About your pilot
Your pilot, Randy Long has “been there, done that”
Life’s experiences have taught Randy Long many things. Starting his career as a travel agent, Long has traveled the world over and continues to do so, recently returning from a “spring break” trip to China with his wife and family.
All avid certified scuba divers, they frequently make trips to popular dive destinations around the world, most recently in Bermuda. Not long ago, the Long’s were seen dog-sledding on a glacier in Alaska!
Randy’s ballooning career started in Illinois in 1986. At a meeting of the Downtown Springfield Rotary Club, Randy met Harold Lovelace who was giving a presentation to the club’s members about the joys of ballooning. Randy was hooked and made a deal on the spot with Lovelace to purchase his balloon and immediately began flight training. Later that year he received his FAA license and was off to Albuquerque to fly in the world’s largest balloon gathering. Returning home from Albuquerque Randy began offering rides while continuing to operate his busy travel agency. In 1991 Randy sold the travel agency and moved to Arizona to open a full-time hot air balloon ride business. Randy is now in his 25th year as a FAA licensed commercial balloon pilot. He has logged over 2000 flights as pilot-in-command and personally flown over 20,000 delighted passengers. He has flown in many parts of the world including England and France. He was the pilot of choice for Shakira while on tour in Arizona as well as J.W. Marriott and family for his 80th birthday. When the Super Bowl was held in Tempe, Long flew Dick Ebersole, President of NBC Sports and his wife, actress Susan Saint James.
In October, 2008 Long became the first FAA certified flight instructor for powered parachutes in the State of Arizona.
His true love is aviation and he can be found flying the skies of Phoenix and surrounds in a hot-air balloon…just as he likes it!