Pilot - Peter Cuneo

Peter J. Cuneo has been a hot air balloon pilot since 1989 and gained his gas rating in 1995. 

His interest in gas ballooning stems from having The Noon Balloon by Margaret Wise Brown read to him while he was still an embryo. He has participated in every America's Challenge Gas Balloon Race since 1995 and had the good sense to stay on the ground in 2000. He has more than 2100 hours of pilot time including flights in Austria, Belgium, Canada, Finland, France, Germany, Mexico, Switzerland, and the United States. In 2001, 2010, 2013 and 2016, Peter along with Barbara Fricke won the America’s Challenge Gas Balloon Races at Fiesta. They took second place in 2003, 2005, 2007 & 2011 and third place in 2012 & 2014. They flew in the Gordon Bennett races from Thionville, France in 2004, from Waasmunster, Belgium in 2006, from Albuquerque in 2008 placing 3rd, from Geneva, Switzerland in 2009, from Gap-Tillard, France in 2011, from Ebnat-Kappel, Switzerland in 2012 and fro Gladbeck, Germany in 2016, placing 4th. 

In 2001, they flew in Virginia where they carried geese in an experimental migration study that was featured on the ABC News Magazine show 20/20. In November 2002, Peter flew in a smoke balloon flight that was a reenactment of a 1975 flight over the Nazca Lines in Peru.

Peter has served as Chair of the Balloon Federation of America's Gas Division, and as the Vice-President of the Albuquerque Aerostat Ascension Association (Quad-A) and recently, he and Astrid Gerhardt completed a new edition of the gas balloon bible titled Gone with the Wind.

Peter was also awarded the Sid Cutter award in 2016 from the Albuquerque Aerostat Ascension Association (AAAA) for his service to the ballooning community.

Professionally, Peter is a retired optical engineer from Lockheed-Martin Corporation.