Pa. bank seeks balloon pilot

July 6, 2009 4:41:13 AM PDT
It's not your usual top-flight career opportunity.

Parkvale Bank has turned to the classified sections of local newspapers to try to find a candidate for a hard-to-fill position - a hot air balloon pilot.

The Monroeville, Pa.-based bank has offered the high-flying post for nearly three decades as a marketing and public relations tool. The balloon operator often gives rides at events and fundraisers in Allegheny, Westmoreland and Washington counties.

But even in the down economy, the current job search is, well, up in the air. That's because western Pennsylvania has few commercially licensed and qualified pilots. And the three-month flight season is too short to attract an out-of-state applicant.

While the bank provides the balloon and passenger insurance, the pilot has to retain and insure a chase crew.

The bank is also advertising for "floating bank tellers," but that's different. They take deposits, cash checks and sell products and services, and need car at their disposal, not a balloon.

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