Bill and Trish Whidden have been professionally ballooning since the early 80's. They began flying in Tallahassee, FL and operated a ride operation there for 12 years before moving back to Central Florida in 1991. Bill and Trish have been consultants to balloon festival organizers since 1983 and began the Tallahassee Springtime Balloon Festival as well as many others, even as far away as New Zealand. Bill serves as a “Balloonmeister “ for many events and has served in that role for over 100 events across the country. Having flown in most of the contiguous lower 48 states, they have also flown in Austria, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Ireland, Mexico, New Zealand, and Portugal. Among some of their more exciting and memorable flights is a flight into the depths of Niagara Falls in front of the “Horseshoe,” and winter flying high in the Austrian Alps.
Bill is a longstanding member of the Balloon Federation of America, Granite State Balloon Association, the Great Eastern Ballooning Association and a frequent guest speaker at safety seminars throughout the Southeast. He is a FAA certified commercial balloon pilot and is re-certified every 24 months and has logged over 2800 hours of flight time. The aircraft are inspected and certified as airworthy every 100 hours or annually, whichever comes first. In addition to hot air balloons. Bill is also licensed to fly gas balloons.
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