alexa North American Balloon Association

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North American Balloon Association

The Balloon Federation of America has begun with two gas balloon clubs. On March 26, 1961 Representatives of the Balloon Flyers of Akron (National Lighter-Than-Air Society) and the Balloon Club of America (Philadelphia) met with the head of the National Aeronautic Association in Pittsburgh. The Balloon Club of America began in 1952 when Douglas Leigh Company of New York donated Don Piccard and Tony Fairbanks the parts of eleven balloons. At the end of WWII Mr. Leigh's company had purchased the balloons from the Government which were part of a large supply of leftover material. The Balloon Club of America was founded by: Don Piccard, Tony Fairbanks, Francis Shields, Connie Wolf, Eleanor Vadals Jerry Burns and Pete Wood. The BFA was engaged as the ballooning division of the N.A.A. BCA represented the U.S. at international balloon meets and became the official U.S. representative of the International Committee on Aerostation (CIA). In 1967, the BFA constitution was amended in Washington to incorporate the sport of thermal ballooning. At that time, amongst the 58 pilot members of the BFA, fewer than ten were skilled gas balloonists. But the membership was determined to help raise the sport in its most standard form by this provision. The Events Policy of BFA was instated in August 1974, at the U.S. National by a vote of the general association. By 1974 however, with 150 pilots actually taking part, it was obvious that at the projected growth rate, the necessity to create a rational system for evaluating pilot skids to determine the candidates to the National Competition automatically mandated the BFA to develop a National ranking system. In the autumn of 1974, the Events Committee was certified by the Board of Directors to produce the present BFA National Ranking System. It became operational in January of 1975 and was the criteria for the selection of the pilots for the title of U.S. National Hot Air Balloon Champion of that year.

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