Pilot Profile

Tony Sandlin

Fishers, IN

Balloon Name: Blown Away

Tony is the owner of Midwest Balloon Rides.

Tony has flown more hours than any other balloon pilot in the state of Indiana over the last few years and has currently logged over 1850 hours in balloons total. He was born and raised in Indianapolis, IN and now lives in Fishers, IN with his wife, Gail and their 3 sons.

Tony became involved in ballooning in 1989 after answering an ad in the Thrifty Nickel Newspaper looking for a person to join a hot air balloon crew team. From there he studied to become a private pilot and then became a commercial hot air balloon pilot in 2005. Tony sold his first balloon Inflated Ego and currently flies either Blown Away or the largest of his balloons Out of the Blue that carries one of the only baskets with a door in the tri-state area.

Tony is the current President of the Professional Ride Operators Association has flown extensively throughout the United States as well as Canada, Mexico and the Middle East. 2011 through 2018 Tony was included as one of only 42 balloons permitted to give passenger rides at the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, an annual gathering of over 600 hot air balloons. He has been invited back to do the same in 2019. In August of 2012 Tony was hired to film a commercial using his balloons in California for a company from Spain.

Interesting fact:

Vice President Mike Pence and his family took a balloon flight with Tony a few years ago!

Tony is the current President of the Professional Rides Operators of the US – A division of the BFA!