Seattle’s Soaring Success: Amanda Brodbeck’s Ascension to National Hot Air Balloon Championship

We Have A New National Hot Air Ballooning Champion!

(For interviews please contact and we will connect you with Amanda)

There are those moments in time that crystallize into pure joy, genuine surprise, and elated celebration, and for Seattle Ballooning’s commercial hot air balloon pilot, Amanda Brodbeck, such a moment arrived when she soared to victory in the Women’s National Hot Air Balloon Championship. Based in Seattle, Washington, Amanda skillfully flies hot air balloons for Seattle Ballooning, offering exhilarating rides against the stunning backdrop of the iconic Mt. Rainier, just 25 minutes away from downtown Seattle. This local connection adds a special significance to her remarkable achievement.

While competitive hot air ballooning might not boast the same fame as more traditional sports, it demands no less skill and excitement. Think of it as a blend of NASCAR’s frenetic close quarter racing and golf’s precision, with pilots required not only to exhibit adept flight skills but also to possess an acute understanding of wind patterns, sharp eyesight, and impeccable timing.

Hot Air Ballooning Competition

Picture this: a swarm of vibrant hot air balloons ascending into the Seattle sky from a common launch point, painting the skies with a kaleidoscope of colors. The objective seems simple – pilots must navigate their balloons to drop a baggie, adorned with a streamer, onto multiple 10-foot wide targets on the ground.

Only Using The Wind For Control

Yet, the true challenge lies in the unpredictability of the wind. Balloon pilots have no direct control over the wind’s direction, relying solely on their ability to control the balloon’s altitude. Sometimes ascending to 10,000 feet and at other times catching orographic winds just above the trees, they must employ skill and strategy to leverage varying wind directions at different altitudes and reach the target accurately. What might appear as a game of chance to the uninitiated is, in reality, a contest of precision and consistency. Achieving a successful drop once could be attributed to luck, but maintaining accuracy over 15 tasks over multiple days requires the seasoned expertise that Amanda Brodbeck demonstrated.

Amanda Brodbeck flying right over the X!

This Was Her First Competition Ever

In her first-ever hot air balloon competition, Amanda Brodbeck displayed a masterful performance that could rival any veteran’s skill. Climbing the ranks steadily, she exhibited a consistency that reflected her prowess as a pilot and competitor.

However, it wasn’t just her flying abilities that secured her victory. Amanda’s indomitable spirit and unwavering positivity served as a beacon of resilience amidst the fierce competition, helping her maintain focus and rise above adversity.

Beyond the world of competitive ballooning, Amanda is a seasoned commercial pilot with Seattle Ballooning, where she offers exhilarating hot air balloon rides with Mt. Rainier providing a majestic and awe-inspiring backdrop. Her day-to-day experiences navigating the complexities of wind currents in the picturesque Seattle region no doubt contributed to her overall ballooning proficiency, giving her an edge in the championship.

An Inspiration For All

In a sport that seamlessly combines the thrill of racing with the precision of target sports, Amanda Brodbeck’s first-time victory stands as a testament to her exceptional skills, both as a pilot and as a competitor. As Seattle Ballooning continues to track the trajectory of this promising champion, may her inspiring story encourage others in Seattle and beyond to rise above their limitations in the thrilling and unconventional world of competitive hot air ballooning.

Seattle Ballooning Inspiring Women To Get Into The Sport Of Ballooning

Since 2018, Seattle Ballooning has focused on helping young people, women, and people of color get into the sport of hot air ballooning. Amanda’s championship win showcases one of the many amazing female pilots in the NW.

Hot Air Balloon Pilot Eliav C.
About the Author

Chief pilot of Seattle Ballooning. I get the opportunity to provide luxury hot air balloon rides just South of Seattle in front of Mt. Rainier. When you do what you love, it’s not considered work.

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