Partnered with a ground crew predominately made up of fellow pilots, Dick Guisto, Mike Florio, and Vinnie Melling harness their commercial-pilot expertise for each Aerostat Promotions flight. After a half-hour of balloon inflation and preparation, up to four guests join their pilot at sunrise or 2.5 hours before sunset for an hour-long flight that affords aerial views of the Pioneer Valley’s breathtaking landscapes, abundant wildlife, and residential homes. Meanwhile, a chase team tracks the balloon from terra firma as it traverses approximately 10 miles of sky. Once visitors and their pilot rendezvous with the team, balloons are packed into a truck or twisted into to-scale elephant balloon animals before the group shares a champagne toast and appetizers.
Owner and pilot Todd J. Monahan remembers chasing hot air balloons across the sky as a land-locked child. After attending extensive training and FAA-approved safety seminars, he finally caught up to them, founding SunKiss Ballooning and enlisting the expertise of his brother Scott as well as a cast of experienced pilots and crewmembers. Citing safety as a priority, SunKiss' captains stay up to date on the latest in balloon technology, and they escort passengers through the sky in nine vessels, each rated to carry different gross weights and repel different-sized Mothras.
Bella Via's licensed pilots maneuver their brightly colored craft through the sky as intimate groups of up to four passengers take in sweeping views of the countryside. The vessel swoops into natural beauty and dips close to the verdant treetops, granting aeronauts newfound views of the canopy and allowing them to eavesdrop on tree-house board meetings. Guests may skim across the mirrored surface of a lake or soar up to 2,000 feet above the earth to tamper with the clouds and embarrass rival meteorologists. Passengers can assist with the setup of balloons prior to takeoff, and a dedicated crew follows the vessel to its landing site to toast disembarking balloonists with an effervescent glass of bubbly and return them to their jealous automobiles.