Continuing Education Seminar Session Descriptions
**Check back later for additional sessions**

Andy Baird Risk Perception vs Risk Reality

This topic looks at how we perceive risk in ballooning and how those perceptions can affect our decision making. It also compares the risks associated with ballooning to other activities and behaviors.

Andy Baird Demystifying the Skew-T Chart for Simple Flight Decision-Making

The skew-T chart is one of the best tools we have to make good go/no-go decisions. This presentation will show you what to look for and how to quickly get essential information on surface winds, stability, winds aloft, visibility, cloud layers, and when the upper winds are likely to mix down to the surface.

Troy Bradley The Family Connection: Ballooning

Family is always first and when you can share a passion with multiple generations, family ties are strengthened. Creating a heritage that revolves around ballooning has been a unifying force in Troy’s family. He will share stories of the four generations of balloon pilots in his family.

Troy Bradley Record Setting Flights

Whether you want to go for personal bests or world records, Troy will walk you through what it takes to fly on the edge of possibilities. We have all been asked how high, how far, or how long we’ve flown. Troy hopes to inspire you to consider embarking on some of your own adventures.

Dean Carlton Training Your Crew

This session, for both pilots and crew, will provide hands-on training demonstrations on a variety of crewing techniques. Learn how to work together more easily with less work and a lot more fun!

Pat Cannon, Matthew McClinton and
Sam Parks
Envelope of Safety Panel Discussion

What is the Envelope of Safety and why is it important? Does it apply to me and is it required? Are there other safety programs in the works? Please join us for this informative session to learn about this new program being offered by the Professional Ride Operators Division of the BFA and get your questions answered.

Jonathan Carter Powerline Awareness and Emergencies

In this presentation, we will discuss the power line distribution system, different devices on the system, and how they work. Examples of power line strikes and how to respond to various scenarios will be shared. A preflight checklist will be reviewed which includes power line considerations. A Live Line Electrical demonstration will also be performed.

Tom Crouch Picturing Blanchard: Images of the Aeronaut and his Balloons

Arriving in Philadelphia in 1792, Blanchard was a veteran of forty-four ascents. Thousands of hand-colored and printed portraits of the aeronaut and his balloon exploits were in circulation. Images decorated consumer goods from furniture to snuff boxes. Tom will employ those objects and images to offer a taste of the excitement experienced by spectators of the day.

Tom Crouch Blanchard in America: 1792-1797: Triumph and Trial

Already an accomplished aeronaut upon his arrival in 1792, Jean-Pierre Blanchard hoped his triumphant ascent from Philadelphia would set the stage for ascents from the major cities of the new nation with opportunities to reap great financial reward. Instead, his four year visit ended with financial struggle, court battles over unpaid debts, and a family tragedy.

Peter Cuneo, Bert Padelt, and Charles D. “Dewey” Reinhard Gas Ballooning – Past, Present, and Future

Dewey, Bert, and Peter together have more than fifty years of active flying experience in U. S. gas ballooning. They will discuss the history of the rebirth and continued viability of the sport as illustrated by their personal experiences and observations. They will also give some predictions of what may happen in the next twenty-five years.

Don Day Stability and Instability – Know the Mood of the Atmosphere Before You Fly

An extensive overview of atmospheric stability in relation to LTA operations will be presented. Content will include the behavior of the atmosphere in stable and unstable environments as well as an extensive discussion on how stability is forecast and the proper use of forecast stability indexes.

Don Day Don’t Let Them Bring You Down – or Up!

This session will present information to help you understand the development and life cycle of thermals, predict when thermals may occur, and avoid situations in which thermals are likely to impact your flight. Discussion will include the use of predictive tools as well as borrowing the knowledge of thermal behavior and forecasting from the gliding community.

Santo Galatioto Navigating the Not So New Airman Application

Student, private, or commercial pilots should become familiar with the FAA Integrated Certification and Rating Application process known as IACRA. Don’t wait until you need your student certificate, which can take about a month to receive, or be on the eve of your practical exam to become familiar with this online process.

Santo Galatioto To Fly or Not To Fly – That is the Question

Have you ever been at a festival when pilots are inflating and you think to yourself, “I wouldn’t fly in this if I were home”? Yet, you begin the inflation as have others. Let’s discuss why this happens time and time again. Please bring your thoughts and ideas to this open discussion.

John Griffin,
Gloria Keogh, and
J. Parker Lindsey
Am I Covered? Insurance Roundtable

Moderator: Dean Carlton

This panel of insurance providers will answer a series of questions regarding ballooning insurance; including scenarios, coverage options, who pays for which issues, and much more.

Petr Kubicek Polyester Balloon Fabric – Use and Development

Polyester balloon fabric has good use in the balloon industry for its unique performance and advantages. We’ll take a look at polyester balloon fabric design, development and production. The presentation answers the question of why Kubicek works with polyester.

