FAVIA 225 confirms Maury Sullivan as a guest speaker

Maury’s interest in ballooning dates to 1981 and has included sport and competitive ballooning as well as running a commercial balloon contract. Maury initiated the establishment of the Pro Football Hall of Fame Festival Enshrinement Balloon Classic in 1986, served as the event chairman from 1986 to 1988 and served as the event’s Competition Director in all but four years. Maury has a commercial rating and has logged more than 850 hours.

Crewing at four US Nationals and participating in all US Teams events as an official competitor have fostered Maury’s interest in the competitive aspects of hot air ballooning. Maury and his teammates placed third in the 1999 US Teams and Maury was recognized as Rookie of the Year at the 2000 NABA US Nationals in Canton, Mississippi. During his active competitive career, Maury was a consistent top twenty pilot in the NABA National Ranking system ranking 12th (2005); 21st (2003); 8th (2002); and, achieving his highest ranking of 2nd in 2001. Maury was selected by the BFA’s Hot Air Competition Division to serve as the Event Director for the 2009, 2010, 2016 and 2017 US National Hot Air Balloon Championships.

While Maury has found competitive flying both instructional and rewarding, he still finds his fondest balloon memories in “Fiesta-type” flying. He flew in the first balloon event in the Soviet Union in 1990, which took place in Leningrad (St. Petersburg), USSR. On one memorable flight, he flew his balloon “Glasnost” less than 500 feet over a Soviet Mig air base and, yes, has photos. Not far behind in the most memorable flights category was flying from Canada to the US while seemingly skimming directly over the Canadian Horseshoe Falls. In February 2005 Maury participated in the NOBPA winter Long Jump. This is a flight designed to challenge the pilot and crew in a long-distance flight. This was Maury’s first real attempt at such a flight and he flew a total of 178 miles in a flight lasting three hours and forty-eight minutes.

Maury and his wife have been heavily involved in organizing and officiating at several balloon events annually over the past ten years. He has served as chairman of the BFA and Holiday Balloon Fest joint planning committee for the 2012 World Hot Air Balloon Championship. Maury was recognized for this work and the development and publication of Balloon Event Guidelines with the Shields-Trauger Memorial Award in 2012. Maury currently serves as a member of the FAI/CIA rules, event development and competitors committees.

Maury has been involved with the Northeast Ohio Balloon Pilot’s Association (NOBPA) since 1982 and served as its Treasurer in 1997 and 1998 and as its President in 2000. Maury and Lynn served as chairmen of NOBPA’s annual Safety Seminar, Balloonowledge from 2002-2004 and Maury has organized the educational programming for the 2008 BFA National Convention.

Maury’s schedule of directing events in 2017 includes the New Mexico State Championship, Thurston Classic, US National Championship, Ohio State Championship and Pro Football HOF Balloon Classic. In addition, he and his wife Lynn serve on staff of the Albuquerque International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta. With this busy schedule, he still enjoys competing when he can and will compete in this year’s Ashland event, Coshocton, Findlay and Dansville, NY.