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"My Fake Airline"


When most people think of flying, an airplane is usually the first thing that comes to mind.  In reality, more than 100 years before the Wright Brothers took to the skies man had been flying in both hot air and gas balloons. In the process of picking out our little corner of the internet we decided to intertwine the worlds of man's oldest and man's most common forms of flight.  Tying the two together also offers an opportunity to use some familiar terms and show some of the similarities as well as the differences and misconceptions involved with Lighter Than Air flight.  Though they can't be 'steered' in a traditional sense, balloons are federally registered and regulated aircraft and balloon pilots go through the same certification processes as airplane pilots.

The inspiration for this website comes from ballooning's designation of 'Lighter Than Air' flight because as opposed to the powered flight options offered by airplanes and helicopters who power their way through the sky, we become a part of it, suspended by nothing other that the fact that the heated air inside the balloon weighs less than the air outside of the balloon.

Mother Nature, our work schedules and other activities allow us to fly our balloons 'Hocus Pocus' and 'Libertas' about 30 times a year.  Most of our flights are in the Topeka area, but several times a year we travel to balloon rallies and other events across the midwest.  From time to time we sell flights, and when possible, we also do demonstrations for schools and other organizations, sharing ballooning with as many people as we can.  We have a large group of frequent crew members, many of whom have been active in ballooning for several years and we can't thank them enough for all of their help and support.

We've put these pages together to share some of our experiences with you and to help teach people from all walks of life about the joys of ballooning.  Perhaps you've found us through a search engine, linked to us from another site, or maybe we landed in your yard.  Whatever the case, please take a look around and and learn a little bit about this addictive hobby that has consumed our lives.  If you would like more information or think that you might be interested in getting involved with ballooning yourself, please send us an EMAIL and we would be happy to answer any questions you may have.

We've tried to make these pages easy to navigate and as user friendly as possible, so we've broken it down into several different topics while attempting to maintain the fake airline theme.  Just click on the links above to get where you want to go, and check back often to see what we've added. Thanks for stopping by!

-Tony Goodnow, Chief Pilot at Lighter Than Airway

 

Hocus Pocus skimming the water during a "Splash 'n Dash" on a summer flight. Try that in a Boeing 747.

 



We are members of the Great Plains Balloon Club, a group of ballooning enthusiasts who share a passion for the sport and encourage anyone interested in ballooning to get involved and keep the true spirit of ballooning alive and well.  We also believe that maintaining an active membership in the Balloon Federation of America, a unified voice representing balloonists across the U.S., is a vital step to keep ballooning as an activity that can be experienced by people from all walks of life.



A special "Thank You" goes out to all of the landowners across the country who allow balloonists to launch and land on their property.  If it wasn't for your hospitality none of this would be possible.  We are at the mercy of the winds and consider ourselves lucky to meet so many wonderful people when we drop in uninvited.  We hope you have had a pleasant experience and have some photos and special stories of your own to share with your friends and families.

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