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Team Biographies

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Pilots

Scott Saxton

Scott Saxton

Scott Profile 1Scott Saxton has been around hot air balloons since the age of two.  Once old enough, he began crewing, and then eventually started pilot training in 1994.  Scott received his Private FAA License in 1998, and then his Commercial FAA License in 2001.  He and his brother Tony founded Endless Mountains Hot Air Balloons, Inc in March of 2003.  In 2005, the company expanded to fly passengers in both Northeastern and Southeastern PA.  Scott has crewed for and flown balloons throughout the United States and Mexico, including flying the Corn Palace Balloon Club special shapes and the Liberty Bell Special shape.  Endless Mountains Hot Air Balloons, Inc is also the proud new parents of Pea-Nut the Flying Elephant special shape balloon.


Tony Saxton

Tony Saxton

Tony Profile 1

Tony has been involved in ballooning since he was nine years old.  His interest started when he saw a balloon fly over his home and his brother Scott insisted they chase the balloon.  Tony crewed for a local hot air balloon team and eventually learned to fly.  Tony received his Commercial Pilots Certificate in 2000.  During his career in ballooning, Tony has crewed or flown balloons in France, Canada, Mexico and numerous US states.  He has also had the opportunity to fly several special shapes including Balloon Hilda, Chesty the Marine Bull Dog, Uncle Sam, Matrioshka and Tony and Scott’s new balloon PEA-NUT the Flying Elephant.   Some of his most memorable flights are a flight through the Delaware Water Gap at 55 mph and his flight to 15,000 feet over Lancaster County.

Ballooning never gets old for Tony.  Every flight is unique and he loves to get others involved in the sport as well as teach his crew members to fly.  One of the BEST things about ballooning is the people that Tony, his brother, and crew have met over the years.

Dan Pregnar

Dan Pregnar

dan_profile-1Dan was introduced to the sport of hot air ballooning in the early 1980′s. Dan is very important to Tony and Scott Saxton since he was one of the pilots who trained them to fly. Dan’s wife Cathy also enjoys participating in ballooning. His three girls Kelly, Kimberly, and Amy all grew up around balloons and still enjoy being part of the ground crew. Amy is currently a student pilot. Dan has flown balloons in Canada, Switzerland, France, and numerous US states. When not flying balloons, Dan enjoys riding snowmobiles during the winter months. We are glad to have Dan as one of our pilots.

Dawn Chase

Dawn Chase

dawn-profile-1Dawn Chase is a commercial balloon pilot from Fleetville, PA. She started her balloon career as a child when, in 1983, her dad was offered to go for a balloon flight from Mike Fairbanks.  Her dad fell in love with ballooning, got involved with his family and eventually earned his pilot’s license.  Dawn grew up in ballooning and learned to fly from her dad and his close ballooning friends.  She has been a pilot since 2007.  Dawn received her commercial pilot license in 2011.  Dawn has flown in numerous US States, Mexico and Canada.  She looks forward to adding to that list!  Some of Dawn’s most memorable flights were Dawn Patrol at Fiesta in Albuquerque, NM; flying in the Red Rocks of Gallup, NM; flying over the Bluff, Utah valley and flying over the foggy Delaware River.  The thing Dawn loves most about being in a balloon is that if feels as if you are standing still while the world spins past below you.

Ryan Coy

Ryan Coy

ryan_profile1Ryan’s first experience with balloons was back in 2000 when his
grandparents went for a flight. Fast forward 10 years and he gets the idea
that he wants to try ballooning himself, so he contacted fellow fire
fighter Tony Saxton. Ryan started crewing in March of 2010 and took his
first flight lesson In May; he has been addicted ever since. In June of
2013, after much help from Tony and the Endless Mountains Team, Ryan
earned his Commercial Pilot Rating. In addition to flying and crewing for
EMHAB, Ryan has his own balloon which he flies both at home in Montrose
Pa, and along side Tony in the Fleetville area. Some of his most memorable
flights include sharing the magic of ballooning with his family and
friends.

Ray Lekich

Ray Lekich

ray-profile-1Ray became interested in balloons when he visited Albuquerque for business and his cousin who lives there talked him into scheduling a trip during the Balloon Fiesta. He did, had his first balloon ride there and got hooked. He started going every year to crew, but as his interest grew, an annual trip to Albuquerque wasn’t enough so Ray started crewing locally and eventually met Scott and started crewing on a regular basis in exchange for some balloon flights and pilot instruction. Not really intending to buy a balloon himself, Ray was reading ads just to see what used balloons cost and found a deal on a balloon he couldn’t pass up. On occasion, you may now see Ray’s balloon flying alongside Scott’s.

Crew

Phil Saxton

Phil Saxton

Dad Profile 1Philip Saxton is the proud father of pilots, Tony and Scott. He is actively involved in ballooning. He often is the crew chief during flights. He’s a master at driving the chase vehicle/trailer and following the balloon during exciting and sometimes challenging flights. Phil enjoys flying in the balloon and assisting in any and all jobs related to the balloon. He recently helped the boys by adding shelves and storage units to the balloon trailer. He also painted and spruced up a used fan purchased by his sons. His most memorable balloon memories include the purchase of Scott and Tony’s balloon and crewing and flying the special-shaped balloons. Phil’s handyman and maintenance skills are truly beneficial to the business.


