About Us

Although Yolo Ballooning Adventures is relatively new, the accumulated knowledge and experience of its staff totals more than 32 years in the ballooning industry! With no other local companies offering rides exclusively over the farmlands of Yolo County, General Manager Michael Veliz decided to start Yolo Ballooning Adventures with a goal to provide safe and scenic hot air balloon flights over beautiful Yolo County.

Our Staff

Michael Veliz: GM/Pilot – Mike has been captivated by ballooning for nearly 14 years. At the age of 15 he began working at a local hot air balloon repair station certified by the Federal Aviation Administration. He now runs that same business, California Balloon Repair Inc., performing necessary maintenance and inspections on balloons across the West Coast. As a Commercially Certified hot air balloon pilot, Michael enjoys providing safe, enjoyable and memorable experiences for each of his passengers. His unique beginnings in ballooning give Michael a level of experience and knowledge unmatched in the industry.

David Wakefield: Pilot – Dave was first introduced to ballooning in the spring of 1999 when he was asked to crew for a local balloon pilot. He was so captivated that four months later he bought his first balloon, “Cheers”. For the next year, David worked toward his Private Pilot Certificate, receiving it in July of 2000 after his check ride at Stead Airport in Reno, Nevada. Knowing he'd only just begun, David continued on with his training, receiving his Commercial Pilot Certificate one year later, in July, 2001 with a flight at Prosser Reservoir near Truckee, California. David has flown in balloon events in California, Oregon, Nevada, Colorado and Arizona. 

Our Balloons

Yolo Ballooning Adventures flies only the safest and highest quality equipment on the market! Our customers will enjoy a flight above the valley floor in our beautiful balloons built in the USA by Lindstrand Balloons, Galena, IL and Cameron Balloons, Ann Arbor Michigan. Our basket carries 1 pilot and up to a maximum of 10 passengers*, creating a more intimate flying experience for our guests.

*Subject to weight limitations

History of Ballooning: An Abbreviated History