Brian began flying hot air balloons in 1980 when first introduced to the ballooning sport via his grandmothers’ balloon (she was 69 at the time) and flown in U.S., Canada, France, Scotland, England, Mexico and The Fiji Islands. Brian co-owns, operates and manages Ohio's sound hot air balloon ride company, Gentle Breeze Hot Air Balloon Company, Ltd. providing safe hot air balloon rides in Ohio including Cincinnati Ohio and Dayton Ohio. Brian continuously maintains hot-air balloon flying proficiency by flying balloons in and around Dayton Ohio as often as weather permits and never incurred any flight incidents, accidents, violations, citations. Amazingly, he has also held 90-day currency requirements, continuously since 1983. At this time, Brian piloted over 4900 lighter-than-air balloon flights, and administered over a hundred balloon flight exams/reviews.
Hot Air Ballooning highlights include:
Awards and Recognitions:
Dan Keith (Senior Pilot) Dan flies regularly for Gentle Breeze Hot Air Balloon Rides featuring Cincinnati Ohio Balloon Rides. Dan's initial Hot Air Balloon Pilot training received by a nationally respected Pilot/Instructor over 3 decades ago! Dan flown Cincinnati balloon rides commercially for over 30 years and accumulated several hundreds of pilot-in-command hours. He is quick to say: "I love hot air ballooning as much now as the day I started." Dan's balloon pilot experiences range from the smallest to the largest balloons found in Ohio. Specifically, Dayton and Cincinnati balloon rides feature the one-man balloon, as small as 25,000 cu. ft. to the largest of the large, a whopping 210,000 cu. ft. hot air balloon. Normally you will find him flying 90,000 cubic foot balloons to 210,000 behemoths. Flying never gets old as his enthusiasm is renewed by the joy in the faces of every passenger.
Enjoy your Dayton suburbs hot air balloon ride including Centerville, Miamisburg, Bellbrook, Springboro and Oakwood with our featured Ohio Balloon Ride Pilot, Dan Keith!
Patrick Hollenbeck started with Gentle Breeze Hot Air Balloon Company years ago when seeking his Lighter-Than-Air Balloon Class add-on rating to his existing Pilots license. He earned his Private then Commercial balloon piloting privileges governed by the FAA, including Ohio Balloon Flight Instructor authorizations.
Socrates Rettos – Senior Pilot, Ride Balloons. Socrates represented one of the few pilots certified, qualified and trained to handle our largest hot air balloon, Tiny. The rare, large-ride balloon endorsement allows him to navigate the Ohio Skies safely in southwestern Ohio’s ride-designed hot air balloon.
Introduced to hot air ballooning around Cincinnati Ohio as a Balloon Federation of America (BFA) “Observer” in 1984, Socrates exemplifies an old cliché amongst balloon owners: that cliché states “your first flight is usually cheap while your second flight costs you tens of thousands of dollars, because you bought one…”. Yep, he bought one. Well, technically he’s purchased at least two Cincinnati Ohio Balloons.
Residing in Ohio, Socrates first balloon purchase occurred in 1993. He earned a hot air balloon pilot certificate with private privileges. Though the 1990s, he upgraded his pilot certificate to commercial level pilot privileges. Going above and beyond the federal aviation guidelines (FAA), he sought and obtained advanced training in large ride balloons.
Large hot-air Ride-Balloon training remains optional within the United States laws, however Gentle Breeze Hot Air Balloon Company, Ltd. instills rigorous training common in other countries. In addition regular commercial hot air balloon flights in the Greater Cincinnati / Greater Dayton areas, Socrates frequently participated in balloon events across the Midwest. He flew hot-air balloons in largest balloon event on the east coast, the QuickChek Balloon Festival in Readington, NJ as well as the largest balloon festival on the planet, the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta in Albuquerque, NM. Both Albuquerque and Readington, offered Socrates the invitation to navigate our large ride balloons in congested airspace with poise.
Socrates maintained memberships in these flight related organizations: The Balloon Federation of America (BFA), the BFA Competition Division, the BFA Professional Ride Operators Division and the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association.