Balloon Pilots

Richard Goss

Richard Goss, from Leander, TX,  has been a commercial Hot Air Balloon Pilot since 1985. His balloon “Starship” is sponsored by the Liberty Hill Chamber of Commerce.

Karl Stefan

Karl Stefan, from Austin, TX, has been a licensed balloon pilot 47 years. His balloon “USA” is sponsored by HEB Plus!

Rusty Kaim

I have been flying about 28 years mainly in the Austin area. I have also flown in Mexico, the Big Bend area, Palo Duro Canyon and Cap Rock Canyon. I spend most of my time volunteering at dog shelters and dog related organizations. Kaim’s balloon “Confetti” is sponsored by Malted Grains.

David Smuck

David Smuck, from Austin, TX, will be giving tethered hot air balloon rides from his balloon “Willy Nilly.” Rides are $25 at the festival, and Willy Nilly is sponsored by Liberty Hill Orthodontics.

Matt Robison

Matt Robison lives in Fort Worth Texas with his wife and crew chief Sara. He earned his private and commercial certificate in July of 2018 but has been crewing and learning to fly since 2009. Robison’s balloon “Straight Up” is sponsored by Hughes & Company Real Estate.

Bruce Lavorgna

Bruce Lavorgna, from Austin, TX won Pilot Rookie of Year for his balloon “Aerodactyl” in 1990. Aerodactyl is sponsored by Frontier Bank of TX.

Renai Cafferty

Renai is a third generation pilot who has been flying and involved with ballooning her whole life. She flies Texas Twist, originally flown by her grandfather Sam Edwards. Renai flew in the Great Texas Balloon Race Young Guns competition 2019. She loves traveling to new places to fly and sharing the sport with others. Texas Twist is sponsored by Dairy Queen.