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Sandy (Branham) Kneeland, one of the first female hot air balloon pilots in the United States, takes passengers on a flight near Longmont, Colorado in 1974. One of her balloons was named the "Grape Escape," for its distinctive purple color. Sandy is one of the founding members of the Colorado Balloon Club. She got her pilot's license in March 1973. She remarried and changed her last name to Kneeland. Notes from Sandy on the flight: Your flight with me was on September 29, 1974 and we launched from Centennial Park in Longmont, and flew to the Southwest but I didn't log miles. It had to be at least 6 to get past the city. We flew in a Cameron Balloon built in Bristol England, and owned by Robert (Bob) Kenny. The name of the balloon was Epanimondas, N62107. I was giving him instruction on that flight. The balloon was black with yellow squares every other gore at 3 levels. My logbook says " 1st inflation aborted (wind). 2nd one good. Passenger Jay Mather. Fast to SW, worked layers to fly over Discovery [a blue & orange balloon]. 2nd leg: George. 3rd leg: Kenny solo. Very Good. Flight times: 1st leg 1.2 hr, 2-3 leg .8 hr. Ann Silversmith of Denver. She was active in the ballooning community, and was a good crew member and student pilot. I think she did finally get her Pilot Certificate. She did not own a balloon, but flew with friends. (That's ballooning, a sharing and supportive sport.) A great friend and lady. Certainly one of the early women fliers/pilots. I don't remember when she got her license but probably within a year or two of that photo.
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Jay Mather
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Colorado women balloon pilots. Branham_Silversmith
Sandy (Branham) Kneeland, one of the first female hot air balloon pilots in the United States, takes passengers on a flight near Longmont, Colorado in 1974. One of her balloons was named the "Grape Escape," for its distinctive purple color. Sandy is one of the founding members of the Colorado Balloon Club. She got her pilot's license in March 1973. She remarried and changed her last name to Kneeland. Notes from Sandy on the flight: Your flight with me was on September 29, 1974 and we launched from Centennial Park in Longmont, and flew to the Southwest but I didn't log miles. It had to be at least 6 to get past the city. We flew in a Cameron Balloon built in Bristol England, and owned by Robert (Bob) Kenny. The name of the balloon was Epanimondas, N62107. I was giving him instruction on that flight. The balloon was black with yellow squares every other gore at 3 levels. My logbook says " 1st inflation aborted (wind). 2nd one good. Passenger Jay Mather. Fast to SW, worked layers to fly over Discovery [a blue & orange balloon]. 2nd leg: George. 3rd leg: Kenny solo. Very Good. Flight times: 1st leg 1.2 hr, 2-3 leg .8 hr. Ann Silversmith of Denver.  She was active in the ballooning community, and was a good crew member and student pilot.  I think she did finally get her Pilot Certificate.  She did not own a balloon, but flew with friends. (That's ballooning, a sharing and supportive sport.)  A great friend and lady.  Certainly one of the early women fliers/pilots.  I don't remember when she got her license but probably within a year or two of that photo.