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Evelyne Aellig

Evelyne Aellig

Evelyne Aellig (24.09.1987) joined Take-Off Balloon Ltd in September 2018 to support the marketing team. With her creative and communicative spirit as well as her organizational side, assets that she will use in her new challenge to develop marketing. She loves versatility and variety in her work. "For me, ballooning means emotions, people, fascination, nature, tranquility and passion. I'm looking forward to this adventure!"

Christoph Meyer

Christoph Meyer

Christoph (DOB. 13.03.1970) has been playing with mainly small aeroplanes since he was a child. Cars and motorbikes interested him less. So it's no coincidence he has found himself intensively in the air since age 16. At age 16 he was the youngest hang-glider pilot in Switzerland and at 19 the youngest hot air balloon pilot. Today he holds all aviation licences apart from a helicopter licence. And will he also obtain this one day?

Mark Meyer

Mark Meyer

Mark Meyer (DOB 3 May 1986) is Christoph’s “little” brother and in autumn 2009 took over the planning of the balloon and aircraft flights. He caught the flight bug from his brother and is now a commercial airline pilot for fixed-wing aircraft and also head of administration at Take-Off Balloon AG.

Felix Niklaus

Felix Niklaus

My name is Felix Niklaus and I have had my interesting spare-time job as a retrieval driver for the Take-Off balloon team since 2009. I am delighted every time I meet the extremely happy balloon passengers after the landing. The balloon flights often take me to places I am seeing for the very first time. And a balloon pilot once said a pertinent sentence to his passengers: “The retrieval driver is the most important man in the team, because if he can't find us we have to walk back.”

Hanspeter Hermann

Hanspeter Hermann

Driving has always been my passion. As a former sailor and passionate cyclist, biker and car driver then this has to be true. But I couldn’t exactly realise this passion in my professional activity in a power station, so now as a pensioner I cherish my driving pleasure all the more.

Driving to retrieve a balloon is an exciting and diverse experience. Collecting and bringing back enthusiastic balloon passengers to the starting point after a beautiful flight is a very nice job. I feel very much at home in the Take-Off team.

Thomas Ulrich

Thomas Ulrich

After I took my first balloon flight in spring 2014 it occurred to me that I’d enjoy working as a retrieval driver. So then I went in search of companies who were looking for retrieval drivers and I came across Take-Off Balloon AG. I have now been enjoying working with them since summer 2014. As my profession is a car and lorry driver I can follow the balloon and the passengers and collect them in almost every area and then deliver them back safely to the meeting point.

Saskia Röhn

Saskia Röhn

In the 1990s I often had the opportunity to participate in balloon flights. I have mainly worked as a retrieval driver in Seeland but I have also taken unique balloon flights in Tunisia and Austria. When the Take Off team were looking for retrieval drivers in autumn 2010 it was immediately clear that I would be amongst them. What do I like specifically about being retrieval driver? The beautiful weather, people in a good mood and nature itself. I also know that I really enjoy it because as a dormouse I never find it difficult to get up at 4.30 am and make my way to Worben. Otherwise I would not experience so intensely how the day awakens. No balloon flight is like any other and the same is true for each retrieval journey.

Paul Wanzenried

Paul Wanzenried

My fascination for water, waves, wind and weather started long ago with an ancient sailing boat that I restored. Later I discovered the possibility of being carried through the air on a paraglider. Wind and weather now assumed a completely new significance and importance. Thanks to a Take-Off voucher I experienced an unforgettable pleasure! In addition to the impressive flight and the fabulous views, the extremely well coordinated team and the shining eyes of the happy passengers made a deep impression on me. And that's why I became an enthusiastic retrieval driver! When will I meet you at the launch site?

Ruedi Mäder

Ruedi Mäder

My name is Ruedi Mäder and I've been working with Take-Off as a retrieval driver since summer 2011. Each time I am excited to see where the balloon travels to. I am always pleased to meet the happy passengers after the landing and I see places I would never seek out otherwise. Retrieval driving is a wonderful change from my work in the SBB Swiss Railways in Biel. I would be delighted to meet you one day when you experience your balloon flight and to chauffeur you back to the start point.

Frieda Mäder

Frieda Mäder

First of all my husband Ruedi started working as a retrieval driver at Take-Off and I joined a little later also as a retrieval driver. I am normally involved with the big hot-air balloons (16 people) when I drive the second bus without a trailer. The flights are always unique, both on the ground and in the air. I love the interaction with the passengers as I originally worked as a stationery store assistant. At the end of a balloon flight I pour the satisfied and happy passengers a glass of champagne. Perhaps one day I’ll also be able to offer you a glass of champagne after a fabulous balloon flight? I would be delighted. See you soon!

