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Macaw Guru Balloon at 407.758.7007

Scarlet Macawd and asked us to Flock

The Scarlet Macaw

The habitat of Scarlet Macaws is considered to be the greatest latitudinal range for any bird in the genus Ara,as the estimated maximum territorial range covers 6,700,000 km². Nevertheless, the Scarlet macawa’s habitat is fragmented, and colonies of the bird are mostly confined to tiny populations scattered throughout Central and South America.

However, in this 2011 photo taken by fellow Pilot Doug Cleghorn.  Scarlet Macaws flock with Balloon of Feather as seen here together in Orlando, Florida. Please  join Pilot  Adam Carusone of Guru Balloon and discover the largest open museum of nature and experience for yourself our special journey into the Heavens where birds of a feather, flock together.

Hope to see you real soon. For more information on booking your flight, just pick up your phone and Macaw 407.758.7007



Call us to Fly 407.758.7007

Guru Balloon will be providing passenger rides at South Carolina’s Highest-Flying Celebration;  “Freedom Weekend Aloft” Hot Air Balloon and Music Festival.

GREENVILLE, S.C. – It was announced today that the 30th annual Freedom Weekend Aloft festival (FWA) will return to Heritage Park in Simpsonville, S.C., over Memorial Day weekend. The festival will paint the Upstate’s skyline with majestic, multicolored hot air balloons from May 27 – 30, 2011, thanks to a continued partnership with Greenville Hospital System University Medical Center (GHS).

FWA is nationally recognized for its signature hot air balloons and four-day concert series held in Heritage Park’s Charter Amphitheatre.

Guru Balloon is excited to have the opportunity to be performing at this years event. FAA Certified Commercial- LTA Pilot Adam Carusone and Crew Chief Jana Krajnakova will be providing Passenger Rides, Tether Rides, and instructional demonstrations, wind and weather permitting.  To secure your opportunity to Fly in this year’s Freedom Weekend Aloft with Guru Balloon simply purchase your $175.00 per passenger,boarding pass at the following link FREEDOM FLIGHTS with Guru Balloon.  Don’t Hesitate to Elevate!  Call Now if you have questions 407.758.7007.

Concert Series “This year’s list of artists is exciting and ranges from country to 90s to reggae to performers back by popular demand,” said Simpsonville Mayor Dennis Waldrop. “We feel confident that we have something for everyone and the 2011 concert series will not disappoint. Keep in mind that the acts we are sharing today represent only a partial list as we will be announcing additional concerts very soon.”

The current concert lineup is as follows:











Also returning for an encore performance is the Purple People Eater hot air balloon. Festival goers should keep an eye to the sky as this fun, whimsical balloon is sure to fly by with bulging eyes, spider-like arms, large, pointed ears and a mischievous grin. Rest assured that he is a gentle giant and his only goal is to bring smiles to all who see him fly by! Another unique balloon, High Chair, will be piloted by 83-year-old Mike Erhler from Kentucky. Erhler’s unusual balloon design “landed” him on the cover of Popular Mechanics magazine in 1975.

In addition to the daily hot air balloon ascensions and non-stop concerts, attendees are invited to participate in the second annual Freedom Ride and Freedom 5K.

The Freedom Ride will take place Saturday, May 14 at 8 a.m. Cyclists of all skill levels are encouraged to participate and can choose to ride eight, 25 or even 65 miles. All three rides start and end at Hillcrest Memorial Hospital.

Taking place on Saturday, May 28 at 8 a.m., the Freedom 5K is open to runners and walkers of all athletic abilities. The 3.1-mile course will take participants through the 90-acre festival grounds as the morning skyline fills with hot air balloons. Participants will also enjoy two musical acts along the route.
Individuals can register online for both events at Registered participants will receive a run/ride T-shirt plus one free FWA admission ticket, parking pass and admittance to Sunday’s VIP area. Exclusively for Freedom Ride and Freedom 5K participants, the VIP area will provide an area to enjoy the concerts, balloons and offer great door prizes including a chance to win a hot air balloon flight!

In the spirit of Memorial Day, Freedom Ride and Freedom 5K participants can choose to run, walk or cycle in celebration of a friend or family member who has served or is currently serving in the military.

Organizers continue to expand the event’s activities and offerings to ensure that FWA is not a spectator-only event, but an event where those attending can get involved and participate in a myriad of family-friendly activities. Lacrosse will return for 2011, with an anticipated 10 teams competing in FWA’s second annual showcase tournament. In addition to the national disc dog competition, there will now be an agility dog demonstration with performances by top teams from throughout the Southeast.

Now you can take FWA wherever you go with the FREE Freedom Weekend Mobile application that is available for Apple iPod touch, iPhone, iPad, and various Android mobile devices created by FWA sponsor LightingHammer ( The application was designed to be an extension of the website so visitors could take Freedom Weekend Aloft “on-the-go”.

