Interviews with pilots

 

DEJAN BUZETI

Dejan Buzeti is a hot air balloon pilot from Prekmurje. He flies for the Bakovci ballooning club. He also attended the open national championship in Murska Sobota.

  • Where did you first encounter ballooning and how did you become a hot air balloon pilot?

My first flight was when Slovenia entered the EU, May 1st, 2004. We started in Gornja Radgona and flew to Austria. In accordance with the first balloon flight christening, my title became ‘Baron EU’.

I became a pilot by attending lectures with my father-in-law, who was training to become a pilot. Because I’m more of a technical guy, I was interested in why balloons fly, how they function, how to steer one etc. After two years of theory and practical parts of flying, I passed a flying test on 11.11.2016 and thus received my hot air balloon pilot license. I currently have about 350 hours of independent flying.

  • How would you describe the feeling of being high up in the air, what do you like most about the sport?

Flying itself evokes a feeling of freedom. Landings have a special charm to them, as you never know where you’re going to land. I like panoramic flights, flying low above houses, when I can communicate with the people inhabiting them. Competitions have a special charm to them as well.

  • Where do you like flying the most?

Above the plains of Prekmurje, where we have the ideal conditions for the sport.

  • What ballooning event are you looking forward to the most?

As all sportsmen, I’m looking forward to an event like the HAB 2020 championship which is in really close proximity to me, on home ground. I hope I will make the representation and be able to attend the event.

  • How do you see the HAB 2020 world championship in Murska Sobota? What are you expecting?

HAB 2020 is a beautiful promotion for our land and for our beautiful sport, that everyone in our family loves.

 

JERNEJ BOJANOVIČ

Jernej Bojanovič, a member of the Vojnik ballooning club and runner up at the Slovenian open national hot air balloon championship, participated in the Albuquerque balloon fiesta in USA this October. We decided to ask him some questions:

  • How did you become a hot air balloon pilot?

Mostly because of a wish to fly, persisting from my childhood. The biggest influence is surely my father, who has been involved in aviation from a young age.

  • What does flying mean to you, why does it inspire you?

When I’m flying, I relax 100%, enjoy and quite literally forget about my worries.

  • How would you describe the feeling of being high up in the air, what do you like most about the sport?

Practically nothing limits me in the sky, which is what gives me freedom. You simply can’t get tired of flying a balloon because every flight is 100% unique.

  • What has been your favourite place to fly so far?

It’s hard to single out a place, because each one is beautiful in its own way, but I would like to highlight flying at great heights over the Alps and flying at the biggest ballooning festival in the world, which is in the state of New Mexico, USA, in a place called Albuquerque, where up to 600 balloons come together.

  • How would you describe the atmosphere at the festival in Albuquerque? What event are you looking forward to in the future?

The atmosphere at Albuquerque sadly can’t be described, you just have to experience it. In one word: MAD (in a positive way, of course)! I am really looking forward to the hot air balloon world championship in Murska Sobota.

  • What are you expecting from HAB2020 in Murska Sobota, is there anything interesting in store for us?

HAB2020 is first and foremost an excellent promotion of ballooning in Slovenia. It’s going to be the biggest ballooning spectacle in Slovenia, a real sight for sore eyes for anybody and a challenging test for competitors.

Thank you for the chat and we wish you many ballooning feats in the future!