The Ed Yost Master Pilot Award


The Balloon Federation of America's Ed Yost Master Pilot Award recognizes lighter than air (LTA) pilots who have demonstrated professionalism, skill and aviation expertise by maintaining safe operations for 40 or more consecutive years as active pilots.

The award will be in the form of a BFA award certificate to be presented to the recipient at the BFA Annual Meeting or other appropriate meeting of balloonist as suggested by the Board Member in the region that the recipient resides. Additionally the recipient's name, city and state will be published at and will be included in a display at the National Balloon Museum.

To be eligible for the Ed Yost Master Pilot Award, candidates must:
  • Have 40 years of LTA piloting experience and be a citizen of the United States or a resident member of the Balloon Federation of America. The effective start date for the award is the date of the applicant's first solo flight or date of receipt of a LTA pilot certificate, whichever occurred first. A current flight review is not required at the time of nomination. Under special circumstances the Committee may recommend a candidate with less than the 40 years of LTA piloting experience for consideration by the BFA Board of Directors.
  • Have been active in the sport of ballooning during most of those 40 years.
  • Prior accident history will be reviewed and considered on a case-by-case basis.
  • Revocation of any airman LTA certificate will disqualify a nominee for this award.
  • Prior enforcement actions (excluding revocation) are not necessarily disqualifying but will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
  • The award may be presented to a nominee up to 2 years posthumously if the nominee has acquired 40 years of LTA piloting experience prior to passing away.

 Ed Yost

Father of Modern Hot Air Balloons


Ed yost balloonist


To be eligible for the Ed Yost Master Pilot Award, the applicant, or anyone on behalf of the applicant, must submit the following information to a member of the BFA Board of Directors, the chair of the BFA Awards Committee or the BFA Office:

  • Proper documentation describing the kind of certificate(s) held by the applicant, including, if available, the original date of the pilot's LTA solo flight or original LTA flight certificate.

  • A detailed description, resume, or summary of the applicant's flying history including any accident or enforcement actions involving the applicant.


Upon receipt of information for an applicant for the Ed Yost Master Pilot Award, the Chair of the Awards Committee shall convene a committee consisting of three Past BFA Presidents who shall review the information submitted.  If the applicant meets the above listed criteria without a prior accident and without prior enforcement action, the committee may approve the award without further action. The BFA Board will be notified of said approval. If the applicant has had an accident or prior enforcement action the committee will submit a recommendation to the BFA Board of Directors who then shall be the final authority for approval or denial of the award.

