FAVIA 225 confirms Sam Parks as a guest Speaker

Owner-President, Parks Quality Air, Inc. (27 years) www.parksqualityair.com
Owner-President, Parks Balloon Aviation, Inc. (28 years) www.parksballoonaviation.com

Obtained LTA private pilots license 1988
Advanced to commercial rating 1989
Advanced to gas balloon rating 2000
1,650 total hours of flight time in all balloons
180 hours in Gas Balloons
Founding member and past President, Iredell Aeronauts Society
Past President, Carolinas Balloon Association
Member, Lighter than Air Society
Member, Balloon Federation of America
Member, Hot Air Competition Division

  • Member, Gas Balloon Division
  • Member, National Aeronautic Association
  • Board Member, National Balloon Rally Charities, Inc.
  • Past Chairman, Balloon Federation of America Hot Air Competition Division
  • Balloon Federation of America Southeast Region Board Member (elected 2012)
  • Past President, Balloon Federation of America
  • Alternate Delegate CIA (2016)
  • President and Founding Member Aero Club of America, North Carolina Chapter LLC (Gas Balloon Club with the goal of training pilots and promoting safe Hydrogen gas ballooning in America)
  • Director, 1989 Low hour pilots rally, Statesville, NC
  • Director, 1990 National Balloon Rally, Statesville, NC
  • Director, 1991-1996 Lowe’s Balloons over the Blue Ridge, N. Wilkesboro, NC
  • Director, 1993-1998 Alamance Balloon Fest, Burlington, NC
  • Director, 2006 Carolina Balloonfest, BFA Southeast Regional Championship Statesville, NC
  • Director, 2011-2017 Carolina Balloonfest Statesville, NC
  • Director, 2010-2014 Freedom Weekend Aloft, Simpsonville, SC
  • Director, 2015-2017 Freedom Balloonfest, Raleigh, NC
  • Assistant Balloonmesiter, 2011 & 2012 Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta
  • Balloonmeister, 2013-2018 Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta
  • Deputy Director, 2011-2017 America’s Challenge Gas Balloon Race
  • Competition Director, 2012-2014 Southeast Regional Championship, Simpsonville, SC
  • Competition Director, 2007 Southeast Regional Championship, Baton Rouge LA
  • Competition Director, 2007 Louisiana State Championship, Baton Rouge LA
  • Deputy Director, 2016-17 US National Hot Air Balloon Championship, Shreveport LA
  • Safety Officer, 1998-2005 & 2008 National Balloon Rally, Statesville, NC
  • Steward, 2010 19th World Hot Air Balloon Championships, Debrecen Hungary
  • Steward, 2012 20th World Hot Air Balloon Championship, Battle Creek MI USA
  • Committee Member, 2011 Balloon Federation of America Event Guidelines Manual
  • Co-Chair, BFA/FAA Call to Action Committee to develop action plan to improve safety in Ballooning.
  • Chair, BFA Safety and Education Committee
  • Member, CIA Competitors Sub-Committee
  • North Carolina State Champion, 1994,1995,1996,1997,2003,2004,2005, 2007, 2009, 2010,2013
  • Champion, 1994 Fools and Ghouls Balloon Race, Wilson, NC
  • Champion, 2000 National Balloon Rally, Statesville, NC
  • Champion, 2005 Pontiac Freedom Weekend Aloft, Anderson, SC
  • Champion, 2006 Pontiac Freedom Weekend Aloft, Anderson, SC
  • Champion, 2007 Pontiac Freedom Weekend Aloft, Simpsonville, SC
  • 3rd Place     2008 Pontiac Freedom Weekend Aloft, Simpsonville, SC
  • 3rd Place     2011 Great Texas Balloon Race, Longview TX
  • Runner-up, (Silver Medal) 2003 Balloon Federation of America Hot Air Balloon National Championship, Anderson, SC
  • Runner-up, 2007 Kentucky Derby Balloon Race, Louisville, KY
  • Member, 2004 United States team competing in the World Championships in Australia
  • Balloon Federation of America Award of excellence, 1995
  • Balloon Federation of America, Distinguished Aeronaut award 2003 (highest award in the Pilot achievement Award Program)
  • Balloon Federation of America Director’s Award 2007
  • Balloon Federation of America President’s Award 2017
  • Sales representative for Lindstrand Hot Air Balloons, US dealer of the year 1997
  • Safety Seminar Organizer and Presenter
  • Balloon Event consultant
  • Member Savannah Six world record balloon flight team 2005
  • Managed corporate balloon programs for such companies as: CargoLifter, Husqvarna outdoor equipment, Sagebrush Steakhouse and Saloon, First Union Bank, Lake Norman Magazine, City of Statesville, Stiles and Company/SEP Construction Company, Parks Quality Air
  • In addition, flown corporate balloon for the following: Pontiac, Burger King, Cadillac, Oldsmobile, Ball Park Franks, Archway Cookies, BFI Industries, Jeep Eagle, WJZY TV, WFMX Radio, Foxcroft Temporaries, Lowe’s Hardware, US Postal Service, GMC
  • Curves, Tran Orthodontics, Accent Marketing
  • Flown balloons in Canada, England, Japan, Australia, Austria


Born in 1960
Native of Statesville, NC
Married 37 years Winna C. Parks
Member: Monticello Methodist Church, Past Chairman of the Church Administration Board.
Member, Iredell County Home Builders Association
Chairman, Dale Beatty home project; a project to build a Handicap home for a local National Guardsman who lost both legs in Iraq
Board Chairman, Monticello Volunteer Fire Department
Other Hobbies: Motorcycles, Hiking