Michael is from Louisville, Kentucky and has been involved with ballooning since the early 80s with his uncle. Michael is a former astronaut with NASA and has experienced flights in several states and Mexico in balloons up to 120,000 cubic feet is just a glimpse of this commercial pilot’s history. He successfully flew over the Grand Canyon in a hot air balloon in 2020. When not up in the air, Michael serves his city as Battalion Chief of the Louisville Fire Department, with 23 1/2 years of service to date. He is also the owner/operator of Louisville Tree Care. Proudly married with two children, one of whom is currently a student pilot. The firefighting, hot air balloon pilot is looking forward to being a part of the festival.