About

Seattle Ballooning’s Hot Air Balloon Pilots

Our hot air balloon pilots love introducing new people to the magic of flight. Want to know more about us?

Hot Air Balloon Pilot Eliav C.

Eliav Cohen (Chief Balloon Pilot – Sky Sailor – Weather Disciple)

Since 2009, I’ve been passionate about hot air ballooning. There is nothing quite like seeing an eagle’s nest from the sky, watching elk and horses graze in their fields, flying inches above corn tassels, skimming the bottom of a hot air balloon basket on a river or lake, and enjoying the incredible views of Mt. Rainier without the sound of a loud engine.

I’m fortunate to have learned flying from a true French ballooning traditionalist in Nashville, TN. He taught me that no balloon flight is complete without a proper toast. To this day, all of our hot air balloon flights end with delicious imported French champagne. That kind of luxury hot air ballooning experience is almost unheard of in the USA. Although there are other hot air balloon companies North of Seattle in Woodinville and Snohomish, we are the only ones that have the opportunity to fly so close to Mt. Rainier.

Most people will only take one balloon flight in their lifetime. That’s why we provide an extraordinary experience – with an unbelievable flight path directly in front of Mt. Rainier.

I’ve been involved in balloon festivals all over the country and have launched balloons in Colorado, Oregon, Washington, Phoenix, Utah, California, and Chiang Mai, Thailand. We look forward to making sure your hot air balloon experience is safe, luxurious, and one you’ll talk about for years to come.

Hot Air Balloon Pilot Kasey S.

Kasey Schwemmer

Kasey started ballooning at age 5 in Wichita, Kansas and helped on various balloon crews up until earning his LTA Pilot Certificate at age 20 in 2007 (his now-Father-in-law was his flight instructor). He also began building scale model RC balloons at age 13 and still works on various balloon projects. He has flown balloons of all sizes for over 500 hours all over the country and enjoys competing in balloon competitions whenever possible. Kasey also is a professional musician.

Hot Air Balloon Pilot Mo Chando

Mo Chando

Pilot Mo Chando is a top ranked hot air balloon competitor, and inspires all who meet him with his enthusiasm for life. Mo has competed at the national level and is looking forward to participating the Jr. Worlds in the next few years. Pilot Mo spends his winters flying in Phoenix and his summers with Seattle Ballooning.

Hot Air Balloon Pilot McKenna S.

McKenna Secrist

McKenna Secrist is an amazing commercial hot air balloon pilot and also a dealer of Lindstrand Balloons. She is one of the most skilled female balloon pilots in the world and helps lead Seattle Ballooning’s Aeronaut Program (Training 16-25 year old women to fly hot air balloons). McKenna began her flight training at age 14, earned her private pilot certificate on her 16th birthday, and her commercial pilots certificate soon after turning 18. In addition to flying hot air balloons, she spends her time training to be a commercial fixed wing pilot.

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