About Us

Western Horizons Hot Air Balloons offers a unique adventure and an opportunity to experience the stunning panoramic views of the Southern Black Hills from a hot air balloon!   On our flights, you may see deer, wild turkeys, waterfowl, and other wildlife.  Upon safely landing, we will celebrate your flight with the complimentary traditional champagne toast (or non-alcoholic substitute) and post-flight hors d'oeuvres while listening to a little bit of ballooning history from your pilot.  You will also receive a personalized flight certificate and a digital (electronic) copy of your picture taken in-flight to end your memorable adventure.

We pride ourselves on offering only private party flights, no mixed groups of people or shared rides with people you don't know. Our goal is to offer a private, personal, and unique experience that you will remember and cherish for years to come.

Our typical flight lasts approximately 1 hour.  The entire experience from pre-flight set up to post-flight refreshments can last from 2 to 3 hours.

Our Pilots

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Originally from Czechoslovakia, Petra Wilson is a U.S. Navy Veteran who moved to Hot Springs, South Dakota with her family in 2015. She has been flying balloons for over a decade and is the founder of the Fall River Hot Air Balloon Festival that occurs each August in Hot Springs, SD.  She is also the owner and chief pilot of Western Horizons Hot Air Balloons. 
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Dave Christensen has been flying hot air balloons since 1984.   He and his family have been very involved in ballooning and he is proud to have a daughter that is a third-generation balloon pilot.

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Rich Olstad is a fifth generation Fall River County resident.  His vast knowledge of the area suits him well for flying in the Southern Black Hills.  Rich was introduced to ballooning by Petra, when she moved to Hot Springs. 

When Rodney Watts is not flying balloons, he is Hot Springs' premier builder of Custom Homes, Metal Buildings, Pole Barns and Barndominiums. Rodney was also introduced to ballooning when Petra moved to Hot Springs.  

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Petra, Dave, Rich, and Rodney are all FAA certified commercial hot air balloon pilots, who have established an excellent safety record and pride themselves on offering a safe and enjoyable experience to all who fly.

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Our Balloons

 
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They say BIG things come in small packages, and we will prove just that!  You will be amazed as these big, beautiful balloons fill up the sky with vibrant colors!  After your flight, you will have an opportunity to help deflate and pack up these colorful balloons, an experience that will leave you feeling astounded as to how such an enormous thing can fit back into such a small package.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our hot air balloons are federally registered aircraft and are inspected annually by an FAA certified repair station.  Each of our balloons has a different carrying capacity in weight.  We have balloons ranging in size from 69,000 cubic feet, which can carry 1 to 2 passengers, all the way up to 120,000 cubic feet, which can carry up to 5 passengers or up to 900 pounds of maximum passenger weight.   

 

Please be prepared to provide your group's combined total weight when making your reservations, so that we can select the right hot air balloon for your party.

 

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