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Aunty Monkey - The Balloon Podcast

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Aunty Monkey is a podcast for ballooning enthusiasts. In each episode we discuss different aspects of the sport of ballooning.

Aunty Monkey is a podcast for ballooning enthusiasts. In each episode we discuss different aspects of the sport of ballooning.
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Aunty Monkey is a podcast for ballooning enthusiasts. In each episode we discuss different aspects of the sport of ballooning.




EP #23 - Leandro Corradini - Light Weight Ballooning

Leandro Corradini is a multi-discipline pilot and has been intimately involved with the paragliding and paramotoring world. His love of light weight, portable, personal aircraft led him to identify a gap in the ballooning market for this type of aircraft, so he decided to do something about it. After two years of planning and design, he launched his new Light Sport Aircraft, named FLYDOO, two weeks ago, and a new balloon company was born. As you will hear in this interview, Leandro is...


EP #22 - Dom Bareford - World Champion

In this episode, Andrew chats to the newly crowned World Champion, Dominic Bareford. Dom is a young UK pilot that has been dominating competition ballooning this year. You just need to look at some of his results in the last 6 months to see how well his is flying. In this interview, Dom talks about how he got into competition balloon, his preparations for competition ballooning and he reflects on the World Championships.


EP #21 - Tim Wilkinson - Experimental Balloonist

Tim is the lead protagonist in the birth of the modern Annex 2 ballooning scene in the UK, more commonly known as experimental ballooning to the rest of the World. Tim is a force of nature when it comes to his passion for life and encouraging and training other people to get involved in building their own balloons. Tim comes from a family of fixed wing pilots with his grandfather and father being pilots, his 4 daughters are also now pilots. Aviation runs in Tims veins but his primary career...


EP #20 - The Champions

In this episode, Adam talks to some of the World's best pilots about the upcoming 2018 FAI World Hot Air Balloon Championships in Großsiegharts, Austria. The guests include:


EP #19 - Paul Stumpf - Ballooning Classic

In this episode, Adam sits down and chats with Paul Stumpf. Paul Stumpf has been building, flying and maintaining balloons for over 40 years. He is one of the best known repairmen in the US and is based out of the North East USA in the state of Vermont. Paul's business Stumpf Balloons is best known to the wider ballooning community for its revolutionary Mail Order Catalogue which was extremely popular through the 80’s and 90’s providing bespoke balloon accessories to its customers. Paul's...


EP #18 - Phil Kavanagh - Balloon Manufacturer

In this episode, Andrew sits down and chats with ballooning manufacturer and pioneer, Phil Kavanagh. Phil has been building and flying hot air balloons for 50 years. In this interview, Phil talks about the early days of ballooning and some of his adventures including attempting to fly over Mt Everest in the 1980s and trying to fly across Australia in a Rozier balloon.


EP #17 - The Flying Lemmings

In this episode, Andrew sits down and chats with The Flying Lemmings. They are a self proclaimed bunch of self-indulgent millennials flying balloons and mucking around. The Lemmings are all about promoting the fun of the sport of ballooning and have created an exciting young culture in the the sport that has started attracting more and more like minded folks to ballooning.


EP #16 - Dr John Grubbstrum - FAI President of Honour

In this episode, Adam chats to FAI President of Honour, Dr John Grubbström. John is one of a kind. Intelligent, respectful, committed, fun, and completely addicted to all forms of aviation. John’s ballooning career started in the early 1970’s and in 1974 he acquired his hot air balloon pilot license. John is not the sort of guy who can just be involved though and his leadership and commitment and it wasn’t long before he became president of his local balloon club John organised the first...


EP #15 - Petr Kubicek - Balloon Manufacturer

In this episode, Adam chats to Petr Kubicek. From humble and quite recent beginnings Kubicek balloons has grown into one of the powerhouse balloon manufacturers in the World. The Kubicek story is fascinating with the beginnings of the business directly linked to the end of communism in the then Czechoslovakia. Petr’s father Ales founded Kubicek balloons and was one of the pioneers of ballooning in Czechoslovakia in very difficult times. Following a sudden and terrible accident to his father,...


