We Are Passionate About Hot Air Ballooning!
A Few Facts about New Horizon Balloon Team
- The entire team flies for fun, not because it is a business. Everyone has another full-time job...enjoying the sport for its own sake.
- We only fly in the best weather conditions, where winds do not exceed eight miles an hour, with predictions for the winds to slow down to less than eight miles an hour at landing.
- Our pilots have 18 years of experience with no major incidents, and no injuries.
- We have a wonderful rapport with the Amish.
- We love sharing the ballooning experience, as each flight is both wonderful and unforgettable.
New Horizon Balloon Team pilots, Bob Fisher and Todd Plank, are lifelong friends. Nineteen years ago, Bob was driving to work one morning and saw a hot air balloon miles and miles away in the sky. Having never been close to a balloon before, he thought it had to offer a spectacular view and be a lot of fun. Later that evening, Bob called Todd and asked him what he thought about buying a hot air balloon together and flying it. Todd responded positively. Although the two friends were initially clueless about what is involved in hot air ballooning, they took it upon themselves to find out what it would take to be pilots. They immersed themselves in the task and found it not to be quite as easy as they first believed. Undaunted, however, they began their journey to becoming pilots, with the idea of beating the boredom that sometimes occurs in life.
They decided the best way to start was to become crew members themselves with a seasoned balloonist, Richard Hess, a licensed commercial pilot and instructor. Unfortunately, there is not a whole lot of instruction time as a crew member; but, it is a very important step in the process. Crewing quickly wore itself out and was not enough for the adventurous pair, who grew up tearing apart engines and getting involved in adventurous exploits. Therefore, Bob and Todd decided to buy a balloon together and start their new endeavor.
Although they still had no idea how to fly a hot air balloon, they were fearless. Their time as crew members helped speed up the licensing process. After two years of crewing for Richard Hess, Bob and Todd went solo, taking many written, oral, and computer exams, according to Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regulations, coupled with their fly time and instructor endorsements. Since those early days, they have immensely enjoyed being commercial pilots for their business, New Horizon Balloon Team, which has grown exponentially over the years. Bob and Todd remain best friends, continue to work full-time jobs outside of ballooning, and share the joy of flying with others from around the world.
About the Crew and Student Pilots
Most of our crew has dedicated 15 years or more years to the business. Together, we have all been fortunate enough to become good friends with each other. Time is spent together on and off the field. The current team consists of E-man, J-mom, Ry-guy, Ashley, Mark, Jenna, Bobby, Brittney, Mary, Todd, Bob, Dawn, and Tina.
We are always looking for new people to help with crewing, and offer flight instruction for anyone that would like to get their Hot Air Balloon License.
Flying in Beautiful Lancaster County
Nowhere that New Horizon Balloon Team has ever flown is more beautiful, peaceful, serene and breath-taking than Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. In eighteen years of flying, the team has never been denied a landing spot. Respect for landowners is paramount to the whole team, as they manage community relations with integrity. The landing locations are unique in Lancaster County, due to the magnificent Amish farms, rolling hills and valleys, grass fields, and flat terrain. The Amish welcome us, and we always carry special little surprises for them and their children. Word travels fast about the candy bucket and tether rides. Ninety percent of their flights occur over, and end on, Amish farms. It’s a great experience for everyone.