Balloon Flights in the Disney World area of Orlando Florida.  Rides Flown Daily at sunrise in Central Florida. Over35 Years Experience!

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Competition News

 

Aug 2012

Jeff Thompson awarded the Jon Russell award at United States National Balloon Classic.  

 

 

Aug 2012

With a best average of 837.4 Jeff Thompson has again posted scores high enough to be ranked among the top pilots in the United states for the second year in a row.  This will also almost guarantee him his FOURTH State Championship title in a row.  Now for 8 years straight the Florida State Champion has been a Thompson and Jeff has won it 5 out of the last 6 years.  BFA RANKING

 

Aug 2011

Jeff Thompson at the Indianola Iowa race finished 12th overall and posted a National Ranking score of 873.6 This average should rank him amongst the top TEN pilots in the United States and award him the 2011 Florida State Champion title.

 

Balloon Federation Ranking

 

It is official.  Capt. Jeff A. Thompson finished 2011 ranked number 10 in the United States and the 2011 Florida State Champion.  Captain Thompson has now been State Champ for three years straight!

 

We do suggest everyone read About the Aircraft

You can tell Capt Thompson used to be a flight instructor!

 
Hi Jeff -

I don't know where to begin to tell what an amazing experience is hot air ballooning. I don't understand why it's not one of Orlando's top attractions. Certainly beats all Disney's attractions. Also, wanted to thank you the great customer experience you gave us. You were able to pass on to my parents and grandparents your passion for ballooning that you have cultivated during so many years. I can't wait to take my daughter on one of your flights for her 5th year-old birthday. With your warm camaraderie and your excellence in flying balloons, I have no doubt that she will be in safe hands. Jeff you're the number one attraction in Orlando and also the best kept secret !

Sincerely,
Sebastien
 

 

Tamie Bledsoe
Apopka FL USA
Yes I have flown with you!

I have flown with others and you are the best.
April 29 2012

AMAZING! My husband was nervous but after today even he would recommend the experience. The entire staff is knowledgeable and make it a lasting memory. I wouldn't dare fly with anyone else (and I have before today). Capt Kim is remarkable. There is no doubt that when I talk about this day, people will want to sign up and enjoy the experience! Thank you Jeff and staff for an amazing, safe and memorable experience. It is obvious these people have a passion. Wish I could fly every day...

 

 

 

Thompson Aire Pilot

Captain Jeff A. Thompson

 

 

 

Capt Jeff's story is a long and wonderful history of passion and pride sprinkled with adventure and national accolades.


Jeff first saw a hot air balloon at the united states national championships in Indianola Iowa in 1973. He was infatuated by these peaceful and beautiful flying machines. He took a photo of a balloon out of a magazine and began to build balloons out of tissue paper and cellophane tape. At one time he built a tissue paper balloon large enough to carry his bicycle.
By the time he was 15 he had signed up for flight lessons and just before his 16th birthday he was allowed to SOLO! At that time he did not even have a drivers license. At age 17 he purchased his first balloon and took his parents and brothers and sister for their first balloon flight.
At age 17 the young Capt Thompson began to fly his balloon in competition. His first year out he finished in the top 10 in the state of Iowa. By the time he was 18 he won the regional championships the south west Iowa professional championships and took 3rd in the united states national championships. At that time he was considered to be one of the 5 best in the entire country.
He later went on to design and build advertising balloons that are now commonly used across the united states for Grand Openings and other displays. Jeff spent time flying corporate balloons around the U.S.
After about 6 years as a flight instructor and flying passengers he decided that passenger flights was the best way to share his passion with everyone and began to fly rides full time.
 

Captain Jeff A Thompson has been flying passengers for over 30 years and has been a full time ride pilot for over 20 years. He has been an instructor for the FAA (federal aviation administration) as well as the chief pilot for several large ride operations around the country. He has flown balloons as small as a one man balloon without a basket to as large as a 16 passenger balloon containing 240 thousand cubic feet of air. He currently operates balloons that holds between 4 and 6 passengers and operates 7 days a week in the Disney World area of Orlando Florida.

 

Captain Thompson is the current reigning Florida State Hot Air Balloon Champion. 

(2007, 2009, 2010, 2011 & 2012 state champ!)

 

Captain Thompson finished the 2011 competition year ranked #10 in all of the United States.  BFA National Ranking.

 

He is rated as a Distinguished Aeronaut level 8 by the Balloon Federation of America.  One of only 32 in the entire United States. 

*DA8 is the HIGHEST pilot achievement level obtainable by the Balloon Federation of America.  See www.bfa.net for more info
 

Each flight he blends his enthusiasm for flight with his vast flight experience and precision control. Throwing in a dash of his knowledge as an instructor to create an experience you will simply be astounded with and can't wait to share with your friends and family.

 

Captain Thompson also hand picks all the professional pilots who fly for TA.  No matter what pilot you are assigned to on your flight date you can rest assured they come with the full confidence of Captain Jeff Thompson himself.  Have a look at our "Guest Book" and see what people say even about the other pilots.

 

407-421-9322 or Contact US
 

There are other choices of people and companies to fly with but those who have flown with others will admit they would always come back to, and recommend, Thompson Aire!

 

 

Don't take our word for it.  Here is exactly what our past passengers say about their flight and experience with Thompson AIRE.
 

Dear Captain Thompson and crew, My husband and I went on a hot air balloon flight this morning in Hertfordshire, England. We flew with virgin Balloons. The flight was very good and beautiful. Looking at the landscape and the affluence of the country side was breathtaking. However, I MISSED YOU LOT SO MUCH. Our first balloon flight was with you in Florida on the 18th of March, 2004. It was our wedding anniversary and it was magic. The teams professionalism and humour made the whole experience special. Well, my flight today missed a few things and that is why i have been prompted to write to let you know you are in a class of your own It was a lovely experience but it lacked a lot of humour, laughter and definitely your lovely moustache.
I wish you all the best and i hope you maintain your excellent standards of customer care.
See you in the future.
love
Eunice and Adrian Sirkett.
Stevenage'],
Hertfordshire.
Hi Jeff,

I just wanted to touch base with you and let you know how disappointed I was that you did not come to Iowa for the Balloon Classic this year. My flight with you last summer was phenomenal!! (I'm the one that cried when we landed)!

My ballooning bug was fed yet again this morning as I had another flight. It was wonderful, but nothing compared to flying with you! My pilot did a good job, with the experience he has gained so far. We landed at 12 MPH and drug for about 30 feet. I didn't like it as much as our feather soft landing last year, but found it a bit thrilling. All I could do was hunker down in the basket and giggle. My pilot this morning probably thought I was a crazy woman!!

Anyway, I just wanted you to know you're missed in Indianola. I hope to have the opportunity to fly with you again some time.
Best Wishes,

Malinda Patch-Gray
Healing Arts Massage Therapy

 

For more input from our past passengers we encourage you to visit the Testimonials page or view the TA Guest Book.

 

Confused with all the info?   A great place to start is FAQ or the SITE MAP page

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Jeff Thompson has been awarded a Directors Award from the Balloon Federation of America for his work with the BFA Hall of Fame committee.  Inside the website HotAirBalloonist.com Jeff created a storage and work area for all the files used in choosing Hall-of-Famers.  Please help support the site become a member.

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