EP #14 - Nicola Scaife - Women's World Champion

In this episode, Andrew talks to Nicola Scaife about competition ballooning. Nicola is an Australian balloon pilot with a passion for competition. She lives and flies in the beautiful Hunter Valley, NSW, Australia, with her husband Matthew and their son Hugo. She works as a commercial hot air balloon pilot for Balloon Aloft, flying up to 20 people in her basket each morning. In 2013, Nicola competed as a pilot in her first ever hot air ballooning competition. Since then she has achieved...


EP #13 - Andrew Parker - Flying High For Kids

In this episode Andrew chats to inspirational New Zealand pilot Andrew Parker. Andrew is daring to live his dream and use his passion for flying to change the lives of children around the world. The Flying High for Kids World Balloon Project was launched in 2013 and aims to reach communities in over 100 countries by 2018.


Ep #12 - Welcome to 2018!

To welcome in the new year, Andrew and Adam chat to each other about some of the Aunty Monkey highlights of 2017 and what is planned for 2018. They also share some stories about some interesting moments in ballooning history that they never knew about. As podcasting is new to many of the Aunty Monkey subscribers, the boys also share details about some of their favourite podcasts. Happy New Year!


Ep #11 - Bert Padelt - Balloon Building Specialist

In this episode Adam chats to one of the most gifted balloon makers in the World, Bert Padelt. Bert’s is best known for custom building record setting balloons. As testament to his enormous talent and skill, Bert’s balloons hold FAI World records in the hot air, gas and Rozier categories. Along with his wife Joanie, Bert runs a full time repair station in Bally, Pennsylvania. Bert and Joanie have been married for 27 years, and Bert has been married to ballooning for over 40! Bert has a...


EP #10 - Troy Bradley - Record Breaker

Troy is a full-time balloonist with over 7,109 balloon piloting hours (296 days aloft). As one of the most prolific record-setters the sport has ever seen, he has set 64 World Records in Hot Air, Gas and Rozier (hybrid) balloons. Troy has flown 223 different balloons ranging in size from 8,000 to 500,000 cubic feet. He has flown balloons on 5 continents, including 16 countries, and in 45 of the U.S. states.


EP #9 - Claude Weber - Championship Director

In this episode, Andrew talks to Claude Weber about his experience of being a championship director. Claude is a balloon pilot from Luxembourg. He has been the director of many events, including in Europe, the World Air Games in Dubai and he will be the Championship Director of the World Championship next year in Austria. Claude shares some of his background, his experiences being a competition official and some of things he has been doing with the FAI Ballooning Commission.


EP #8 - Brian Jones - Round the World Balloonist

In this special episode, Andrew talks to an absolute ballooning legend, UK pilot Brian Jones. In 1999, Brian Jones and Bertrand Piccard became the first people to fly non-stop around the world in a balloon.


Ep #7 - Kay Turnbull - 50 years of Ballooning

Kay Turnbull is one of Australia's most respected and most loved pilots. Kay's obsession with the sport began on what was planned to be a 6 month trip to the UK in 1966 and ended up being a 20 year stay. Kay was involved in some of the very earliest flights of the Bristol Belle, the first “Modern” balloon in the UK with some of the early pioneers of the sport including Giles Bulmer, Don Cameron, Tom Sage and her future husband, Gerry Turnbull. Kay has flown gas and hot air throughout...


Ep #6 - Sean Kavanagh - Technology in Ballooning

Sean Kavanagh is not only a manufacturer of balloons at Kavanagh Balloons, but he is also the creator of oziTarget, one of the most popular ballooning applications used by competitive and non-competitive pilots. In this episode Sean and Andrew discuss the evolution of technology in ballooning. They look at how to best tack advantage of technology regardless of if you are a competitor or a casual pilot.


Ep #5 - John Petrehn - Two Time World Champion

John has been in the hot air balloon profession since 1989, logging over 2750 hours in various hot air balloons all around the world with a perfect safety record. John’s piloting skills have elevated him to the pinnacle of the ballooning world. He is the current US National Champion. In the fall of 2010, John won the World Hot Air Balloon Championship in Debrecen, Hungary for a second time, having won his first world title in Tochigi, Japan in 2006.


Ep #4 - Steve Roake - Cloudhoppers and Formula 1

Steve Roake is one of the leading advocates for Cloudhopping throughout Europe. From his base in the UK, Steve has spent the past 12 years producing the Cloudhoppers newsletter and this month, produced the 100th edition. Steve also runs the website and more recently the Cloudhoppers Facebook site which has over 1100 members.