Meet Your Pilot

Matt Rate

Chief Pilot

Matt, has been involved with hot air ballooning from a young age. His very first flight was aged 10, from the Northampton Balloon Festival, back when it was on the racecourse. After the first flight, at every opportunity Matt was crewing or flying with other local balloon pilots. He has been fortunate to experience trips with special shape balloons all around Europe. After gaining his private pilot’s license in 2013 he set off flying around the Northamptonshire country side at every opportunity when the weather was suitable, this soon progressed to flying at various locations throughout Europe and America and annual holidays always included a hot air balloon!

Chris Freeman


Chris started ballooning back in 2002 before gaining his pilots licence in 2008. Chris’ favourite flights include flying over the English channel as well as having flown over London on several occasions. Despite flying in many different locations, flying over Northamptonshire is still one of Chris’ favourite places to fly.

Andrew Kaye


Andrew brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to the team. With over 30 years experience around hot air balloons, he has acquired over 2000 flying hours! Having started off flying privately with friends and family, ballooning has taken Andrew all over the world. From flying special shape balloons throughout Europe and America, to flying passengers across the Melbourne skyline and the beautiful Peak District. Andrew is also a qualified BBAC instructor, he has helped many pilots gain their license.