Joe and his wife Janet took their first balloon ride in August of 1984 at a festival in Bloomsbury, NJ. The following year they both began a training program to become pilots while crewing for other balloonists. After three lessons Janet decided that flying as a passenger and celebrating after the flight was a lot more fun than learning about FAA regulations and how to track weather. They purchased their Dream Chaser balloon in 1985 and Joe continued on to receive his private pilot license. Joe’s brother Jim joined the Dream Chaser team early on as their crew chief and has progressed over the years to a Balloon Federation of America Level Four Master Crew Chief. Joe earned his commercial pilot license in 1989, allowing him to fly paying passengers and train future pilots. He has been an active member of the Great Eastern Balloon Association (www.gebaballoon.org) since the mid 1980’s and is a past President of the association.
The Dream Chaser crew flies mostly in the New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and New York area. They also have flown at the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta in 1991 and the Festival De Montgolfieres in Saint Jean Sur Richelieu, Quebec since 1993. Our goal in ballooning is to enjoy safe, fun flights while carrying on the tradition of friendship and freedom that have long been the symbols of ballooning. We look forward each year to participating in the bicycle/balloon race at the Warren County Farmer’s Fair for the challenge it offers and for the opportunity to assist a local charity. In 2011 the Dream Chaser team shared first place honors in the bicycle/balloon race with the fastest returning bicycle to have made it to Pennsylvania and back. In 2013 the Dream Chaser team took first place in the hare and hound race with the closest bean bag throw on the ‘X’.