Why Choose Bella?

Pilots

Mike Gliatti

Mike Gliatti

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

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, Grandfather, Husband, Pharmacist, Pilot, RVer, avid Harley rider, and can pretty much build, wire, plumb, add granite to, or fix anything!

Rob has been flying with Bella Balloons since 2007.

"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

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

Zach Burgess

Zach Burgess

Zach's ballooning journey started at the age of 9 at a local balloon event in his hometown where he crewed and chased for hot air balloons. From there he was hooked. Now, Zach enjoys traveling around the country flying at different events, meeting new people, taking in the scenery, and showing everyone the wonderful sport of hot air ballooning. 
Al Nels

Al Nels

Al Nels

Al Nels launched his first hot air balloon at age 11 followed shortly thereafter with a hydrogen balloon.  Those first balloons were made from dry-cleaning bags, the former powered by birthday candles.  After getting his first ride in a hot air balloon while in college, he embraced the sport and earned his commercial license about a month after that first ride.  After a few years of sport ballooning, Al entered competitive ballooning with gusto. 

Over the years he has won multiple United States Nationals and World Championships in hot air balloons.  He has served as competition director for several events and as the Team Manager for the US Team at many World Championships. Al holds commercial ratings for balloons ( gas and hot air) and instrument airplane.  He is a recent recipient of the Ed Yost Master Pilot Award reflecting over 40 years of safe ballooning.