
  7. Aaron Foelske 7602
  8. Susan Stamats 7001
  9. Jason Adams 6904
  10. Larry Coan 6812
  11. Christopher Cliver 6702
  12. Harold Cliver 6412
  13. John Gibbons 6224
  14. Guy Gauthier 6019
  15. Meg Skelton 5968

Congratulations and Thank You to all who participated in 2015!


2014 Hot-Air Balloon Competition Final Standings

  1. Johnny Petrehn 7185 Kodachrome Balloon
  2. Joe Heartsill 6559
  3. Chase Donner 6546
  4. Jeff Pestun 6373
  5. Shawn Raya 6372
  6. Joe Zvada 6304
  7. Yudai Fujita 6301
  8. AJ Nels 6210
  9. Chris Smart 6198
  10. Dominic Bareford 5616
  11. Jason Adams 5395
  12. Brandon Heavin 5326
  13. Larry Coan 5257
  14. Steve Mitchell 4999
  15. Jeremy Rubin 4978

Congratulations and Thank You to all who participated in 2014!


2013 Hot-Air Balloon Competition Final Standings

  1. Joe ZVADA, TX 7950
  2. Paul PETREHN, MI 7860
  3. Joe HEARTSILL, TX 7730
  4. Gary HEAVIN, TX 7590
  5. Nick DONNER, KY 7550
  6. Chris SMART, IN 7540
  7. Shawn RAYA, MI 7510
  8. John PETREHN, KS 7470
  9. Harold CLIVER, TX 7260
  10. Phil CLINGER, MI 7050
  11. Jeff PESTUN, MI 6950
  12. Yudai FUJITA, JPN 6880
  13. Chuck WALZ, MI 6860
  14. Rhett HEARTSILL, TX 6800
  15. Brandon HEAVIN, TX 6680

Congratulations and Thank You to all who participated in 2013!


2012 Hot-Air Balloon Competition Final Standings

  1. John PETREHN, KS 11178 
  2. Paul PETREHN, MI 10319
  3. Rhett HEARTSILL, TX 10039
  4. Nick DONNER, KY 9885
  5. Joe HEARTSILL, TX 9660
  6. Chris SMART, IN 9546
  7. Robert GONZALES, TX 9501
  8. Shawn RAYA, MI 8989
  9. Joe ZVADA, TX 8715
  10. Gary HEAVIN, TX 8711
  11. Jeff PESTUN, MI 8559
  12. Robert WATSON, MI 8368
  13. Andy BAIRD, MI 8321
  14. Jason ADAMS, ONT 8226
  15. Rick KERBER, MI 8007

Congratulations and Thank You to all who participated in 2012!


2011 Hot-Air Balloon Competition Final Standings

  1. Nick Donner IL 6704
  2. Chase Donner GA 6500
  3. Shawn Raya MI 6386
  4. Tom Roush TN 6364
  5. Larry Coan MI 6272
  6. Joe Heartsill TX 6182
  7. Paul Petrehn MI 6126
  8. Phil Clinger MI 5602
  9. Jeff Pestun MI 5557
  10. Roy Smith TN 5421
  11. Joe Zvada OH 5331
  12. Rhett Heartsill TX 5215
  13. Bret Christian IA 5172
  14. David Troutman KY 4943
  15. Jeff Sweet NC 4897

Congratulations and Thank You to all who participated in 2011!


Hot-Air Balloon Rides for Hire

BALLOON RIDES FOR HIRE

Contact these Balloonists for Paid Passenger Rides in Battle Creek, Michigan and the surrounding areas.

If they are participating in this year's hot-air balloon competition, they may not be available during the festival. NO PAID BALLOON RIDES ARE AVAILABLE DURING OUR EVENT/LAUNCHES!

BATTLE CREEK, MI

  • Altitude Endeavors, Inc. 888-933-5964
  • Tyler Jaques 269-274-0364
  • Pat Rolfe 269-968-0368
  • Deven Cook 269-719-0333

JACKSON, MI

  • Chuck Walz (Munith) 517-596-2621

ANN ARBOR, MI

  • Shawn Raya 248-969-4354

WAYLAND, MI

  • Rick Kerber 269-790-6020

INDIANA

  • Chris Smart (Huntington) 260-224-0251

OHIO

  •  Jim Birk (Defiance) 614-579-2970

FOR BALLOONISTS THROUGHOUT THE UNITED STATES, PLEASE VISIT THE BALLOON FEDERATION OF AMERICA (BFA) WEBSITE www.bfa.com