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John Warren

Hot Air Balloon Pilot, Let's Go Ballooning Inc.

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New Times: Your Web site (sloballoon.com) says you are accident-free in flying, but have you had any close calls?

Warren: If somebody’s going to get hurt, it’s going to be when we’re landing, not during the flight. I tend be pretty conservative. I’ve had some hard landings, but they were four years ago.

New Times: What happens if you have to go to the bathroom?

Warren: I’ll land. It only takes 20 minutes to deflate a balloon.

New Times: What do you enjoy about ballooning?

Warren: For one thing, it’s the oldest method of flight there is. They started flying in the 1700s. But the cool thing about balloons is that you can hear everything that’s going on around you. It’s the only aircraft in which you can hear anything outside. The view is just incredible.

New Times: Anything odd you have seen or heard while you’re up there?

Warren: We go up at sunrise. People aren’t really doing many funny things at sunrise when the air is cool. You can’t fly a balloon in the middle of the day.

New Times: For what reasons do people fly in balloons?

Warren: We get a lot of proposals, anniversaries, and birthdays. But probably the majority of my guests go just for the experience

New Times: Has anyone ever dropped anything from the basket while in flight?

Warren: I’ve been flying them for thirteen years and I’ve never had anybody drop something.

New Times: Do you foresee balloons disappearing?

Warren: Well they’ve been around since the 1700s. They’re recreational. People don’t take a hot air balloon to go somewhere. They take a hot air balloon for the experience.

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