Meet our Pilots

Dive into the skies of the Southern Tier and Finger Lakes regions with the expert pilots at Southern Tier Balloon Tours, each bringing their own unique stories, passions, and experiences to the helm of our vibrant balloons. Our pilots are not just skilled navigators of the skies; they are ambassadors of adventure, guiding you through the serene landscapes from an elevated perspective. With years of training, countless hours of flight time, and a shared love for the art of ballooning, these individuals are the heartbeat of our operations. Their expertise ensures not only the safety and smoothness of each flight but also enriches the experience with insights into the mechanics of ballooning and the rich history of the areas we fly over. Through their eyes, you’ll gain a deeper appreciation for the beauty of upstate New York and the unique thrill that comes from drifting on the breeze.

Behind every smooth takeoff, breathtaking view, and gentle landing is a story of dedication and passion. Our pilots come from diverse backgrounds, each with a journey that led them to the skies. Whether they were captivated by the magic of ballooning at a young age, inspired by the legacy of aviation in their families, or drawn to the unparalleled freedom of flight, they all share a common goal: to provide an unforgettable aerial experience. Their commitment to excellence and their enthusiasm for sharing the joy of flight with others make every journey with Southern Tier Balloon Tours special. As we introduce you to our team of pilots, you’ll discover not just the professionals who guide our balloons, but the dreamers who inspire us to look up and explore the world from a new vantage point.


Owner and Pilot
Dar is the visionary founder and lead pilot of Southern Tier Balloon Tours, whose journey into the world of ballooning began at the tender age of three, thanks to his parents’ introduction. This early exposure ignited a lifelong passion that burns brightly to this day. Dar’s extensive knowledge and love for hot air ballooning shine through as he takes passengers on his adventures into the sky. He eagerly awaits the opportunity to welcome you aboard and share the beauty of the Finger Lakes from above!



Kynan, a multifaceted adventurer with a background in skydiving and helicopter piloting, brought his dynamic skills to hot air ballooning when he earned his LTA commercial certificate in 2021. Since joining STB, Kynan’s vibrant personality and rich tapestry of flying experiences have made every flight with him an engaging and joyful journey. His anecdotes about skydiving, piloting, and the scenic local vistas of the Finger Lakes enrich the ballooning experience!