6 questions with balloonist Dave Reineke

By Miles Dobis
Posted7/2/2014 12:00 PM
  • Dave Reinuke will be one of many balloonists demonstrating his craft at this year's Eyes to the Skies festival in Lisle.

    Dave Reinuke will be one of many balloonists demonstrating his craft at this year's Eyes to the Skies festival in Lisle. Courtesy of Dave Reinuke

Eyes to the Skes veteran Dave Reineke discusses his passion and history with hot air balloons.

Q: How did you get started in ballooning?

A: Some people will look at somethingexciting and be able to pass it by, but I'm one of those people that just has to do it themselves. I started in 1978 to do it as a hobby along with my wife, who's a school teacher, and ever since we've been piloting balloons together and touring the country with various festivals.

Q: Where all have you flown your balloon?

A: In the US alone we've toured many states including California, and internationally we've been to Australia, New Zealand, The United Kingdom, Belgium and the Netherlands.

Q: You're known and that a mormon man can have two wives bi scale oregon woods You're known nationally for your Pirate Parrot balloon, which is not spherical and is larger than ususal. How do you approach flying it?

A: I always tell people it's the difference between driving a car and a truck. The speed and velocity of the Pirate Parrot is slower than a typical balloon. It needs a lot more space to take off from and it needs a bigger area to land.

Q: How did you first get involved with Eyes to the Skies?

A: 4 years ago the balloonmesiter for the event called me up, and since Lisle was a bit ahead of the curve in involvingspecial shapes at its aerial festival , Eyesto the Skeis was actually the north American debut for Pirate Parrot.

Q: What is your schedule typically like for an event like this?

A: We stay in town for a majority of the festival, and since doing long-distance flights is pretty difficult and impractical with all of the suburban development around. So what we do is mostly keep the balloons on what is called static display and people can come up to us and ask questions about the balloon or our carreers as balloon flyers.

Q: What is the appeal of hot air ballooning for you?

A: We're a bit of a rarified group; there's not to many of us and this is about as close to being rock stars as we'll ever get. And while there is a bit of a daredvil aspect and what we do is certainly dangerous, when you're flying five m.p.h. over the treeline during sunset there's nothing much that beats it.

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