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GET TO KNOW LISLE EYES TO SKIES BALLOONER AL VLZANY OF WESTERN SPRINGS The Lisle Eyes to the Skies festival has grown dramatically since it started more than 30 years ago and attracts about 70,000 each year. Highlights include everything from fireworks, to the carnival, to incredible musical performances; but, the emphasis of course is daily launches of hot air balloons and a balloon glow.

Al Vlzany has been assisting balloon landings since 1992 and has worked as a balloon crew member since 2012. He then passed his checkride for his own balloon license, and by 2015 was chairperson of the balloon field selecting the shape balloons, making arrangements for pilots, supervising the tether rides, and overall general operations.

He loves hot air balloons and enjoys flying his own in and around Minooka and Kankakee. When people ask him about flying in a balloon, he says the experience is hard to describe since there is no sensation of movement. “When you are in a balloon several hundred or thousand feet above the ground, it is hard to describe how you got there,” he says. “The ground just gets further away. In any other aircraft there is a sensation of movement.”

Summer is the perfect time to fly his gliders by day and his hot air balloon by night! Photos Submitted