It’s always exciting to see a new pilot get licensed, but especially fun for us when we feel like we had a front seat throughout the action. There aren’t many in the Carolinas Balloon Association who haven’t been touched by Duncan Dunavent during his ballooning career. It all began when as a younger boy he and his dad Todd spotted a balloon and impulsively started to chase it. That was the start of a lot of chasing, made a bit easier when people like Paul and Valerie Morlock let him know when they were flying.
Duncan has crewed for many in the ballooning community, which led to his nomination and subsequent win of the Balloon Federation of America’s (BFA) National Crew Person of the Year. Duncan has attended several BFA Youth Balloon Camps over the past few years, as well as quite a few safety seminars. Recently he has been much in demand on balloon festival staffs, adding much with his love and knowledge of weather and technology and his willingness to help wherever he is needed.
One of the great things about Duncan is he really is a product of our CBA community. While Drew Egerton did much of his training, so many other pilots and crew lended a hand and a lot of encouragement. His parents Todd and Bonnie commited to helping him succeed, which often meant early mornings, lack of sleep, and a lot of shuttle service.
Congratulations Duncan. We’re proud of you getting your private LTA license at age 17. What a great accomplishment! May you have many soft landings and continue to pass on your passion for our sport.