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Hot air balloons take flight in Choteau

The Front Range Fly-In will return next year
Posted at 10:37 AM, Aug 12, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-12 22:33:24-04

It’s no question that hot air balloons are a stunning sight to see, but what is it about the massive inflatable aircraft that get people so carried away?

In Choteau, balloonists came out to share their favorite pastime - the one that lifts their spirits and bodies off the ground: ballooning.

Twenty years ago Chris Jones experienced hot air balloons for the first time as a volunteer. From there, his balloon career took flight.

"There’s so many great things about ballooning. It’ll suck you in.”

Jones’ path to piloting began with his family.

“My grandfather was a pilot, a fixed wing pilot. And so I've always kinda had a little bit of flight history in my background,” Jones said.

But ballooning isn’t just for pilots. It takes a whole crew to make the balloons buoyant.

Fourteen-year-old Elijah Bryan began ballooning five years ago and now is a regular crew member.

“I sometimes do the fan. And then I usually just help with other stuff, like I put on the burner, take out the bag."

And his job has perks too, like an office with a view.

“You can see everything when you’re up there. You can see all of Choteau," Bryan said.

If you missed this year's hot air balloon tour, the Front Range Fly-In will return to Choteau next year. You can follow their Facebook page for updates on future events.