Rich (RJ) Letrent is flying the HI Balloon these days. He holds a commercial LTA certificate and flies regularly in the Garden State. Logbook entries also include various festivals across the Northeast and even a flight in the Slovak Republic. “I got hooked on ballooning when my neighbor, Jeff Lovelace, talked me into coming out to crew. I had no idea what to expect, but it turned into an addiction. Along the way, I’ve encountered some of the most wonderful people you will ever meet and flown many a balloon.” RJ serves on the Board of Directors for the Great Eastern Balloon Association (GEBA). He is also a member of the Balloon Federation of America (BFA) and the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA).
RJ and Jeff bought the HI Balloon from Don Henk in the fall of 2007 and were thrilled to bring it back to Warren County. “We have a heck of a commute, but it is worth the drive every time! There is no question that this is our favorite event. The hospitality and camaraderie is unequalled anywhere. News of Fred’s passing hit me like a ton of bricks. Fred was always supportive and understanding – even when I made a newbie mistake or two. Fred was one of those people who quietly garnered respect through character and deed. He continues to be an inspiration.”