Dean Carlton is a commercial hot air balloon pilot from Danville, Illinois. He starting flying balloons in 1997. He earned his commercial certificate in 1998. He currently has nearly 900 hours of piloting hot air balloons.
Dean and his son Ryan have developed an informative crew training website located at Cazooee.com, which he uses to provide his out-of-town crew some advanced training before rallies.
Dean had the opportunity to fly a living legend, astronaut pioneer James Lovell, Jr., in 2001. Captain Lovell even took instruction from Dean, flying the balloon and firing the burners, thus adding Hot Air Balloons to his long list of aircraft flown.
Dean served as a director of the Balloon Federation of America from 2013 through 2019. He was elected by the BFA Board to the position of Secretary in 2013 and held that position for 2 years and held the position of President of the organization from 2016 to 2018.
Dean has been an instructor at numerous balloon safety seminars in the Midwest. He was involved in the roll out of the BFA’s Continued Education / Safety Seminar Guidelines that are currently in use nationwide at nearly 30 seminar sites to evaluate proposed seminar topics, instructors, venues and allocated instructional time in order to ensure quality programing that will enrich the knowledge, skills, and expertise of pilots and crew through quality education. Since 2014, he has coordinated the BFA’s On-Line Seminar / Webinar which is made available to several hundred pilots and crew across the nation. He also developed a system to provide an on-line video version of these seminars to be available at BFA.net. Dean has authored several articles published in BALLOONING: The Journal of the Balloon Federation of America.
When not in the air, Dean is a commercial real estate developer for Heritage Development Services Company in Danville, Illinois.
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