Pilots and Crew

Mike Gliatti

Mike became hooked on ballooning after his wife purchased him a flight (anniversary gift) in 2004.  Afterwards, he never stopped. In 2007, his passion for ballooning took over, and he left his job as a Director of Finance/Operations at a Fortune 50 healthcare company to be a professional balloonist, full time.  Making a lot less money but much happier, Mike is now a co-owner and General Manager of Bella Balloons.  Mike is also a FAA Commercial Pilot and Instructor.

"I think I have the best job in the world.  In fact, I know I do.  I get to share ballooning and educate great people about hot air balloons over Southwest Ohio, which is where I grew up.  I'm very proud that the Bella Balloons Team treats our passengers and guests just like family.  I also like that we are different.  We aren't interested in being the biggest "whatever".  Instead, we strive to be the best, delivering a safe, high quality, fun, elegant experience every flight.  Did I mention fun???

Please let us help make your birthday, graduation, engagement, or special celebration a lasting memory."  

Rob Konkus

Rob Konkus is an FAA Commercial Pilot and Instructor for hot air balloons, and is also a fixed-wing pilot.  After you meet Rob, you'll soon learn he knows a lot....about a lot of things!  Rob is a Dad, Husband, Pharmacist, Pilot, RVer, avid Harley rider, and can pretty much build, wire, plumb, add granite to, or fix anything!

You may have already seen him, as Rob used to fly the Dodge Ram balloon around Southwest Ohio.   

"I never knew I wanted to be a hot air balloon pilot.  One day I took a flight, flying from Lebanon, OH to Beavercreek, OH, and that was it, I had to fly balloons.  My eyes have always been towards the sky, and that passion, much more than a hobby, continues today."

Ron Terranova

Ron Terranova is an FAA Commercial Pilot and Instructor for hot air balloons.  You'll find many testimonials about Ron, and it's difficult to find anyone more personable on the Bella Team!  Among many other things, Ron is a Dad, Husband, Architect, Pilot, Hot-Rodder, and a regular attendee/competitor at many regional ballooning events.  Ron is also a 2011 Nominee for the Cincinnati Rose Award for Customer Service.

"How I got into ballooning?  One summer night in 1984 my wife and I saw a balloon out flying and we helped pack it up.  From that day forward, I have always been involved in ballooning.  First as ground crew, then in 1992 I trained and received my pilot’s license.

Why do I keep flying?  I love cruising the treetops, flying to thousands of feet above the ground and all the points in between.   I enjoy showing this sport of ballooning to new people.  I find it interesting that we fly in the same area all the time, but Mother Nature makes each and every flight unique.

Come book a flight with Bella and let us go have an adventure together."

Zach Burgess

"I began my ballooning career began at the age of 9 when I started crewing at a local balloon event in his hometown. From there I progressed to obtain my pilot's license and became an FAA Commercial Pilot and Instructor for hot air balloons. Outside of ballooning, I'm a project manager at a promotional marketing agency, a husband and a dog loving owner of two.
 
I travel to numerous balloon events throughout the year both near and far and enjoy meeting new people, seeing new scenery and teaching others the unique world of hot air balloons. Whether its for competition, advertising or taking someone up for their first time; each flight is unique and I look forward to making your flight a memorable one too!"