About Paterson Saunders
Heli Operations Manager
Paterson (Pato) hails from the Yarra Valley, a wine region on the fringes of Melbourne, Australia. Brought up by a family of balloon pilots, he has been immersed in the worlds of aviation and tourism for his whole life. Since attaining his pilot’s license as a teenager, Pato has chased ballooning through many parts of Australia and the world, including jobs and projects in Europe, the Middle East, and South America. As an added achievement, he has represented Australia at a Junior World Hot Air Ballooning Championship.
In 2015, Pato first flew a balloon at the North Pole aboard the nuclear icebreaker, 50 Years of Victory. Promptly bitten by the polar bug, he tracked the expedition guides down to South America and joined a ship as an 'expedition apprentice' for five months in Antarctica. Now a seasoned visitor of the Polar Regions, he spends his summer months in the high latitudes; flying, guiding, and coordinating with Quark Expeditions.
When not on a ship in the Polar Regions, Pato continues to pursue goals as an aeronaut. He instructs student pilots as part of an initiative with his brother to promote ballooning to a younger generation.