Features include:

  • Live event news and information
  • View the Event Schedule including concerts, times, locations, and event details
  • Get instant weather information for Simpsonville as well as live weather updates provided by Freedom Weekend Aloft via twitter.
  • View event locations on an interactive map including parking areas, balloon launch zone, and Amphitheater concerts.
    • Touch any event location to get turn by turn directions on GPS enabled devices
  • See what’s being said about @FreedomWeekend on twitter.
  • Coming Soon!!!!…Check-in to Freedom Weekend Aloft via Gowalla…View who is “checked in” to Freedom Weekend Aloft and view photos.

BI-LO will continue as Presenting Sponsor and organizers hinted that future announcements will focus on first-evers’, biggest-evers’ and much more.

As in previous years, FWA will be tobacco-free between noon and 5 p.m. daily, and Hillcrest Memorial Hospitalwill be on-site to provide first aid. The 2011 event will continue an all-inclusive general admission policy including all amphitheater concerts, viewing of hot air balloon ascensions, disc dogs, acoustic stage, Family Fun Zone and more. Children 12 and under are free. Tickets are available at all BI-LO locations and can be purchased for $5 from April 18-30 or $7.50 between May 1 and 26.  For more information, please visit

NEW Flight Simulator

Guru Balloon Announced their new Flight Simulator on 4.21.11

Always Flyable!
Guru Balloon - "you like it ↔ it likes you"

The Guru Balloon Flight Simulator

Set to be released by the end of April 2011 the Guru Balloon Flight Simulator is now a 3rd generation mathematical model that calculates more than 40 flight variables 24 times per second.It also provides a dynamic zoom mode which enables even more precise landings and marker drops.If you are looking for one of the hottest hot air balloon sites on the web you are at the right place!Keep in shape and maintain your flying feeling and reflexes when the real thing is not available.Time, space and especially weather are no longer limitation for ballooning because The Hot Air Balloon Simulator is ALWAYS FLYABLE!

The Guru Balloon flight simulator is a 24-7 open global ballooning competition where you can compete or just fly for fun. The balloon handling is very realistic so allow yourself some time to adjust.

Through realistic balloon response and different wind speeds at various altitudes enjoy the magnetism of hot air ballooning:

  • Realistic balloon motion
  • Precision flying full of adrenaline
  • Race against time and other players’ scores
  • Just keep in shape

The mission of this site is just that – to practice balloon flying all the time, not that few precious hours in the morning and before sunset. Of course nothing can replace the real thing, but this should keep your reactions in shape and teach you the basics and more!

To add some spice to the simulator we have turned it into round the clock competition so pilots around the world can compare and improve their results.

The whole site is intended for hot air balloon pilots, but anyone else is more than welcomed to experience the physics of the first flying machine man have ever made.

The Guru Balloon Flight Simulator is Set for Release April, 2011

Pre-register here to qualify and be the first to get entered into “The Great Guru Balloon Race”  to Win a Free Flight in the real Guru Balloon!


The Adventures of Sun N Fun

By Connie Sue White / Published: Apr 18, 2010

My last day at Sun n Fun was Saturday. And what a day it was. It might be that my colleagues here at Flying, who, between them, have thousands of hours logged in fancier airplanes, many type ratings under there belts and incredible wealth of knowledge about flying, heights, granted, that I will never be able to achieve in my lifetime since my re-entry into aviation has come at mid life a chuckle at my eagerness and enthusiasm for the small stuff.  Heck, if they didn’t come in their own airplanes, they could get a ride home from Sun n Fun in a CJ4! Again, an envious status I humbly acknowledge that is out of my reach. That said, in many ways, it’s probably a good guess I’m closer to the average person interested in aviation in that I’m easily thrilled with the simple things.

Case in point: During the week of Sun ‘n Fun 2010, I had some pretty cool adventures, two of which I had never experienced, and one of which I had, but with, let’s say, some new modifications. I’ve already blogged about my Aventura seaplane flight at Splash In at Fantasy of Flight and what a kick that was. But on Saturday, I added to the list, first with participation in the annual Sun n’ Fun hot air balloon sunrise launch and competition and then a ride in a Waco. What a job!

Ironically, the opportunity to be a part of the sunrise hot air balloon launch and competition stemmed from the seaplane ride. The gentleman pilot Travis Jay had taken up before me was veteran balloonist, Adam Carusone of Guru Balloon ( based out of Winter Park, Florida. He and Bonnier Staff Photographer Jon Whittle had started chatting while I was splashing in and out of the water and I joined in on the convo when I got back to land. One thing led to another as it does in these circles. It’s contagious, the thrill of flight” no matter how you propel yourself through the air (or where you land, for that matter).

