Kim began ballooning in Korea in 1998 qualifying as a commercial balloon pilot
in 2000. Kim was the festival event director for Korea’s international balloon festival. Kim gained his Australian commercial balloon licence in 2009 and immigrated to Australia in 2010. He is now a Director of Balloon Aloft Canberra and our full time pilot.
Chief Pilot and Director
John is our Chief Pilot and the founding owner of Balloon Aloft Canberra. John has been flying hot air balloons since 1986. His interest in Aviation developed at a very early age with a strong family background in gliding and meteorology. John was the National Hot Air Balloon Champion in 1988-90 and again in 1992-94. He is best known for his record breaking nonstop trans-Australia balloon flight with Dick Smith in 1993 and the trans-Tasman (New Zealand to Australia) flight in 2000. In 1995 John was awarded The Montgolfiere Diploma – the World´s highest ballooning award.
Gary Lacey started ballooning in 1995, he qualified as a private balloon pilot in 1996, and gained his commercial licence in 2000, logging over 800 hours of flying. Gary is a qualified ABF instructor and also spends several weeks every year travelling to international balloon championships as an official to locations including Japan, Luxembourg, Spain, France, Lithuania, Austria, Denmark & Australia. He has competed in 3 Australian championships, coming 8th in 2011. More recently Gary was the Competition Director for the Australian National Ballooning Championships in Northam WA in 2017 and again in Mudgee in 2019.
Dave has grown up around balloons and went for his first flight as a boy during the 1988 Canberra Balloon Festival. Dave is passionate about flying and takes pride in providing a relaxed and safe experience for his passengers. His other interests include computer science, mountain biking and sailing.
Our professional ground crew team are led by crew chief Alex. Our crew greet you upon arrival and see your balloon safely into the air, then return you after the flight to the Hyatt for your champagne celebration. The ground crew team are there to help so feel free to ask them any questions (but be warned – they love to talk about ballooning!). As a casual job, ground crewing is a hobby for many of the team and they all bring their own skills to the morning.
Sue, Jenny and Nicole are the friendly reservations team in the office between 9am-5pm Monday to Friday. Whether over the phone or by email, the team is here to assist you in organising your ballooning adventure or a gift certificate for that someone special. Sue our Office Manager has been working with Balloon Aloft Canberra for 20 years.