Originally from Hammond Louisiana, Phillip now lives in Salisbury, North Carolina with his wife Renee. In 1986 he received his private pilot’s license for hot air balloons, and then advanced to a commercial rating 3 years later. In 2001, he received his gas balloon rating. With over 1,000 hours to date in balloons, Phillip has flown in 17 states within the US, and also has flown in France, Germany, England, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Belgium, The Netherlands, Mexico, and Austria. In 1994, he built his first balloon system, and then went on to design and construct several more systems including a gas balloon that he flew several times in the America’s Challenge gas balloon race, as well as a replica of Ed Yost’s famous “Silver Fox” transatlantic gas balloon. Phillip, along with co-pilot Richard Abruzzo flew the 2005 Gordon Bennett gas race, launching from Brussels Belgium and landing 3 days later in eastern Finland near the Russian border, a total of nearly 2,000 kilometers in distance. Phillip has also been quite involved in high altitude balloon work with 3 flights above 20,000 feet, including a flight to 32,000 feet. He has spoken on the subject as a featured speaker at a BFA safety seminar in Houston, Texas. In October 2002, BFA President Phil Bryant presented the BFA Director’s award to Phillip for his contributions and spirit in ballooning. In 2012, Phillip achieved the highest available level (Distinguished) in the BFA’s Pilot Achievement award program.