Pat Saxton

Pat Saxton

pat_saxton-1Pat Saxton is the mother of both pilots, Tony and Scott. Since the time her sons were quite young, Pat has been involved with the sport of ballooning. Both sons were mesmerized by the balloons that would fly over their home near Lackawanna State Park. She frequently had to stop preparing meals to go and chase the balloons with her family. She has been a crew member since 1980. Jobs she’s frequently assigned include operating the fan during inflation, holding the mouth of the balloon open during inflation, and packing up the balloon after the flight. Highlights for Pat have included watching her boys successfully pass their flight examinations and crewing for the Corn Palace Balloon Club. Both Tony and Scott are pilots for this club and have flown special-shaped balloons. She thoroughly enjoys the social aspect of ballooning. She loves to meet new people and has made life-long friends through this hobby.


Rachel Saxton

Rachel Saxton

rachel_profile1Rachel has been involved in ballooning since she was two weeks old, when she took her first tethered balloon ride with her dad, Tony, and pilot Dan Pregnar.  Rachel enjoys traveling with the balloon team to festivals in different US States and Canada.  She has begun her training to become a balloon pilot.  She can take her test for her license when she turns 16.  If this was not a regulation set the Federal Aviation Administration she would do it sooner.  Rachel loves adventures and is infatuated with Bear Grylls of “Man vs Wild” and the Avengers.  When she gets older she wants her own hot air balloon.

Anthony and Veronica Stugus

Anthony and Veronica Stugus

stugus_profile1Vern and Tony Stugus are the pilots’ maternal grandparents. They enjoy being crew members for their grandsons. Tony has flown in a hot air balloon several times, and Vern enjoys taking tether rides. Since they live extremely close to the launch site in Fleetville, Pennsylvania, Tony and Vern are often present at balloon launches. They love to chase the balloon and spend time with their grandsons and the rest of the “ballooning family”. Both Tony and Vern have been supportive of their grandsons and their hobby.


Helen Saxton

Helen Saxton

Helen Saxton is the paternal grandmother of Tony and Scott Saxton. She has been interested and involved in ballooning since her family joined the sport in 1980. Helen is a lifelong resident of Nicholson, Pennsylvania and especially loves seeing the balloons fly over the Nicholson Bridge. She took her first balloon flight at the age of 70. During this flight, Helen flew from Lackawanna State Park to the Old Clifford Airport. She’s a spunky lady and loves coming out for flights whenever she gets the chance!

The Millers

The Millers

millers_profile-1The Miller Family, consisting of Betsy, Bill, and Jane Miller, has been around balloons since June, 2011. What started out as a simple balloon ride for a Christmas present quickly become something much more. Both Bill and Jane are working towards their student pilot’s licenses, while Betsy is satisfied chasing them from the ground. She has always been mesmerized by hot air balloons, and her love was passed on to her daughter. No matter how busy their lives get, the Miller family always finds a way to be around balloons. They always joke that once they took that first flight, they were hooked. They try to make as many flights as possible and are always ready to chase balloons out into the middle of nowhere. “Ballooning is addicting, ” they say, ” and we wouldn’t want it any other way.”

Catherine Piechoski

Catherine Piechoski

cathrine-profile-1Catherine became interested in balloons when her best friend’s father became a private pilot.  She began crewing for him, and that is when she first met Scott who was also flying that night. It only took one flight before the “ballooning bug” bit and she was hooked. Wanting to get more involved, she began crewing for Endless Mountains in 2009 and has not stopped since. A regular on almost every flight, Catherine loves sharing her passion with passengers and spectators alike.  On particular occasions, she also gets to share the experience with her students who convince their parents to tag along on chase. Catherine is also an aspiring pilot.

Shannon Wallace and Pam Predmore

 

Shannon Wallace and Pam Predmore

ShanPam-Profile-1-300x300Shannon and Pam became interested in ballooning in 2011 after one of their
friends participated in a bicycle balloon race and the pilot in the race
needed extra crew – that’s all it took! After getting in touch with Endless
Mountains to find out how to start crewing and training as pilots they
became regulars for Scott’s flights and occasionally travel to festivals
and to help crew for Tony in Scranton. They are very excited for the new
arrival of Pea-Nut the flying Elephant and are also awaiting the arrival of
what will be the two smallest members of the EMHAB crew, their twin girls.

Bill Sweeny

Bill Sweeny

bill-profile-1Bill has been interested in hot air ballooning since he has been a teenager and crews for us locally as well as at balloon festivals in the northeast.  He is currently a student pilot working on getting his private pilot’s license and plans on crewing at festivals throughout North America.  A family man who enjoys bringing his wife Tammy and three children Billy, Molly and Jennifer on chases with him.   His favorite balloon festival so far is The Great Wellsville Balloon Rally which is held in mid-July which he attends with his son, who has flown there the past two years as a birthday present which usually falls on the festival weekend.   He looks forward to crewing for Pea-Nut the flying Elephant at festivals.

 

scott and tony1

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