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Soaring the Southwestern Skies with Ken Sklute and Desert Ballooning Advertures

Casa Grande, ARIZ. (March 27, 2017) – We recently had the opportunity to ride along with Ken Sklute as he piloted the Desert Ballooning Adventures balloon across Southern Arizona’s desert in Casa Grande.  It was an experience that everyone should ad to their bucket list.

We met early in the morning to head out to Casa Grande to assemble the basket and burners before attaching the balloon.  Ken had already assembled an experienced crew that would later chase our flight to our unknown landing location.  Once the balloon had been rolled out onto the soft grass of a baseball diamond and attached to the basket, it was time to begin filling it with air.  As the balloon began to fill, the color of the balloon began coming to life.  Ken’s balloon is made up of 15 different colors as opposed to the normal 5 to 6 color balloons that are generally fabricated.

After the balloon began to take shape, it was time to add some hot air to stand it into its upright position.  Once vertical, it was obvious that it was ready to take flight.  That is until I got into the basket.

Hitting the burners, Ken was able to heat the air in the balloon enough to break the surface of the earth.  Once aloft, it was pure silence with the exception of the burner shooting flame into the balloon to maintain or gain altitude.  A skilled balloon pilot, Ken determined the winds direction at various altitudes and was quickly able to navigate our flight as we floated over the Arizona desert.

We’ve flown in small aircraft and helicopters on numerous occasions, but have never had the opportunity to fly in a hot air balloon.  The experience was relaxing as we rode the winds across the landscape of farms, fields and desert scenery from above.

As special thanks to Pilot Ken Sklute, Crew Chief Ellen Crean, and Crew members Kyle Koerner, Seth Koerner, Del La Rue, Ann La Rue and Charlie Kimmel for making this flight with Desert Ballooning Adventures possible.

If you would like to soar over the desert yourself, you can reach Ken Sklute and Desert Ballooning Adventures at the following links: or Ken Sklute Visual Artist on Facebook.

About Ken Sklute and Desert Ballooning Adventures

“Ken Sklute, Commercial Hot Air Balloon Pilot, accomplished his commercial hot air balloon rating in 1991 after training and flying on Long Island in New York. He soon began a ride business on Long Island, becoming the first pilot to do so. From the moment he opened the doors, Ken was sold out season after season, giving rides, helping in 31 client marriage proposals, educating at local schools and flying in most balloon rallie’s in the Northeast.

Sklute relocated to Tempe, Arizona in 1996, where he currently resides.

Ken Sklute has been honored as one of Canon’s Explorers of Light, a designation shared by only 50 top photographers worldwide. Ken has enjoyed a diverse career photographing people, professional sports, architecture, weddings and landscapes. Ken spends much of his time photographing, teaching and lecturing both Nationally and Internationally.”

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