David T. Lee The Science of Ballooning

The science of ballooning is based on the “Gas Laws”. During this slide show and a series of demonstrations, David will introduce each Gas Law using our common knowledge of simple science. We will discover why a hot air balloon flies longer in cold air when compared to hot air and why we lose lift at high altitude.

Per Lindstrand Record Breaking in a Balloon

Per will present a first-hand account of the series of record-breaking trans-oceanic hot air balloon flights and attempts to be the first to fly a Rozière balloon around the earth with Sir Richard Branson. These will include the 1987 Atlantic crossing, the 1988 successful solo attempt on the world altitude record in Laredo, Texas, the 1991 trans-Pacific flight from Japan to Northern Canada, and the 1998 Rozière flight.
John Piper The History of Macy’s Balloons

This presentaion will share the history, artistry, and engineering of the giant character balloons for the May’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. John Piper, Vice President of Macy’s Studio, will speak about the gentle helium giants that float into everyone’s home each Thanksgiving morning and how they have changed since the first Parade in 1927.

Gordon Schwontkowski Everything We Need to Know About Safety

Follow the data! Let’s debunk some of our most cherished safety myths and upgrade them with solid facts and how-to techniques. This overview of ballooning safety past, present, and future will provide a wealth of tips to help you safely manage your balloon in any conditions!

Gordon Schwontkowski The Long and Short of Safety

A quick overview of recent accidents reveals hard-won lessons every balloonist must learn. Enjoy this fast-paced presentation loaded with hands-on tips you can use on your next flight as it distills maximum safety into ten words and helps build pilots and crew into more effective, cohesive, and safer flight teams.

Pat Shay, Shelby Bell, and Mark Delehanty Propane Characteristics and Emergencies

We will be talking about the origins of propane and how it is used in the hot air balloon industry. We’ll explain how propane flows from the tanks to the burners and how the burners pre-heat propane before it gets to the burner itself to keep pressure in the line. We will also review NFPA 58 and the rules regulating propane in the hot air balloon industry.

Eric Sieracki
and Dr. Parvez Dara
Medical Certifications, Medications, and You

Do you know about the different classes of medical certificates or that the NTSB has recommended removing the Balloon Operators medical certificate exemption? What could this mean for you? What should you know about the interaction between over-the- counter and prescription medications and decision-making? The presenters will provide resources and ideas to consider to help answer these questions.

Meg Skelton Competition and Electronics in Competition

This session will describe the good, the bad, and the ugly about electronics, what you need to know, and how to determine what makes sense for your basket.

Meg Skelton Women in Ballooning

Meg will discuss how tuning in to your intuition can make you a better pilot, no matter your gender.

Maury Sullivan Balloon Festival Guidelines
Flight Standards Information System Updates

Some said the Balloon Event Guidelines, introduced in 2011, went too far. However, since 2011, there has been just one fatality at an organized balloon event. We’ve learned over time and can do better. If you are a pilot who attends organized balloon events, serve as an event official, or organize an event, this session is for you.

You can view the Updated Guidelines (pdf) here:

 Mark West Safety – The Future of Ballooning is in Your Hands

You as a pilot, other pilots in your ballooning community, AND new pilots of tomorrow will define the future of our sport through safety. It is time to step up and raise the bar on our skills, awareness of safety, and attitudes within our ballooning communities.

Mark West If You Survive an Accident

The FAA, NTSB, and lawyers representing the passengers will dig through everything you as the pilot have done in your career, the reputation you have built, and what you did or did not do on the accident flight to determine your level of responsibility or negligence. We will discuss what you should do starting today to both prevent the accident and to be a true professional.

Scott Wooge Balloon Maintenance Jeopardy Game

Scott will provide an interactive session to help you learn about balloon maintenance issues and regulations.

Kim Wooge Magee
and Adam Magee
X Marks the Spot! Flight Simulator

Everyone is welcome to join the Balloon Federation of America Hot Air Competition Division (BFA HACD) during the most hands-on and interactive presentation of the convention as we simulate a weekend competitive ballooning event. Prepare to engage and work in groups to complete the simulation! Have fun and fly safe!

Elizabeth Wright “What’s Your Vector Victor?”

Do you fly in the same area most of the time and want to brush up on airspace in other places? Do you want to help a student understand sectionals but you aren’t sure yourself? Can you remember the requirements to fly in/near the Class C or Class D? Do you want to know if the airspace is Class G or E? Then this is the session for you.

Elizabeth Wright Are You an Effective Instructor?

How do you know you covered everything so your student is ready for the check ride? The FAA paperwork is confusing; I need help! I’ve decided to give one of my crew people flight training but I don’t know how to get started. These and other questions will be answered in this session.