Your Pilots

Michael D. Ranieri
Mike has been flying since 1999. Since Mike’s first balloon flight he has not looked back. Within two years he went from student, to private, to commercial FAA – certified Hot Air Balloon pilot. He has an FAA certified hot air balloon repairman’s certificate. He has flown throughout New York State, Arizona, Canada and Japan. He has organized many balloon festivals over the years.

Russ Barber
Russ has been flying over 40 years. He is an award winning pilot having won the Labatt’s Sportmans Award and International races in Japan just to name a few. Russ also flew his balloon over the opening ceremonies of the Winter Olympics in Lake Placid and tethered his balloon “Foxy Lady” along side the Statue of Liberty in New York City for the Harbor Festival. He has his commercial hot air balloon and fixed wing pilots license. He is also a member of the Two-mile High Club having flown at over 12,500 feet.

Alan Jones
Alan has been flying balloons for over 29 years. One of his most memorable flights was his flight over the opening ceremonies of the 1980 winter Olympics in Lake Placid. Meeting a lot of great people and seeing a lot of beautiful countryside are just two of the reasons Alan loves to fly.

Becky Jones
Becky has been flying for 16 years and during that time has had the pleasure of ballooning in Saga, Japan. It was the highlight of all her flights to see the beautiful country of Japan from a balloon.

Alissa Oliveto
Alissa has been involved with ballooning since 2002.  Within two years she went from student, to private, to commercial pilot.  Alissa is a science teacher for Kingston City School and  online for the University of Phoenix, where she finds herself incorporating  her experiences in ballooning, with lessons regarding meteorology.  Just like a day in the classroom where you never know what kind of day lies ahead of you,  Alissa enjoys the unknown of her destination in every flight in the balloon.