I’ve just placed the order for the white jumpsuits the balloon handlers will wear while guiding the Amelia Earhart balloon. We’re going to dress them to look like a ground crew, wearing suits similar to what Amelia herself wore. The costume pictured at right was worn by Hilary Swank in the movie “Amelia.”
Toni McKay at StarBound Entertainment (the balloon company) came up with the brilliant idea of using inexpensive Tyvek-type suits. They’re much cheaper than real jumpsuits and can be easily replaced. We don’t plan to have the balloon handlers roll around in mechanic grease to get that authentic lived-in look, but a little wear and tear won’t hurt. We’re also going to put stickers on the suits that say “A.E.,” though probably we’ll put them on the front rather than the back (for a variety of reasons).
We could have gone with custom t-shirts, the way a lot of balloon sponsors do, but we think the “flight suits” are much better. And cheaper!
P.S. Watch the slide show on our Amelia balloon page to see several pictures of balloon handlers in action.
How many women are on the ground crew?
We have to allow for up to 36 people each time — that’s balloon handlers and helpers and people to carry the banner.
Ta-da! Official artist sketch of the Amelia Earhart balloon! : EVE | Equal Visibility Everywhere says:
[...] Now for the hard sell: if you haven’t already donated to the 99 Club, please consider helping out. The contributions we’ve received so far have enabled us to make the first payment on the balloon, pay for the parade banner, and pay for the balloon handler suits (they’re going to look like a ground crew in flight suits). [...]
Earhart Flies High Again : EVE | Equal Visibility Everywhere says:
[...] to make an adjustment in the display of the balloon. The balloon handlers did not wear their white “flightsuits” with an AE logo because we did not want our new costumes to be damaged in the [...]