Application Form



Year Recipient State
2023 Mark Sullivan New Mexico
2023 Terry Metzger Kentucky
2023 Koi Murai Oregon
2023 Dave Koenig Wisconsin
2023 Allen Anderson Nevada
2023 Bob Dicks Pennsylvania
2023 Jim Wolters Missouri
2023 Alan Jones Pennsylvania
2023 John Bagwell Arizona
2023 Kathy Reineke Illinois
2023 Bill Whidden Florida
2023 Mark Schilling Vermont
2023 Bob Pulaski Louisiana
2023 Roger Clark South Carolina
2023 Bert Padelt Pennsylvania
2023 Joe Calebretti Texas
2023 Albert Hicks Georgia
2022 Bud Hebrlee New Mexico
2022 Robert Grimes Tennessee
2022 Lloyd Cates Texas
2022 Marion Gail Behringer Texas
2022 Gordon Boring Michigan
2022 Ted Gauthier Michigan
2022 Frank Campanale Michigan
2022 Greg Livadas New York
2022 Scott Vesely Texas
2022 Graham Luckett Colorado
2022 David Rapp Missouri
2022 Greg Hanson Missouri
2022 Pete Hawkins Ohio
2022 Michael Shouse Texas
2022 Dan Hoehler Kentucky
2022 Brian Beazly Kentucky
2022 Blair Beard Pennsylvania
2022 Pam Clemons Iowa
2021 William Broker TX
2021 Robert Green Illinois
2021 Jerry Copas Indiana
2021 Joel Sturdevant Missouri
2021 Steve Derebey New Mexico
2021 Stephen Langjahr California
2021 James Gebhart Iowa
2021 Stephen J. Mroz Missouri
2021 Gary Cass Arizona
2021 Paul Smith New Mexico
2021 Bill Smiley Kansas
2021 Judy Holt Arizona
2021 Raymond Bair New Mexico
2021 David Sullivan Georgia
2021 Matt Guthrie New Mexico
2021 Troy Bradley New Mexico
2021 Kim Vesely New Mexico
2021 Charles Ogden Schobel III Georgia
2021 David Reineke Illinois
2020 Pat Cannon Texas
2020 Tim Gale Oregon
2020 Ron Centers Michigan
2020 David Johnson Minnesota
2020 Greg Ashton Idaho
2020 Peter H. Asp Wisconsin
2020 Janine Fabick Mroz MIssouri
2020 James Pontrich Kentucky
2020 Bill Dickey  
2020 Kevin Poeppelman  
2020 Randy Stone Iowa
2020 Daniel Saul Ohio
2019 Frank Prell Kentucky
2019 David Tanzer Vermont
2019 Larry Torgerson Mississippi
2019 Lesley Pritchard Michigan
2019 Glen Terry Minnesota
2019 Larry Nickolay Minnesota
2019 Scott Spenser Idaho
2019 Scott Shields Washington
2019 John Hitron Kentucky
2019 Cheri White Texas
2019 Frank Dickey New Mexico
2019 Gary Morgan New Hampshire
2019 Peter Procopio New Mexico
2019 Bill Glen Arizona
2019 Paul "Buzz" Wills Texas
2018 Thomas H. Smith  
2018 Bill Hughes New York
2018 Carroll Teitsworth New York
2018 Rudolph Schwenker  
2018 Kathrine Wadsworth  
2018 Russ Barber New York
2018 Ronald Thornton Massachusets
2018 Robert Waligunda New Jersey
2018 Rick Behr Virginia
2018 Aaron Brody  
2018 Beth Davidson Ohio
2018 Guy Gauthier Texas
2018 Paul Stumpf Vermont
2018 Annie Laurie Points Colorado
2018 Larry Salters Missouri
2018 Jeff Kong Shields Washington
2018 Elizabeth Wright-Smith New Mexico
2018 Roy Caton Missouri
2018 Phil A. Thompson Illinois
2018 Kevin Thompson Texas
2018 Thomas Stodolski Massachusetts
2017 Gary S Palmer South Dakota
2017 Gary Sines Missouri
2017 Dr. William Bussey Texas
2017 Don Conner Indiana
2017 Fred Dinkler Texas
2017 David Bobel Indiana
2017 Rick Neubauer Florida
2017 Dick Miller Florida
2016 Stephen Blucher Colorado
2016 Jeff Thompson Florida
2016 Al Muir Texas
2016 Curt Pengelly Idaho
2016 William Costen Connecticut
2016 Janice Sines Missouri
2015 Tom Oerman New Hampshire
2015 Forey Walters Washington
2015 Sam Edwards Texas
2015 Jim Neill Illinois
2015 Eric Barnum Ohio
2015 Dewey Reinhard Colorado
2015 Jim Ahern New Mexico
2015 Tom McConnell II New Mexico
2015 Greg Winker Washington
2014 Rocky Bailey Georgia
2014 Harold Graves South Dakota
2014 Gary Ruble Iowa
2014 Rob Bartholomew Iowa
2014 Ted Staley Missouri
2014 John Marlow Missouri
2014 John Schaumburg Missouri
2014 Daniel Schettler Missouri
2014 Orvin Olivier South Dakota
2014 Ronald Grove Oregon
2014 Charles W. Book New Mexico
2014 Frank Bacon New Mexico
2014 Michael Emich Ohio
2014 Bobby Sparks Pennsylvania
2014 Albert Leon Nels Ohio
2013 Gordon Hall Washington
2013 J Michael Ehrler Kentucky
2013 Clayton Thomas MD MPH Massachusetts
2013 Richard Jaworski Nebraska
2013 James Birk Texas
2013 Thomas McConnell New Mexico
2013 John Tarpley Head Jr Georgia
2013 Brent Stockwell California
2013 Don Cline North Carolina
2013 Bill Meadows North Carolina
2013 David Robinson California
2013 Greg Wellens Colorado
2012 Sidney Cutter New Mexico
2012 Matt Wiederkehr Minnesota
2012 John Davis IV Colorado