CONRAD VAN WYK

CEO, Chief Pilot

Conrad van Wyk is the holder of both a South African hot air balloon pilot license and British commercial hot air balloon pilot license, validated by a Class 1 aviation medical certificate. His vast flying experience of over 1800 hours in more than 50 different types of hot air balloons in over 13 different countries around the world earns him the title of Life Ballooning‘s Chief Pilot. Apart from flying balloons, Conrad is one of the few holders of a valid AMO (Aircraft Maintenance Organisation) certificate, endorsed by SACAA certifying him to repair and maintain hot air balloons for commercial use, as well as to build and sew hot air balloons for recreational use. Conrad has completed internationally recognised balloon manufacture and repair courses abroad, and maintains Life Ballooning’s fleet of 4 balloons, as well as sport balloons belonging to many South African private balloon pilots, under Life Ballooning’s sister company Custom Craft Aviation.

Memberships:
BAFSA (Balloon and Airship Federation of South Africa) Committee Member
Aeroclub of South Africa Member

Certifications:
Quality Assurance Auditor Course, Henley Global Aviation Training, 2013
SACAA CATS and CAR’s, Cranfield Aviation Training, 2013
Crew Resource Management, Cranfield Aviation Training, 2016
Dangerous Goods Awareness, Cranfield Aviation Training, 2015
Lindstrand Balloons Factory Training Course, UK, 1998
Fire Safety and First Aid, UK, 2013

FLIP STEYN

Responsible Person Aircraft, Training Coordinator, Pilot

Flip Steyn is the holder of a current South African hot air balloon pilot license, validated by a Class 1 aviation medical certificate. Flip serves as a BAFSA (Balloon and Airship Federation of South Africa) DFE (Designated Flight Examiner), and conducts ground school training for aspirant hot air balloon pilots. Flip has approximately 800 hours flying experience in over 25 different types of balloons, and has flown in over 6 countries around the world. Flip Steyn has completed various internationally recognized balloon repair and manufacture courses abroad, and is responsible for the oversight and coordination of Life Ballooning’s well maintained fleet of hot air balloons.

Memberships:
BAFSA (Balloon and Airship Federation of South Africa) Member
Aeroclub of South Africa Member

Certifications:
Crew Resource Management, Cranfield Aviation Training, 2016
Dangerous Goods Awareness, Cranfield Aviation Training, 2016

CHRIS SCHROEDER

Flight Operations Manager, Crew Chief

Chris Schroeder has been a valuable member of the Life Ballooning Team since 2008 under the portfolio of Crew Chief, and recently appointed as Flight Operations Manager. Chris works tirelessly behind the scenes, ensuring that all operations run like clockwork, and manages a team of 8 crew members. Chris has a long history in recreational aviation and a deeply ingrained love for flying, having completed his PPL for fixed wing aircraft in 1997. Chris is currently working towards his next goal of becoming a hot air balloon pilot, training under instructor, Flip Steyn.

Memberships:
BAFSA (Balloon and Airship Federation of South Africa) member
Aeroclub of South Africa member

Certifications:
Quality Assurance, Cranfield Aviation, 2015
SACAA CATS and CAR’s, Cranfield Aviation Training, 2015

MARIE VAN WYK

Reservations Administration, Ouma

Marie van Wyk, fondly known as "Ouma" is responsible for the coordination and issuing of thousands of in-flight photographs and flight certificates that are given out to each of Life Ballooning‘s passengers throughout the year. One of Ouma’s greatest achievements is that she has survived TWO generations of hot air balloon pilots, father and son - all the early mornings, long road trips, late nights awake sewing registration marks together for balloons, and most importantly raising the young man we all know as THE BOSS.

ANDRE VAN WYK

Balloon Engineer, Technical Advisor

Previously Life Ballooning‘s Senior Pilot, Andre van Wyk has now retired from South African commercial ballooning and resides in Thailand. In the 40 years of his flying career, Andre piloted over 5000 balloon flights in over 18 different countries around the world, including 5 English Channel Balloon Crossings and 34 Alpine Balloon Crossings. For 15 years he was the only approved balloon pilot for BBC and Anglia Television film projects, and the only approved pilot for Sir David Attenborough’s documentaries. Andre is the holder of both a South African and British Commercial Balloon Pilots License, and gained his Springbok Colours representing South Africa at the World Hot Air balloon Championships. He designed and constructed the hot air balloon for Walt Disney‘s recent film, "Oz The Great and Powerful" prior to the movie’s release in South East Asia. Andre is also a self published author, with his next book due for release in 2017, and is still actively involved in the construction, repair and maintenance of hot air balloons, and enjoys sharing his expertise with balloon maintenance and repair stations across the world.