Scott has been around hot air balloons since the age of two. Once old enough, he began crewing, and then officially started pilot training in 1994. Scott received his Private FAA License in 1998, and 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 and flown balloons throughout the United States, including flying the Corn Palace Balloon Club special shapes, the Liberty Bell Special Shape balloon, and with Blue Water Balloons in Orlando, Florida.
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, 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, and Matrioshka.
Dan 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.
Philip 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 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, our youngest crew member, is the daughter of Tony and Susan Saxton. She had her first tether ride when she was just two weeks old. Some of Rachel's first words were "balloon" and "up, up."
Rachel took her first flight on June 4, 2005 just a month before she turned 3 years old. At three years old she has learned all the parts of the balloon and how some of them work. She makes an excellent crew member especially in the entertainment department.
Amy has been ballooning for about 21 years. She says, "My father, Dan, received his hot air balloon pilot license when he was about nineteen years old and my family has been crewing and flying ever since. So needless to say, it has been a big part of my life. From meeting new people and seeing old friends, the sport has so much to offer.
As of the past year I have taken an interest in becoming a pilot myself. With the help and knowledge of Tony and Scott I should be on my way in no time at all. I feel honored to be taught by these two excellent pilots.
Overall ballooning has shaped a big part of who I am and has taken me places that a lot of people my age haven't been. Hopefully I will have the opportunity to crew and fly with Endless Mountains Balloons for many years to come."
Vern 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 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!
Debby was introduced to hot air ballooning in 1998 when she took her first hot air balloon flight. Since that day she has been inspired by these colorful bubbles of air. Debby became a very active crew member for Endless Mountains Hot Air Balloons in the spring of 2006. After becoming involved with the balloon team Debby has had the opportunity to take several more breathtaking flights in Pennsylvania and New York. Ballooning has become her favorite pastime.
One of Debby's dreams is to attend the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta in New Mexico. After all one of her favorite activities is attending hot air balloon festivals. She looks forward to many more years of excitement and enjoying the sport of hot air ballooning.
Ray 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.