FARGO, N.D. – Kim Magee of Swisher, Iowa, broke three hot air balloon records on January 19, 2019, launching from the fairgrounds in West Fargo, North Dakota. She flew approximately 62 miles southeast, reached an altitude of approximately 10,243 feet, and a maximum speed of 56 mph. She landed near Fergus Falls, Minnesota. The feat was recorded by the FAI Ballooning Commission.
The balloon Magee was piloting was small – 14,000 cubic feet, compared to 90,000 cubic feet for a standard sport balloon.
To make the feat even more difficult, the balloon did not have a basket, only one fuel tank which was strapped to her back, and a little seat folded out for her to sit on.
Magee holds a commercial pilot certificate for lighter-than-air aircraft, and a private pilot certificate for airplane single-engine land. She is a biostatistician by trade.
Magee’s family is also into ballooning. Her husband is a commercial balloon pilot and they met at a balloon event. Her mother, father and mother-in-law are also commercial balloon pilots.