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National Championships
I love to fly.
Out in the Swamps
3rd in the US at 18 yrs old.
Flying in the National Classic
Competition with my nephew.
One of my early balloons.
BFA Directors Award
Post Stroke with my kids.

Dear Friends,

2020 has been a difficult year for many.  For the Thompson Aire family, 2020 started off with a tragedy that has changed us profoundly.   Of course, the Covid-19 pandemic is an important issue and we are taking great caution to protect, our guests, ourselves, and the landowners who graciously provide launch and landing locations for our flights.

I (Capt. Jeff) suffered a Hemorrhagic stroke.  This has ended my ability to fly commercially. Here are the facts, only 26.4% survive.  Mortality rates over time are as follows.

"In a recent review, 34% of patients died from their intracerebral bleed 3 months after the event. Another study documented death rates after an intercerebral bleed of 31% at 7 days, 59% at one year, 82% at 10 years and more than 90% at 16 years. Clearly this is a serious and frequently fatal condition." Hemorrhagic stroke is life threatening. Many of these deaths occur within the first two days. For those who survive a brain hemorrhage, recovery is slow. A minority of people are able to recover complete or near-complete functioning within 30 days of the stroke.

I was one of the lucky ones and I am very happy to be here to write this to you.  Thompson Aire has created wonderful and lasting memories for literally tens of thousands of people.  I believe I personally have flown more than 30,000 passengers in my 45 years of ballooning.  However, I can no longer fly passengers myself.

Those of you who have flown with me understand my desire for safety.  I was thrilled when I passed my 40-year mark and qualified for the "Ed Yost Master Pilot" award.   This award is presented to a pilot who has flown for 40 years with a 100% safety record.  Many of you who flew with us, during the last few years leading up to my 40th anniversary knew how excited I was to reach that mark in my flying career.

The reason I am writing this letter is to inform you that as of Feb 1st 2020 Thompson Aire is closed.  We very much enjoyed meeting all of you and our hundreds of flights in the Disney area.  It is with great sadness that I will no longer be able to fly commercial flights.  I am extremely happy to still be around for my family and hope to be of service to the balloon community in general with my thousands of flight hours and experience.

Again, for those of you who have flown with Thompson Aire and/or with me personally,  I am thankful for the time we were able to spend together, and I thank you for the HUNDREDS of gracious and amazing email responses over the years.  I truly wish I could fly you, but hope to see you out with one of our pilots someday.

For flights in the Disney area please do a google search for Sky Pirates Ballooning or Bobs Balloon Charters or Painted Horizons ballooning or AirHound Ballooning.  They will take good care of you.

Here are a few links you may wish to visit.  A Trip down Memory lane.  How Hard this is TO DO.  Flying HIZAZOV pt1  Flying HIZAZOV pt2 Flying HIZAZOV pt3 Flying HIZAZOV pt4 Flying HIZAZOV pt5

Thank you all!

Jeff A Thompson

The First TA Team! The Thompson Family preparing for the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta parade. Oct. 1977
A very young Capt. Thompson
16 year old pilot
Capt. Father, Jeff
Master Pilot
3 Generations of TA
Flying Uncle Jerry "1977"
First flight post stroke.
My first balloon and I
Competition marker drop.