“It will never grow old,” Eliav Cohen said one morning this week as he raised his iPhone in the sun and added another to the 37,000 photos already on the device. a photo.
Cohen It’s not just another person who took too many photos of sunrise or sunset.Wandering 3,000 feet above the background including the magnificent scenery of Mount Rainier, Cohen is realizing his dream of being the founder and chief pilot Seattle hot air balloonThe company offers a hot air balloon flight over farmland, rivers and lakes south of Seattle near Auburn, Washington.
This professional hot-air balloon driver-one of the few in the state-is also a technical veteran who founded Robot Lab, Develop chatbots.The startup is also about to start heliumA new artificial intelligence platform designed to increase brand engagement on third-party websites.
Cohen’s company has a symbiotic relationship in some ways. When he answered the same questions from potential customers of the Seattle hot air balloon over and over, he developed a chatbot for his website to help handle the load. This gives him more time to help people experience the high-pitched vibrato at sunrise and sunset, just like GeekWire did this week.
For anyone who has experienced a Cohen hot air balloon ride, staying away from the computer and getting off the ground is a victory. The pilot himself was obviously dizzy at the fact that he could end a day full of Zoom calls and sales meetings with a beautiful balloon trip.
The Seattle hot air balloon operates from May to September, flying twice a day when weather permits, and approximately 120 flights during the summer.
Speaking fast and confidently, Cohen started a test flight in 2009 and founded the company in 2016. His enthusiasm for this unique endeavor began with a trip-taking a van with a customer to the launch site while playing Tom Petty’s “Learning to Fly”-all the way to the end of the ground, when the champagne was opened, he began to tell How a hot air balloon took off for the first time in 1783.
Along the way, Cohen may also be the first time he saw these attractions.
“I have the same 3,000 photos of Mount Rainier,” he said as his three spacecraft rose into the morning light above the White River and Lake Taps, leaving a patchwork of residential developments and open spaces below.
As the sun rose for the first time, the valley was shrouded in mist, and the 10 customers in the basket made “oh” and “ah” sounds from time to time. But for the occasional spray of propane gas to heat the air of the balloon and keep us high in the sky, it is very quiet and quiet when driving in the wind without an engine. Cohen will act as an expert commentator when needed in areas such as geography, weather, wind patterns, balloon history, and the modern technologies he relies on (such as tracking applications).
Before we took off, it was definitely low-tech, when Cohen released a small helium balloon with LED lights inside and watched it rise with the naked eye to understand what the wind was doing that morning. He is looking forward to switching to drones that can fly and bring the readings back to the ground for pilots to use.
During the flight, Cohen just leaned on the edge of the basket, vomited a few times, watched it fall, and understood the wind. He kept staring at the other two spaceships.
“Look at what the other balloons are doing?” Cohen said. “This is where you don’t need technology.”
Although the sport’s heyday may have passed for 40 years, Cohen is working on a program for student pilots through Seattle’s hot air balloons to cultivate resistance among more young people, women, and underrepresented groups. The love of balloons.Amazon caught attention when it promoted the 2019 Amazon Studios movie “Astronaut” And donated a copy of the balloon in the movie for Cohen’s student project.
In a story last weekendThe New York Times shed light on the efforts of Cohen and others in diversifying balloons and injecting fresh blood into the sport.
GeekWire and other customers who flew with Cohen on Wednesday morning drove 6 1/2 miles, reaching a maximum altitude of 3,705 feet, and a top speed of 22 mph. After a 58-minute flight, we passed a colorful dump and a few cows at close range before landing on the grass behind a house, highlighting our slow descent. Cohen knew all the neighbors he took off and landed on, and he said that a nearby road used to be the location of the vintage Rainier beer advertisement.
As he poured champagne and toasted a French-origin hot air balloon, the technician with a unique hobby asked the people who had just flown with him whether they liked the flight and whether they had gotten rid of their squeamishness.
I admit that my legs are unstable, and sometimes I hold the edge of the basket a little tight. But in general, it is a very pleasant and smooth experience for beginners.
“I’m actually scared of altitude,” said Cohen, who has 11 years of his career as a pilot. “I don’t even like being on a ladder.”
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