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Meet Rollie Little of Firebird Balloons in Scottsdale

Today we’d like to introduce you to Rollie Little.

Rollie, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
At 18 years old, I was hanging out with a friend who worked in a repair station to fix balloons. At first it was, help me with this and pick up that.

Then I got my first ride in a balloon. I was so amazed at how it was so gentle and yet the pilot still had so much control. I just became fascinated with them, and after that I was hooked. I helped crew on balloons for a few years before committing and buying one myself to start getting my pilots license. Balloons need a pilot’s license that is specific to balloons. I got my private license and quickly headed to get my commercial pilots license soon after. I have flown special shapes such as a witch flying a broom, and a big orange ball. I have flown corporate balloons for advertising over the superbowl and many other events. I started flying passenger rides in 2005. Flying in Phoenix in the winter and flying somewhere else around the country in the summer. Getting experience to fly the largest balloons in the US. 24 passengers.

I now have over 2500 hours in balloons flying in many parts of the US and Mexico.

I love what I do. It is like getting paid to eat ice cream!!

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
This is a sport of passion. If you do not enjoy it, will not be doing it very long. Ballooning is about planning. Not just one plan, but a plan b, c, and d. Things do not (or rarely) go the way you want or expect.

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Firebird Balloons – what should we know?
Started five years ago, after flying large (24 passenger) balloons and realizing that was not what the customer expected or wanted in a balloon ride.

We specialize in 4 passenger balloon rides. This gives us an opportunity to get to personalize and optimize the flight to more what they expect.

We are most proud of our safety record and attitude on safety. sometimes it is disappointing to cancel a flight because of weather, but we always try and make the best decisions for the safety of everyone. and we are accident free.

The ballooning community, in general, is a small group that helps each other and usually gives a hand up at every turn. Whether getting a new student a license or just a hand on the field, the people of ballooning is what makes it great.

Pricing:

  • $175 per person for a shared ride
  • $600 for a private for two

Contact Info:

Getting in touch: VoyagePhoenix is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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