First let me say that I am very picky about our pilots.
Not only do I want a pilot who's safety record is spotless but someone
who has amazing flight skills that will simply astound you while making
it look like they are not even trying. Another thing I look for
when choosing a pilot is personality. Are you going to have a good
time spending an hour or more with this person. There are many
skillful pilots in the Orlando area, but my boots have more personality
than some of them.
Capt Jeff A Thompson.
This is my passion. I have been flying balloons
for well over 30 years and still show up every morning with a huge grin
on my face to go fly. This has been my passion since I was 15
years old. I am ranked as one of the best competition pilots in
the country with Mutable top 20 finishes in the country as well as
regional and state titles. I am out to fly every day that we
operate. It is more than a passion to me it is an obsession.
We are creating memories that you will treasure as well as share with
your friends and family for the rest of your life. I want that to
be a perfect memory in all ways. That is why I am out to fly each
and every day and hand choose our pilots to make the Thompson Aire
perfect. You may not know this but "Aire" is French for My Domain!
Capt Jon A Thompson
Jon is my brother.
Some times when I tell my passengers that brother Jon has been
flying most of his life I have to explain that when I say
brother Jon I mean blood relative not priest.
Jon Thompson has been
flying balloons for almost 30 years. A top competitive
pilot with multiple state championship titles, as well as spending over 15 years flying corporate
balloons around the country Jon has seen all aspects of balloon
flight, He enjoys his flying and sharing it with others.
His personality will entertain you and his flight skills will
Capt Doug Cleghorn
Doug started in
Ballooning here in the central Florida area back in the early
80's! Yes he too has been flying balloon for nearly 30
years. Are you starting to see a trend here? He was
involved with the Church Street balloon team in the beginning.
Flying passenger flights most of his years he has perfected the
program. Doug is a perfectionist and we like that in a
pilot. Great charm and excellent pilot skills make him a
wonderful addition to our pilot staff.
|Capt Kim McCourt,
Kim has been with us for more than 10 years now. He made the
decision to become a pilot. His
life has not been the same since. He has worked his
butt off to learn the regulations and get his flight time as
well as purchased his own balloon to finish his training in.
We are happy to say that on July 27th of 2008 Kim took his
SOLO flight! Have a
look on the calendar to see his photo after his solo flight.
Kim has now passed the commercial flight reviews and is now
one of our very own professional pilots. We are proud
to have him on our team.
Photos below were take of Kim's SOLO on
WE HAVE SUFFERED A GREAT LOSS!
Capt Peter has
relocated to New York State. We will miss him but there is
always a spot open for him on the calendar and it is our sincere
hope he will come out to fly with us any time he is in our area.
Capt. Peter Griswold
Peter was referred to us by
another local pilot. When we found out that Peter had been
around balloons since he was child since his father was a pilot
we knew he would be a good fit with us. He is a full time
charter airline pilot but when he is in town he loves to come
and fly with us. His charm and easy going personality is
fantastic to be around and his flight skills are well within the
standards we set for Thompson Aire. He is a veteran pilot
and still enjoys each flight. We kid him about being our
rookie pilot. He has only been flying since he was 17.
We think he looks good for 55... Just kidding. The
Thompson brothers started to fly balloons before they had a
drivers license so at 17 Peter was a late bloomer.
Capt Mark Roberson
Capt Mark has been involved in the world of aviation for many
years. A safety officer as well as a designated examiner
for the FAA Mark is also a flight instructor for fixed wing
aircraft as well. His charm and innocent humor makes him a
welcome addition to our pilot staff.
Capt Kenny Shuemate
Capt Kenny is also a
local boy. Starting as one of the pioneers in the balloon
world here in central Florida Kenny has been flying balloons for
over 30 years as well. Kenney is a top competition pilot.
Kenney spends time in the summer months traveling to balloon
competitions all over the southeast united states. You
have to watch him since he love's a good practical joke. We
truly enjoy the days when Capt. Kenney can come out and play
Capt Jim Thompson
Dad as we know him. Capt Jim Thompson is the second
generation of the Thompson family involved in ballooning.
We were going to put him on the ground crew page since he
started his ballooning life as ground crew for Jeff Thompson.
But since he is now a top ranked pilot and has been a top ranked
pilot for almost a quarter century we figured he should be
listed here. Dad does not fly passenger flights for
Thompson Aire but in the winter months when he comes down from
Iowa to get away from the snow. Occasionally during
his winter stay he will come out with his little Pilot +one
balloon and fly along with us.