So there I was at 6 a.m., at the FAA building at Linder Regional, sitting in a briefing for balloon pilots (or LTA pilots I apologize in advance if I miss some of the proper terminology).  There were to be 27 hot air balloons launching that morning to compete in a Hare and Hound Competition. Winds were the focus of WX briefer that morning calm/variable for the launch site, with up to 15-25 kts at different altitudes. Other than that it was Have Fun! And off we went.  A Hare and Hound Competition consists of all participating balloons, or Hounds, following a lead balloon, or Hare, to a target point chosen and known only by the Hare. Once the lead balloon chooses a spot and lands, the crew places a giant X on the ground. It’s this X that all other balloons are to target with a mightily throw of a beanbag after getting as close as possible without touching down (or hitting anything, like electrical wires or buildings). The beanbag that lands closest is the winner.

Preparing to for launch for the competition can be tricky. If you get off the ground or even start your fan to inflate your balloon before the Hare does, you’re disqualified. We had launched about 4 or 5 balloons behind our quarry, and Adam’s goal was to stay low or near the altitude of the Hare and chase at a mild pace so as to not bypass him. During the course of our chase, we ascended to no more than 200 or so feet and at point of beanbag launch descended to around 80.

During the chase, which just by the competitions name seems like it would be noisy and chaotic, I couldn’t help but feel a quiet awe. Here I was, floating silently (in between the trance-breaking blasts of heat) through the air, with a birds eye view of the homes that were still quiet, a pasture where a herd of horses was running, probably to the morning feeding, and strawberry fields with workers picking the fruit from laden plants during the sunrise hour. Adam needed to gain altitude and/or maneuver the balloon a certain direction between the wind layers to keep us on proper course with the Hare. The sensations you feel are ever so subtle, probably non-existent to some. Though only definitely perceptible on the variometer (similar to a VSI), I could sense our ascents after the 15 -second or more lag between the heat blasts Adam delivered from the propane valve to coax the balloon higher at appropriate times. But not the descents when Adam tugged the chord to release heat so we could near our target. The place our Hare chose was not easy. In fact some balloons bypassed it completely.  As we neared it, I handed Adam the beanbag and he heaved it overboard on a course that seemed right on target but for the surface wind that held it back away from the X  It was a good effort.

The focus of reaching the Hare’s target was intense. Once we launched the beanbag, it was time to search for a landing place. Adam was familiar with the lay of the land, but we were somewhat at the mercy of the changing wind layers so we had to keep adapting. The chase team had us insight and followed us at our whim. One pasture looked like a winner until we saw a bull roaming about and the chase team informed us that the gate was locked. Once Mother Nature gave us a window to land that concurred with a clearing devoid of hazardous objects, we finally put down in a small field just beyond some two-story condos (I’m sure the folks who I noticed having early morning coffee on their patios were surprised by our sudden, stealth appearance! And if I were Santa Claus, I might think the balloon is not such a bad way to get on someone’s roof.)

Right after we passed over the condo roofs, Adam timed the descent perfectly. We bumped along about 50 feet or so before coming to a stop, laying the wicker basket on its side.  The chase team pulled up right after we landed and so they weren’t in place when we landed. As a result, Adam had to immediately get out and lay the balloon down because the winds decided to pick up! Charged with pulling in the envelope chord, I decide to get completely out of the basket in the event, though unlikely, things got out of hand. I would be like that kid who got whisked away in a balloon on his own, though this time for real!

The team packed up in about 20 minutes. All in all, the time in the air was about 40 minutes or so and what a ride it was. It’s like walking through the air on air none of the physical sensations when flying in an airplane, for obvious reasons. It’s peaceful at the same time as exhilarating. This was like no chasing of a hare I could have ever imagined.

Watch Video | Sun N’ Fun | Balloon Race

Official Results for the 2010 Sun ‘N Fun Hot Air Balloon Race.

Place | Pilot | dist from target

1. Grant Aiello 1′ 2 1/8″
2. Jon Thompson 2′ 5 5/8″
3. Bob Carlton 8′ 11″
4 Steve Stokoe 10′ 3/4″
5 Tom Green 14′ 8″
6 Tarp Head 16′ 4″
7 Tommy Warren 17′ 7/8″
8 Fred Vereb 17′ 2 1/4″
9 Jeff Thompson 18′ 2″
10 Jim Lynch 20′ 4 1/2″
11 Kenny Shumate 27′ 7 3/4″
12 Drew Barrett 43′ 7 1/4″
13 *Adam Carusone 101′ 4 3/8″
14 Rick Neubauer 120′ 7 1/2″
15 Bill Manuel 124′ 4 1/2″
16 Bob Willamoski 141′ 5″
17 Sandy Bartlett 157′ 5 1/2″
18 Dick Miller 223′

Thank you for reading our blog. For directions and event information please visit the official SUN n’ FUN website .

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