06 Nov 2019

2019 FAI Ballooning Commission Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony

On Friday, October 4, 2019 Norman Pritchard (Deceased) and Paolo Bonanno (Living) were inducted into the FAI Ballooning Commission Hall of Fame.  The ceremony was held at the Anderson-Abruzzo Albuquerque International Balloon Museum (AAAIBM) in New Mexico, USA where the FAI Hall of Fame is housed. The ceremony is traditionally held on the Friday preceding the opening of the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta.

Norman Pritchard was represented by his son, Jeremy Pritchard, and his grandson, Solomon Pritchard.  They shared stories and remembered Norman as a humble, well-liked English Gentlemen with a passion for ballooning and balloon history.  His grandson, Solomon recalled how ballooning was “what he did with his grandparents when they came to visit their family in Australia”. 

Speakers in support of Paolo Bonanno included Josep Marie Llado’, pilot & main shareholder for Ultra Magic Balloons.  Josep shared stories about collaboration with Paolo on burners and burner solutions.  Bert Padelt, owner, Best Aviation, shared stories about how Bert and Paolo shared a passion for ballooning that helped overcome their English-Italian language barrier.  But a year later, Paolo had learned English so they could “talk shop” more easily. 

For full details, please watch this YouTube video of the induction ceremony:

Video credit: City of Albuquerque GOV TV, New Mexico USA