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"Bluner Bill":, photo by Kathy Schott over Anderson, South Carolina 'Bluner Bill' is Wm. G. (Bill) Scarberry, Jr., a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Certified, Commercially Rated Hot Air Balloon Pilot and in April 2000 was commercially licensed by the Directorate of Civil Aviation (DCA) in Kenya, Africa to fly passenger balloons up to 310,000 cubic feet and to train in the 400,000 cubic feet balloon (the worlds largest passenger carrying balloon at that time). With more than 1000 actual airtime hours, Bill was a member of the Balloon Federation of America from 1988, was a member and Piedmont Director of the Carolinas Balloonist Association and a member of the Iredell Aeronaut Society until it ceased to be and is currently an AAAA Member. 'Bluner Bill' has done business since 1991 as "Sky High Balloon Promotions" from in and around the LeSage and Huntington, West Virginia area, then Abingdon, Virginia, serving the Tri-Cities Area of Bristol, Johnson City and Kingsport, Tennessee and surrounding areas, then in Concord, North Carolina, in and around Midland NC. Bill and his wife, Kathy now reside and run "Sky High Balloon Promotions" from Piney Flats, Tennessee near Bristol and Johnson City.
Bill is a mild mannered adventure loving guy that has been flying safely throughout the Virginias, the Carolinas, Kenya and Mexico since 1986. (originally from LeSage, West Virginia.) He is repeatedly invited to fly at several festivals throughout the Appalachian Mountains and in the Eastern United States, Canada and Mexico. Now semi-retired as a full time balloon pilot, he flys only for fun, sport and his and Kathy's favorite charities. If you get lucky, maybe he will carry you!






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"Cool Change", photo by Kathy Schott. Bluner Bill scored 4th in this race. Cool Change; AEROSTAT: N31226
Built: August 1996
Model: 8B-15; Firefly by "The Balloon Works", Statesville, NC
Gross weight limit: 1900 lbs
Total system weight : 630 lbs. (includes 4 full fuel tanks); typical flight is 3 passengers; no more than 600 lbs., besides pilot.
Envelope (balloon): polyester material sewn to a Nylon FlexNet System making the only purpose of the material to hold the air inside the envelope. The FlexNet System is sewn around eighteen, 3/8 inch nylon load ropes which eventually suspend the gondola (which he and Kathy completely rebuilt in 2014) containing the payload. Maximum heat 300 degrees F; temperatures reach between 150 degrees to 250 degrees F, with a full load of passengers during a typical flight.
Burner: is a (maxed out) single T3-017; fueled by liquified proane gas
; can carry 3 or 4, 10 gallon tanks of fuel. (I usually fly with 3 except for long distance flights.)
Rate of ascent and descent: usually a relaxing 200 feet per minute; not to exceed 1000 feet per minute.




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Ballooning Terms:

"Aerostat" ... a hot air balloon; an aircraft deriving it's lift from an envelope containing air to be heated above the ambient temperature thus creating lift.
"Aeronaut" ... One who flys in an Aerostat.
"Gondola" ... the passenger compartment carried by the balloon, also called a basket.
"Burner" ... the device that burns the fuel that heats the air that lifts the balloon above the ambient air.
"Chase Crew" ... crew of balloon team members who chase the aerostat from the ground and attempt to meet the aeronaut at the landing site, then help recover the balloon and passengers.
"Envelope" ... the balloon itself; the cloth compartment to be filled with hot air.
"Propane" ... a liquified gas used by the burner to heat the air that fills the balloon for proper lift.
"Tether" ... balloon is filled and lifted, but is anchored to the ground.

Bluner Terms:


Not necessarily your typical terms associated with ballooning! I'm willing to accept additional terms from you the viewing public should they be of a "G Rated" nature. Just e-mail one to me. I'll give credit to you if you like.


"Bluner" ... Pronounced "blue-ner"... A "Hillbilly" term that when used properly equates to the same meaning as the politically correct term, "Balloonist"!
"Bluner Bud" ... A term that recognizes a person who shares the same love for the sport of Ballooning with and is seen quite frequently with the "Bluner"!
"Bluner Babe" ... That cute little number running with the pilot!
"Basket Buddy" ... Someone usually of the opposite sex found running with the pilot and sometimes flies!
"Crew Dude" ... One of the members of the chase crew!
"Dudette" ... Not wishing to exclude the feminine gender and have a "P-Oed" crew person I gave them a name too!
"Ace Crew Dude" ... The most experienced person of the crew that demonstrates leadership abilities enough to be designated as "Crew Chief". Note: This person should posess a healthy desire to have someone on the crew angry at him before the flight is over and be able to smile in the face of adversity!
"Aerostat Recovery Module" ... The vehicle I used to use for the transport and to chase after my Balloon. Also referred to as "The Burb!" Maybe I'll have another one some day.
Remember: "Y'all" is singular. "All y'all" is plural. "All y'all's" is plural possessive.
"Oy" ... Babalonian for "Excuse Me!" (Most commonly heard after a Burp.)
"Hangy Downy" ... A feminine term (not necessarily "Red Neck") that refers to the part of the balloon which while being repacked after the flight does not make it all the way into the bag and is left to hang down hindering the next arm load!
"Balloon Meister" ... A position at a Balloon Rally which puts the responsibilities of keeping all the pilots happy on one balloonist!
"Balloon Meistress" ... Same as above but this is another one of those feminine terms!
"Apex" ... a West Virginia term which essentially means the "Crown Line"
"Budette" ... a term which essentially combines the meaning of two terms...Bud which is short for buddy and dette which denotes the feminine gender. Thus we have a feminine buddy...Budette! Thanks to Gene Galin for this one!
"Minibud" ... a term I just came up with to describe my "Little Brother", Jeremy.
"Sphincter Tightener" ... a term I use to describe a flight that causes your butt to pucker!


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Originally designed by Beverly Walker of Wytheville, VA. Updated & maintained by Wm. G. (Bill) Scarberry, Jr.
Last Updated December 24th, 2015. For more information contact: Bluner Bill