Renate Tschannen

Renate Tschannen

I have always been fascinated by balloon flights. The first time I followed a balloon as a retrieval driver was 20 years ago in Grisons. That fascination has stayed with me and by chance I “landed” at Take-Off (thank you Chrigu!) This is simply the perfect change from my office job. I love being outside, getting involved and I love looking after such happy and satisfied customers, thanks to the whole tip-top team. I am quite new to the team but my welcome here has been absolutely super and I look forward to many other take-offs - perhaps with YOU.

Gilbert Roth

Gilbert Roth

My name is Gilbert Roth (Gibu). I was asked in spring 2016 whether I could help out. Due to a last minute staff shortage I found out the evening before that I was to be the sole retrieval driver - and I was so excited I didn't sleep a wink. However, with the support of the pilot it went so well that I got a real thrill out of it and it has now become my hobby. In the meeting point in the hall it is interesting to see the wide range of emotions - from anticipation to tension- manifested by the passengers. Every retrieval drive is different and you discover places that you would otherwise never have seen. Through my profession (maintenance of safety systems on Swiss Railways) 100% is not enough for me and I would rather be on the landing site before the balloon. But since the last fifteen minutes is a game of cat and mouse, I generally only arrive at the same time as the balloon. Once back in the hall I enjoy drinking an Aare beer with the team and the passengers who have the time.

Hans-Rudolf Berger

Hans-Rudolf Berger "Rudi"

I encountered the Take-Off balloon team as a passenger on a 3-Lake flight in 2016. I was well accepted from the very beginning and I feel very comfortable in the balloon family. My work as a retrieval driver along with the maintenance of the trailers and the devices are the perfect complement to my new daily life now I am retired. The many satisfied faces after a balloon flight speak for themselves. One of my memories is of an older, sturdy lady. It was her first balloon flight. Just beforehand I asked after her state of health. "A little queasy" was her response. After the landing I asked her - and was it bad? No, beautiful, very beautiful. I have no regrets.  I wish you a good and beautiful flight.

Lea Zeberli

Lea Zeberli

Lea Zeberli (DOB 21.12.1985) grew up in a family of aviation fanatics. Her father flies model aeroplanes and hand-built a few model balloons with his 4 children. As a co-pilot in competitions or on long-distance flights, Lea now has over 10 years’ experience. Since 2014 she has been working as a professional pilot in Myanmar (Bagan), Kenya (Masai Mara) and now professionally for Take-Off.

Adrian Hohl

Adrian Hohl

I have been fascinated by flying has ever since I was a small child. And what was initially a dream became reality in 1994. I used to help out as a retrieval driver with the balloon team of the Bieler Tagblatt newspaper before in 1995 I completed my own training to become a balloon pilot. I was then regularly up in the air with various balloons over the Seeland. Then in 2008 I joined the Take Off AG team in Worben. Over the years I have acquired more flying qualifications. First of all I took the examination for powered aircraft followed immediately by the glider test. But the crowning glory was the aerobatic expansion for powered aircraft. This means that alongside the rather calmer balloon flights I can also create magic in the skies with a Bücker Jungmann and my Loops and Rolls.

Andrei Borissov

Andrei Borissov

Andrei took his first balloon ever flight across the Alps as a passenger back in January 2006 and since that moment he so fully caught the balloon bug that he can now no longer imagine his leisure time without balloon flying. Firstly as a helper and retrieval driver he had opportunities to participate in many different balloon events across Europe and Switzerland. In 2010 Andrei finally decided to study to become a pilot in a Swiss balloon school. Since May 2012 he has been the proud holder of a pilot’s licence and he generally flies as a pilot in his favourite Seeland area where Andrei, together with his passengers, can enjoy these astounding landscapes from the balloon basket.

“Balloon flying is a wonderful hobby and also a passion for me. As with every balloon pilot it means assuming responsible tasks and being able to take decisions, yet in every single balloon flight I also experience unforgettable positive feelings.”

Pep Julià

Pep Julià

Pep Julià (born in Barcelona in July 1972) is our chief pilot. He has piloted commercial flights in many different countries including France, Spain, Nigeria, Myanmar (Burma) and Morocco and has been a member of the Take-Off team since 2012. Knowing that his personal enjoyment bubbles over to his entourage, he tries to share the happiness of the moment and weave ties of complicity with his passengers through their joint on-board experience.

Bruno Frantzen

Bruno Frantzen

Bruno (DOB. 13.07.1965) has been moving around in the air since he was 20 years of age, whether as a skydiver, hang-glider pilot or passionate hot air balloon pilot. Bruno has been at Take-Off since the very beginning and has experienced the development of the company first-hand. He wants to be involved in everything and also likes being a passenger with Christoph in the aerobatic aircraft. Bruno is happy when he can pilot passenger flights for satisfied customers and also as a two-time father he also enjoys taking the whole family for a beautiful flight in the balloon basket over the Seeland.

Advertising balloons

Advertising balloons

I would like to place my logo on a balloon or to buy a balloon. More ...

Travelling

Travelling

I would like to organise a business trip or a private flight. More ...

Aerobatic flights

Aerobatic flights

I would like to experience thrills upside down in the clouds. More ...