Resene Rainbow Unicorn
Place of Residence? Australia
What is your occupation? Management Consultant
What has been your best flying experience to date? Impossible to choose just one - but I think meeting the Monahan Brothers (owners of the beautiful pink Unicorn) at BOW in 2011, when they flew the clown. BOW was my first international ballooning trip, and since then, I've flown in many countries all over the world with the boys, including Mexico, USA, Australia and Canada and are likely to fly in many more with them from 2020 on. Oldest passenger I've flown was 96; youngest was 2, and have had many marriage proposals in flight as well as scattering of loved ones' ashes.
Flying at 10,000 feet over Austria, landing in a small village in India, flying in the first festival in Changsha (China), having my first (night) Gas Balloon flight in Germany and flying over the impressive Pyramids at Teotihuacan are all unforgettable, priceless experiences. Being locked behind fences, landing on railway lines, in suburban back yards, in a sewerage treatment works, on Parliament House, on the third floor of a shopping mall, and landing at 10:30pm at night in France also presented unique challenges, which is why I do this.
What has been your biggest ballooning achievement so far? Getting my US pilot license - to then fly the giant US Flag under the Monahan Airways Fireman balloon at Albuquerque (the world mecca of ballooning) as the specially selected 'Balloon of the Day' from the 650 balloon present in 2012; beamed live on several TV channels while the crowd sang the national anthem will always have a special place in my heart. THAT WOULD NOT HAVE HAPPENED IF I DIDN'T COME TO BOW THE YEAR BEFORE! This has also led to countless other adventures and involved meeting many wonderful people, many of whom have come to fly with me in Australia.
What is your ultimate goal in ballooning? To promote this wonderful (sport? pastime? hobby?) to as many people as possible. I've trained two student pilots and encouraged many others to enter ballooning. I would like to leave the sport in a better shape than I found it! (34 years ago...)
What is the coolest thing about your balloon? OMG - just look at it! PS: the original idea came from the imagination of a little girl - Scott's daughter. (PS: While the beautiful pink Unicorn Balloon is a favourite the world over, it's not my Balloon, but is owned by Monahan Airways).
People of all ages are immediately drawn to the stunningly beautiful presentation of this magical creature, and let their imaginations run wild as they watch it inflate and fly.