Meet our flight team: Highly trained + lots of personality!

Safety of our passengers is our number one priority.
We do everything in our power to make your hot air balloon ride experience a wonderful memory.


hoto Credit: Peter Hellberg

Nick & Ruthie Hoffbauer - FAA Certified Hot Air Balloon Pilot, Certified Master Crew Chief

Nick and Ruthie have been in love with ballooning since Nick took a special Birthday flight in 1980. The day after his flight, he decided to begin training and has been a full-time hot air balloon pilot ever since! Together, their credentials include:

  • Nick has been a full time, FAA certified Commercial Hot Air Balloon Pilot  since 1982.
  • Nick has been an FAA Safety Counselor for Hot Air Ballooning since 1997.
  • They have owned and operated the only local FAA certified Balloon Repair Station since 1992.
  • Organizer, Safety Officer and Balloonmeister for the Indiana State Fair Hot Air Balloon Events from 1992 - 2014, and Balloonmeister/Organizer at several other local and regional events over the years.
  • With over 2000 hours piloting five different categories of balloons, Nick and his experienced crew have maintained a perfect safety record.
  • Nick has been a Flight Instructor for over 25 years, training student pilots to attain the mental and physical skills needed to pilot hot air balloons.
  • Both are 30+ year members of the Balloon Federation of America, and have held many offices in the Montgolfier Society of Indiana over the years.
  • Ruthie is a BFA certified Master Crew Chief
  • Frequent speakers at regional Balloon Safety Seminars on Pilot Decision Making, Pilot and Crew Safety and Hot Air Balloon Maintenance.
  • Over the years they have conducted hot air balloon advertising programs for such high profile companies as Gerber Collision and Glass, Collision Cure, Conseco, Kodak, Habig Garden Shops, Hertz Car Rental, Indianapolis Monthly Magazine, MCL Restaurants and Marsh Supermarkets.

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Photo Credit: dimnikolov

Rick, Julie, and Baylie Davis - Flight Crew

Rick and Julie Davis, of Indianapolis, met while crewing for a pilot friend and then went on to get married. As regular team members for Above & Beyond Balloon Co., they continue to be dedicated hot air balloon ground crew and now their charming daughter Baylie has quickly become one of our most enthusiastic crew!


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Matt and Jennifer James - Flight Crew

Matt has been crewing with the Above & Beyond team for many years, and when he married Jennifer, we gained a great crew member! This duo keeps busy year-round traveling and sometimes just seeking new adventures right here at home. Both are IT professionals during the day and live in the Westfield area.


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Tom Corbett - Flight Crew

Long-time crewman Tom Corbett of Indianapolis is often seen lending his height where it’s most useful - at the balloon’s mouth during inflation! An avid adventurer, Tom also enjoys cycling and participating in local theatre. 


Above & Beyond Balloon Co., Carmel Indiana 317-844-3718