David has always been fascinated with all
things flying and dabbled in the usual things like rockets,
radio controlled airplanes and cleaner bag balloons, but
never seemed to be able to get the real stuff to happen.
David was first introduced to ballooning in the spring of 1999 when he was asked to crew for a local balloon pilot. He was so captivated that four months later he bought his first balloon, Cheers. For the next year, David worked toward his Private Pilot Certificate, receiving it in July of 2000 after his check ride at Stead Airport in Reno, Nevada. Knowing he'd only just begun, David continued on with his training, receiving his Commercial Pilot Certificate one year later, in July, 2001 with a flight at Prosser Reservoir near Truckee, California.
David was introduced to the world of Corporate Ballooning in 1999 when he worked as a crew member for the Lipton Sun Spree Tea balloon. Even as a pilot, David continued working as a crew member on corporate balloons including many special shape balloons and travelling the western United States to various events. Programs included United Van Lines Truck, Energizer Bunny, Bacardi Mixers, Budweiser and many more.
David has flown and continues to fly in balloon events in California, Oregon, Nevada, Colorado and Arizona and flying his Cheers Balloon, David has been the sponsored pilot/balloon for Harrah's Reno at the Great Reno Balloon Race since 2003.
David also serves as the Pilot Coordinator/Balloonmeister for the Color the Skies Balloon and Kite Festival in Ripon California, a benefit for Valley Children's Hospital in Madera California.
David's achievements include:
• 2000: US FAA Hot Air Balloon Pilot Certificate
• 2002: Founder/Owner/President Cheers Over California
• 2005: Selected as Lead Pilot/Manager RE/MAX Northern California balloon program
• 2010: Appointed as Pilot Coordinator/Balloonmeister Color the Skies Hot Air Balloon and Kite Festival
• 2012: Elected as President/Board Member Pacific Coast Aeronauts
• 2014: UK CAA Hot Air Balloon Pilot Certificate
• 2015: UK CAA Thermal Airship Rating
• BFA - Balloon Federation of America
• PCA - Pacific Coast Aeronauts
• SCBA - Southern California Balloon Association
• AOPA - Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association
• BBAC - British Balloon and Airship Club
• AMA - American Marketing Association
Shelly came to the Cheers family in November of 2000 when she was brought
out for her first experience in ballooning by a crew member.
Shelly went for her first balloon ride that day and was an
immediate hit with the pilot. Dave and Shelly became best
friends and were married in the basket of Cheers on August 4th, 2002.
Shelly is the driving force behind our marketing and public relations efforts, always looking for opportunities to elevate our clients and make them stand out. Shelly's vision and "chase the dream" attitude is what started the process of our becoming the Northern California RE/MAX balloon program operator in 2005 and pushed Cheers Over California forward with its purchase of our Gefa-Flug airship.
Shelly is constantly looking for new ways to promote "Cheers" and the team through business introductions and creation of media opportunities. She is also frequently seen with a camera and is responsible for about 99% of the pictures taken for the team, which unfortunately makes it really difficult to get pictures of her.
Shelly is a natural "People Person" and loves getting out and meeting new people and giving them the chance to discover the joy of the "ballooning experience." At ballooning events, she can always be found mingling with spectators, showing them how everything works and offering them an opportunity to come over and get involved.
If you spot Shelly on the field, make sure to stop and say hello.
Magic Bob (a professional magician and college business
instructor) took his first balloon flight in 1997 and it
was love at first flight. He started crewing for another
pilot and was soon taking flying lessons.
He bought his first balloon, "Magic’s Fantasy" in 1998. Magic Bob has flown all over the western states and even in Leon, Mexico. He holds a commercial lighter than air pilots certificate and has trained many new pilots.
Magic Bob is also the balloonmeister for the Clovis Fest Fun Fly, held each September in Clovis, California.
Magic Bob’s favorite quote is one of Leonardo DaVinci’s, “For once you have tasted flight you will walk the earth with your eyes turned sky ward, for there you have been and there you long to return”
Brann Smith is a pilot on both our "Amelia Airship" GEFA-FLUG Thermal Airship and and in our RE/MAX program and has been participating in our airship field operations since day one.
Brann has been flying as a commercial hot air balloon pilot since 1999 and has operated balloon companies in Bend, OR, Phoenix, AZ, and Las Vegas, NV and has flying experience in seven West Coast states.
Marie Smith is a member of our Thermal Airship team and has been working with us since our first "Amelia Airship" inflation.
Together, Brann and Marie own Skydancer Balloon Company in Chico California.
Brian and Sue live in Rancho Cordova, CA and have been crewing with the team since 2005.
They got their start crewing with the team after joining a Balloon Crew class put on by Cheers Over California
with the Cordova Recreation and Parks District.
Since then, Brian, Sue and their (now adult) children Allison and Jacob have traveled with and become valued members of our ballooning family.
Rob saw his first hot air balloon in free flight October, 1972, which turned
out to be at the first Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta. It wasn't until
over 20 years later that he got his first hands on crew experience at the November
1994 Hungry Hollow Fright Flight and he was hooked.
Rob got his Student certificate 9-1-1995, Private certificate 1-4-1996 and got his Commercial Pilot rating 11-16-1996.
Full circle was completed when he flew his own balloon in the 25 Anniversary AIBF in October 1996.
Kaylynn has literally been crewing for the team since she was old enough to walk. She really knows her way around the balloon and knows what needs to be done. Kaylynn has crewed for our Cheers and RE/MAX balloons, various special shapes and is now learning about our thermal airship as well. She also attended the BFA High Sierra Junior Balloonist Camp at University of Nevada Reno and while there she recieved her FAA Student Pilot Certificate.