Meet the Balloon and Crew
Zephyr, piloted by Binghamton native and FAA Certified Commercial Pilot, Rick Thorne, is in her sixth year of traveling through the clouds this season. Rick has over 26 years of experience as a balloon pilot, and has flown in two countries and numerous states, including New York, Pennsylvania, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Jersey, and Ohio. Rick's most memorable flights include flying over Niagara Falls and several flights to heights over 18,000 feet. Rick began his journey in hot-air ballooning after the 1989 Spiedie Fest, when he started training almost immediately and bought his first balloon shortly thereafter. Rick is a retired firefighter for the City of Corning, and enjoys time and ballooning with his wife, Annette, and step-daughter, Janine.