At Gentle Breeze Hot Air Balloon Co., a team of commercially rated, FAA-certified pilots whisk passengers skyward on journeys over southern Ohio and northern Kentucky. One-hour flights take off from Warren County Airport and travel as high as to 2,000 feet, where visitors can take in panoramic views and snap pictures. Retrieval crews track each trek from the ground and transport guests back to their meeting location.
Along with standard flights, Gentle Breeze’s team hosts specialties such as private couples flights followed by champagne toasts, Hummer or Escalade limo rides to launch sites, and voyages over Cincinnati and Dayton’s metro areas. The captains also lead balloon rides over passengers’ houses and the homes of their enemies, and enliven soirees with brief sightseeing rides that reach 100 feet.
Skydive Warren County is a labor of love for the Stewart family with roots as far back as 1945, when the patriarch purchased 40 acres of land and lived in a house attached to a hangar at Waynesville Airport. Such proximity caused the Stewarts to grow up with an appreciation for aviation that eventually brought them to skydiving. Since 1969, the business has been imbued with their enthusiasm, teaching novices and experts alike how to hone their skills in airborne sports with the help of licensed professionals.
Start Skydiving owes its ranking as the number-one skydiving location on dropzone.com to its staff of master skydivers, pilots, and instructors. The team navigates its aircraft thousands of feet in the air for tandem or AFF solo skydives, and the jumpers help novices in obtaining their own USPA B, C, or D licenses. Newly inducted divers can gear up with Start Skydiving’s online store, which carries everything from altimeters and flight-specific shirts to tickets for rides on hot-air balloons or twin-engine pterodactyls.