We are a team of professionals who are passionate about ballooning. Between us, we have considerable experience and are adept at making dreams become reality. We draft in other highly experienced UK pilots to help with events and flights as required. Your enjoyment and safety is of paramount importance to us all at Atmosphere. Our reviews on Google are testament to our dedication and hard work.
Will Walker –A commercial fixed wing pilot who has had a passion for aviation from a very young age. He has flown all types of radio controlled aircraft for over 20 years and thought full size flying was just a dream until one day his wife told him to get on with it. Will trained hard, whilst working a full-time job to fund it, and gained his commercial pilot's licence in just under 2 years and was immediately employed by Flybe operating the Dash 8 Q400 for 18 months until Flybe ceased trading. When this happened Jonathan approached him to help out with crewing and immediately saw his potential and encouraged him to start training as a hot air balloon pilot. Will bought his own training balloon and is well on his way to achieving a PPL. Will also has a passion for drones and aviation photography and has accompanied Jonathan on tethered flights to produce photography packages for clients as well as helping to produce marketing material.
Jonathan Greatrix – An entrepreneur with a strong track record including numerous prestigious business awards from KPMG, RBS and Arthur Anderson, the latter being presented by HRH Prince of Wales at St. James’s Palace. He has had a passion for aviation, including ballooning, from a young age. He has flown fixed wing aircraft over the Hampshire and Wiltshire landscape and in the USA. Jonathan passed his Commercial Licence in what is thought to be record time. As well as flying in the UK he regularly flies at events around the world including the Arctic, the desert on the Qatar/Saudi Arabian border and the Highlands of India. Jonathan particularly enjoys the very early morning starts, watching the sun rise and the world awaken. He is driven, extremely hard working and strives for perfection and customer satisfaction.
Laurence Wigfield – Laurence has been around ballooning since he was 7 years old, he spent the best part of 10 years crewing through Europe with Buddy Bombard, the most prestigious ballooning travel company of the time. Laurence trained in Arizona, USA where he obtained is FAA license before acquiring his UK license a few years later. He regularly flys in the Alps during winter. His most memorable flight was in Cappadocia, Turkey in 2006. Together, Laurence and the team are working to bring prestige to balloon flights by using his experience gained whilst working for Buddy Bombard. It is a challenge given the UK climate, but achievable. You might catch Laurence in this link. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fykOFnW2p0k
José Eduardo Alves de Souza – joined our team in 2019. To find a more passionate balloonists would be a tall order. Aged 18 Eduardo sold every possession he could including his car to buy the material to make his first balloon. Since then he has made many special shaped balloons including Pencil Boy, Tic Toc, Speed, Basketball to name just a few. Eduardo was featured in a TV documentary recently, produced by Amazon which shows his incredible rise in the ballooning world. He is a private pilot who has flown in dozens of countries, specialising in flying special shapes. He loves a good balloon competition too.
Suene Guimaraes – Suene prepares all the charts, puts all the gadgets we rely on together to ensure each pilot has fully charged instruments and radios ready for flight. She prepares the champagne for guests and joins the retrieve crew, helping to set up the baskets and prepare the balloon for flight. She takes great photos and videos from start to finish and shares them with clients. Our ground crew are the most important part of the team. Without them, we cannot fly.
Emily Greatrix – obtained a first-class honours degree in law from Bristol University, and we put her legal brain/efficiency to good use with all the CAA paperwork including Ops and risk assessment manuals etc. Emily first flew in a balloon aged 7 with her father and is a great asset behind the scenes, helping the business to grow.
Bruce Ross – is passionate about aviation and joined the Royal Navy a tactical warfare officer and navigator. He has over a thousand hours flying in the Wessex 3, Sea King and Lynx helicopters. He has also had the privilege to have commanded HMS CYGNET within his varied military career.
Bruce gained a fixed wing licence in 2001 and his first flight in a Hot air balloon was with Don Cameron. He has been a member of the British Balloon and Airship Club since 1990 and gained his Commercial Balloon Licence in October 2020. He enjoys flying his balloon in Spain, Italy, and France, and has facilities at his home near the Pyrenees teaching and training others to gain their Private Hot Air Balloon Pilot Licence. Bruce says that ballooning is a very sociable sport and one of the few forms of aviation you cannot do by yourself.
Bruce also flies a Cloudhopper called DaVinci which is a single person balloon. The quote on the balloon sums up his feeling about ballooning:
“Once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with
your eyes turned skywards,
For there you have been,
And there you will always long to return”