Off The Wall Balloon

Although they made a trip west one summer for a visit and to try and fly it was to hot and conditions were not favorable for a flight during their entire visit. They both passed away prior to my ever being able to give them the chance to enjoy a flight, but they will be with me on every flight in spirit. Each time I fly either in the Off the Wall Balloon or Empty Pockets I will remember them for everything they meant to me and many others who’s lives they touched.

I am a Special Education Teacher in Reno, Nevada currently working at one of the best schools in the district, Wooster High School, and a balloonist for fun; I enjoy giving the gift of flight to others and especially to kids. I fly numerous events in and around the western states. I especially like the smaller events where everyone knows each other and the smaller towns where ballooning is still a novelty drawing a group of people that have never seen nor been around a hot air balloon. Taking the extra minute to explain to a spectator how a balloon works, why we do things the way we do, or to a child why is Humpty upside down (he was pushed).

I have a dedicated group of locals that crew for me and make every flight a success, without a crew ballooning just would not be possible. First my son Kevin joins me on some of the adventures, but only if it is someplace different and worth getting up early & he can get the time off work and out of school. Barb Muscutt who helps to find most of the people I need for my local flights. She is also a student pilot learning to fly the way I did by going out and doing it often. Gabrielle 'Gabby' Byrns is a high school student at Spanish Springs High School in Reno and comes out as often as her studies allow. Her aspirations to achieve her dreams are pure energy to everyone she meets.


Jeff Haliczer's Biography

I have been in and around hot air ballooning since 1983. I received my first flight in Gallup, New Mexico and loved every aspect of it. I spent my early years as a crewmember for a commercial balloon owned by the local Ford dealership and nearly every weekend flying with Karl Lohmann, a good friend, a great pilot and a fellow educator. I moved to Gallup, NM from Michigan right out of college for my first teaching position, and due to subsequent moves it took a few years to finally receive my hot air balloon pilots certificate. But with time and effort I finally realized my dream of owning and piloting my own hot air balloon. It was Chuck Reynolds of Fernley, NV who helped me complete the requirements for my private certification and in 2007 my commercial license.

I recently bought a special shape balloon that has allowed me to get into a different type of adventure in hot air ballooning. It is the Upside Down Humpty Dumpty Balloon and every flight of the ‘Off the Wall Balloon’ is dedicated to my parents who both were lifelong educators and who’s love, support and understanding will forever be never ending. I was never able to give them a ride in either of my balloons.

Barb Muscutt
Gabrielle 'Gabby' Byrns