Byron Bay Ballooning is a local family owned and operated business, formed with the intention of offering everyone the magnificent experience of flying in a hot air balloon over Australia’s most beautiful landscape.
Our Chief Pilot Thomas Dattler is the 2011 & 2012 Australian Ballooning Champion, and has been flying balloons over the Byron Bay area since 2005. Before that he was a flying instructor for airplanes. Along with Senior Pilot Chris Dewhirst and his team of highly qualified professional pilots and enthusiastic, friendly and helpful crew, they will ensure that this experience of a lifetime will be a safe and wonderful one from beginning to end.
All our pilots hold a commercial pilot licence issued by the Civil Aviation Safety Authority, which is considered of the highest standard worldwide. Our balloons are all purchased new from the manufacturer, and feature the latest in safety design and quiet burner technology for your comfort during the flight. From the mountains to the sea – the rainbow region will enchant you with its wonders! We hope to see you soon!
Thomas Dattler – Chief Pilot of Byron Bay Ballooning
Thomas has been flying since the age of 22, when he got his private pilot license in Germany.
He is the Australian Hot Air Ballooning Champion 2011 & 2012.
He has been flying over the Byron Bay Hinterland in Gliders, Motorplanes and Balloons for over 20 years and knows the area better then anyone.
Chris Dewhirst – Senior Pilot
Australia’s ballooning legend – we are fortunate to have Chris here to fly with us. He was the first to fly a hot air balloon over Mt Everest, and is the most decorated balloon pilot in Australia.
Lui Monacelli – Chief Crew
Lui has been working for us since 2010, and is in charge of office and ground operations. Hot air ballooning is very much a team effort, and the ground crew are extremely important for a safe flight.
The crew are in charge of setting up the balloon, helping to inflate it, and to help passengers into the basket. During the flight they follow the balloon to be as near as possible once it comes in for landing. They are also responsible for landowner relations – very important since we usually land in paddocks owned by local farmers.
Emiliano Cataldi – Pilot
Emiliano caught the bug after coming for a balloon flight himself. He was, along with Lui, part of the Byron Bay Ballooning crew that won the Australian Championships.
Emiliano is our newest pilot and is loving his new found appreciation of flying balloons.
Petra – the brekkie queen
Petra is the one that welcomes us when we return from the flight with a smile and hot coffee, quiche, fruit etc. while the crew refuels the balloons and prepare the flight certificates and inflight customised USB’s.