Albuquerque Aloft

Many pilots who are registered for Balloon Fiesta sign up to participate in Albuquerque Aloft. Pilots tether or launch their balloons from selected school grounds in Albuquerque and Rio Rancho on the Friday morning before Balloon Fiesta.

You can use our pilot search to find schools and pilots, give it a try here!

Albuquerque Aloft has grown tremendously since the first event in 2005, and continues to bring the joy of ballooning directly to children in their school playgrounds. It is a great way to kick off the beginning of the nine days of Balloon Fiesta every October. Parents, students and teachers alike have the opportunity to meet the pilots and crew, and experience the excitement of watching and learning how a balloon flies. Albuquerque Aloft also provides city residents and guests a visual preview of Balloon Fiesta, as balloons launch from different sites around the city simultaneously.

Balloonists at selected schools may elect to fly from the campus or may remain inflated at the school site. Weather permitting; inflation is scheduled at approximately 6:45-7:00 a.m., with launch scheduled for 7:00 -7:30  a.m. The simultaneous launch is coordinated by KKOB AM Radio, the “official voice” of Balloon Fiesta.
Schools are encouraged to invite parents and students to be on hand for the event, and groups at some schools offer refreshments for sale, adding to the fun.

Albuquerque Aloft is the only Balloon Fiesta event in which balloons launch from pre-designated sites outside of Balloon Fiesta Park. The following is a list of the 2017 participating schools. The pilots that will scheduled to launched from each school will be added as the assignments are made.

 Albuquerque Public Schools

School Name

1st Pilot Assigned

2nd Pilot Assigned

A. Montoya (/Roosevelt MS)

Colin Graham


Adobe Acres

Tom Steinbock



Kurt Van Sant

Lori Van Sant


Chuck Danley

Glenn See


Nick Meleski

Frank Dickey


Neil Davison


Arroyo del Oso

Laurie Chavez

Tom Fisher


Ben Drennan

Steve Stokoe


Mike Bertetto

Phillip Cathey


Greg Garcia

Kevin Stephenson


Charles Huminston

Blair Kaufman


Matt Hurst

Roger Hope


Don Martindell

Angie Howes


Timmerly Eklund


Collet Park

David Holmes



Ken Ferguson

Ray Bair


Myia Hackett

Lee Hooper


Jeff Ashworth

Dave Cowen

Dennis Chavez

Tom Kious

Tom Kious

Double Eagle

Mike Voorheese

Pat Fogue


Debi Ellis-Ostgulen


East San Jose

Douglas Maguire


Edmund G. Ross

Mike Garcia

Kelli Ballengee

Edward Gonzales

Cody Robinson



Pat Chando

Morghan Chando

Eugene Field

Kelli Keller

Tom Gough

Georgia O'Keeffe

Neil Jackson

Elaine Thatcher

Governor Bent

David Aley



Jason Buckner

Gay James


Johnny Nash


Helen Cordero Primary

see (Edward Gonzales)



Sam Wiley

Penny Doll


Lichele Pete

Andy Waner

Janet Kahn

Bill Wells


John Baker

Bernard Smatana


La Luz

Katelyn Salazar



Jay Schuler


Los Padillas

Bill Dimmitt

William Manus

Los Ranchos

Keith Sproul



Steve Coffing



Buzz Biernacki


Marie M. Hughes

Sidney Sevrin


Mark Twain

Taylon Sandlin

Steven Jones

Mary Ann Binford

Deborah Rice


Matheson Park

Adele Woodruff


Mission Avenue

Keith Takach

Paul Olguin


Tim Evans


Monte Vista

Dale Ruth

Jonathan Wolfe


Andrew Freve

Johann Ouellette Freve

Mountain View

Jeff Greigo

John Viner


Bruce Lavorgna

Glo Kehoe

North Star

Martin Adie

Robert Raper


Shai Shelhav

Carol LaRotonda

Painted Sky

Danny Braddock

Daniel Schulz


Carolyn Waltman


Reginald Chavez

Richard Ret


Rudolfo Anaya

David Fox


S.Y. Jackson

Steve Adams

Ron Curry

San Antonito

Dave Tennis


Sierra Vista

Eric Greenwood


Sombra Del Monte

Joe Candelaria


Sunset View

Jeff Duff


Susie Rayos Marmon

Ron Sanchez


Tierra Antigua

Collen Johnson & Mike Johnson

Frank Bacon


Fred Dinkler


Valle Vista

Rich Neubauer


Ventana Ranch

David Eichhorn

Earl Buzzard


Barney Watson



Charles Polonowski



Ian Whitling


Rio Rancho Public Schools

School Name

1st Pilot Assigned

2nd Pilot Assigned

Cielo Azul Jane Schill Bruce Skach
Colinas del Norte Rebecca Curling Peter Cuneo
Enchanted Hills Fred Peek Jessica Makin
Ernest Stapleton Scott Vesley Al Lowenstein
Maggie Cordova Michael Gonzales Mark Hofheins
Martin Luther King Jr Ryan Davie Andy Richardson
Puesta del Sol Trudy DeGraff Sharon Hartshorn
Rio Rancho Rachel Zimmer Elizabeth Walker
Sandia Vista Fred Lete Michael Korfe
Shining Stars Robert Fear Darrell Fear
Vista Grande Stacy Eldridge Keith Lutz


Other Schools

School Name 1st Pilot Assigned 2nd Pilot Assigned

Annunciation Catholic School

Rich Lawhorn

 Gavin Moughan

St. Charles Borromeo School

Michael Hance


Corral Community Charter School

Gary Boyd


NM School for the Deaf (Hodgin)

Sam Wiley 

 Penny Doll 


Bill Woodhead


Desert Willow Family School

Thom Wright

 Jonathan Wright

Legacy Academy

Mike Heffron


NM International School Charter

Jeff Haliczer


Sandia View Christian School

Ted Maes

Eric Hodges

Christ Lutheran School

Rod Baca


North Valley Academy

Tom McConnell

Michael Charpenter

Corrales Inernational School

Brad Rice


Montessori of the Rio Grande

Neal Smith


Sandia Pueblo Elementary School

Dick Rice