JASPER Hot Air Balloon Team

Professional Bass FishingJASPER Hot Air Balloon Team

OverviewHot Air Balloon Team Report

2015 Ohio Challenge Balloon Fest


The Jasper Engines and Transmissions Hot Air Balloon Team participated in the 2015 Ohio Challenge Balloon Fest the weekend of July 10-12.


We started out early Friday morning with the media. WKRC TV, was on site to do 3 live TV spots at 5:30, 6:30 and 7:30.


The flight was cancelled Friday evening due to rain in the Middletown area. The crowd stayed for the balloon glow and the fireworks. The glow turned out perfect and the crowd of spectators was estimated at around 20,000.


Saturday morning turned out to be a perfect morning to fly. The Jasper Engines and Transmissions Balloon flew for 2 hours over Middletown, with lots of great coverage over the Butler County area, as well as being one of the few balloons to make it back to the airport for a good score and a big crowd. Exposure for Saturday morning was estimated 5,000 people.


Saturday evening turned out to be an outstanding evening for ballooning. The competition was cancelled due to light wind, which allowed all the balloons to launch and hang out around the venue. The Jasper Engines and Transmissions Balloon flew into the venue, landed next to the crowd line and stayed inflated until the glow. The JASPER Balloon spent close to three hours in front of an estimated crowd of 60,000 spectators.


The flight was cancelled Sunday morning due to thunderstorms in the SW Ohio area.


The Ohio Challenge broke last year’s attendance record by 30%, the largest crowd in Ohio Challenge History.


Our next stop is the Jasper Strassenfest in Jasper, Indiana on July 31st.


Warren D Smith







2015 Kentucky Derby Great Balloon Race


This past weekend was the 2015 Kentucky Derby Great Balloon Race held in Louisville, Kentucky.

The event started with a master pilot briefing on Thursday afternoon. This is a mandatory briefing attended by all pilots and the FAA. Twenty-eight balloons were entered in this year’s event.

The first event was to be a glimmer on the waterfront of the Ohio River. A supplemental pilot briefing was held on the field. It was very windy but all agreed to put the balloons up, if possible. The glimmer was scheduled for 9:00-10:00 PM and a good crowd was on hand for the evening. The winds calmed down a bit and the glow was on. Eighteen balloons were selected to participate in this event.

Friday morning started with a 5:00 AM pilot briefing. The weather was looking good, and the flight was a go. We headed out to Bowman field for the launch. It was a cold, crisp morning. Take off time was set for 7:15. It was to be a hare and hound race. The US Bank was the hare balloon. With gentle winds, the balloons were launched.

The hare balloon laid out the target, and all of the hound balloons gave chase. Twenty-three of the 28 balloons scored within 100’ of the target. The Jasper Engines & Transmissions Balloon was 3’ out which was good for a fifth place finish in the rush hour race.


The position draw was held at noon. This determines where we will be staged for the glow on Friday night. We were told that bad weather was moving in for Friday night and all day Saturday. The decision was made to move the Derby race up from Saturday morning to Friday evening. This meant we would fly a hare and hound race then hurry back through rush hour traffic for the glow.


We met at Bowman field at 5:15 for the Derby Race. The winds were still very strong, with a lot of thermal activity in the area. It was at the pilots’ discretion whether or not to fly. The Jasper Engines and Transmissions Balloon choose not to fly. With the current conditions, only about 10 balloons chose to fly.


We headed back over to the Kentucky Fairgrounds for the evening glow. The winds were still breezy but were forecast to calm down. The glow was scheduled from 9-10. The warm spring evening saw 68,000 people in attendance. We handed out many of our Hot Air Balloon cards and made many smiles. This link will lead to a video of the glow from Channel 11news in Louisville


The Jasper Engines & Transmissions Balloon is always a crowd favorite.


Carolina Balloon Fest


The Jasper Engines and Transmissions Balloon participated in the Carolina Balloon Fest this past weekend in Statesville, NC.

On Friday morning, there was a media flight which took place near the intersections of I-40 and I-77. There was a lot of exposure on both interstates during the morning rush hour.

On Friday evening, the Jasper Engines and Transmissions Balloon flew a sponsor flight over downtown Statesville, also during the evening rush hour, for a large amount of additional exposure. A good crowd was on hand.


The Jasper Engines and Transmissions Balloon enjoyed another good flight Saturday morning across downtown Statesville and along I-40.


The Saturday evening flight was cancelled due to some gusty winds. With a crowd of over 10,000 spectators in attendance, the Jasper Engines and Transmissions Balloon was inflated and stood alone in the crowd with all eyes on it only. A balloon glow followed with our balloon front and center.


Sunday morning there was a final competition flight in the Statesville area with the Jasper Engines and Transmissions Balloon being only 3 of 56 balloons to be competitive, making it to the festival site as a crowd favorite.


On all of the scheduled flights, the festival site is also home of several NASCAR team hangers. The Jasper Engines and Transmissions Balloon was in the air during 3 of the 4 flights as such team owners and crew for Jimmy Johnson, Greg Biffle and Dale Earnhardt Jr. were able to see the balloon as they flew out of the airport on their way to the race in Talladega.


The Jasper Engines and Transmissions Balloon is always a crowd favorite at all events it attends.


This was the last scheduled event of 2014 for the Jasper Engines and Transmissions Balloon.



Warren D Smith



Find an Installer Visit our Video Library