FAI Balloon Live Sensor – Special sale until November 28, 2021

FAI Balloon Live, the new generation logging, live tracking and live scoring project for balloon competition, was started in 2018 as a follow-on project to replace the existing Balloon Competition Loggers.

First, we have to announce that as of January 2022, these old competition loggers will not be available anymore for renting due to the age and wear of the devices. This marks the final completion of a very successful project in competition ballooning.

The good news is that after some intensive testing in 2020, a large number of events used the new FAI Balloon Live system very successfully in 2021. That’s why we can now completely switch to Balloon Live and use it in local, national and international events in the future.

FAI Balloon Live has 3 main parts:
  • The Balloon Live app is the logger and tracking app, available on iOS and Android.
  • Watchmefly.net is the main Balloon Live website for managing competitions and tracks.
  • Finally, the Balloon Live Sensor (BLS) closes the gap of the Balloon Live App running on many different phones and the need for precise GPS and barometric measurements. This is done using an external sensor that connects to the app.
The availability of the Balloon Live Sensor was an important milestone in the overall project. Over 500 devices have been sold in a special sale event in 2020. In 2021, many competitions have used them on a local, national and even international level. The Balloon Live app and sensor have also been approved to be used in FAI CAT1 events.

To make sure everybody has a chance to own a Sensor and be able to fly his favourite competition somewhere around the world (or even the next Worlds in Slovenia), we are happy to offer the device for the best possible price during this second and final Special Sale event.

The delivery of the devices is unfortunately not expected before late summer 2022. As the electronic market is in a very special state at the moment, some components have up to 1 year lead time. Therefore we need to launch the sale and thereby allow Flymaster, new partner of Volirium (Flytec Balloon), to order the components in sufficient numbers as soon as possible.

Find all further details and the order form onballoonlive.org/sensor-sale. The deadline for this final special sale is November 28.

The FAI Balloon Live Team is looking forward to a new and exciting competition season.

Best regards,

Claude Weber, 1st Vice-President
FAI Ballooning Commission

40th anniversary of balloonist Ben Abruzzo’s Pacific crossing

For 12 November 2021

Fortieth anniversary of balloonist Ben Abruzzo’s record-breaking Pacific Ocean crossing

Lausanne, Switzerland, for 12 November 2021It is 40 years since American ballooning pioneer Ben Abruzzo set an FAI absolute ballooning world record for distance, while becoming – along with his team – among the first to cross the Pacific Ocean in a hot air balloon.

The 8382,54km flight, which Abruzzo made just a few years after his historic 1978 journey across the Atlantic Ocean, began on 10 November 1981 in Nagashima, Japan, and ended four days later in Covello in the US.

The 1981 Pacific crossing
Flying in an experimental Raven balloon called the Double Eagle V, Abruzzo was accompanied by fellow balloonists Larry Newman – one of the men who crossed the Atlantic with him in 1978 – and Ron Clark, as well as restaurateur Rocky Aoki, who part-funded the flight.

While their crossing in the helium-filled balloon was successful, they were forced to crash land in northern California due to difficulties including stormy weather and the balloon being weighed down by ice accumulated during the trip.

Fortunately, however, no one was injured in the incident. In recognition of this flight, Abruzzo was awarded the 1981 FAI De la Vaulx medal, which is presented to holders of absolute world aviation records. This was his second FAI award after being chosen to receive a Montgolfier Ballooning Diploma in 1978.

Ben Abruzzo’s life as a balloon pilot
Ben Abruzzo was born on 9 June 1930 in Rockford, Illinois, about 144km from Chicago. He served with the US Air Force from 1952 to 1954 and began his career as a balloon pilot in the early 1970s.

In 1972, he was one of the team of enthusiasts who launched the World Hot Air Balloon Championships in Albuquerque, New Mexico.  This event precipitated the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, now the largest ballooning event of its kind in the world.

In 1977, Abruzzo and Maxie Anderson decided to try to cross the Atlantic Ocean in a helium gas-filled balloon called the Double Eagle.

However, they were forced to abandon the attempt after being blown off course and ditching three miles off the Icelandic coast. Undeterred, the two adventurers joined forces with fellow pilot Larry Newman for a second attempt in the black and silver Double Eagle II balloon the following year.

Their six-day flight from Presque Isle, Maine to the village of Miserey in France was triumphant, despite a number of tense moments, including having to jettison all non-essential equipment to stay airborne off the Irish coast. It netted the team the FAI absolute ballooning world records for distance and duration.

Together with Anderson, Abruzzo then went on to win the 1979 FAI Gordon Bennett long distance gas balloon race. But just a few years later, he and his wife Patty were sadly killed when the Cessna plane Abruzzo was piloting crashed near Albuquerque on 11 February 1985.

Abruzzo’s incredible contribution to the world of air sports is commemorated at the Anderson-Abruzzo Albuquerque International Balloon Museum (AAAIB Museum) in Albuquerque. The AAAIB Museum is also home to the FAI Ballooning Hall of Fame, into which Abruzzo was inducted in 1995.
Notes for editors:

Record files:

Images : https://flic.kr/s/aHsmX3KBY3
FAI logo: bit.ly/FAI_logo
FAI media corner: www.fai.org/media


Faustine Carrera
Communication Manager

New dates for 2021 Canadian Championship

Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, April 20 2021 – “The International Balloon Festival, with the support of the CBA, is officially moving the Canadian Hot Air Balloon Championship back. This move is required due to existing interprovincial travel limitations which directly affect the participation of pilots across the country as well as due to the ongoing restrictions in place until June 24. The community’s health and safety is at the heart of the organization’s interests. Choosing to push it back was therefore an obvious necessity given the current context.” The new dates for the event are August 19 to 22 2021.

Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, le 20 avril 2021 – L’International, avec le soutien de la CBA, reporte officiellement le championnat canadien de montgolfières. Les raisons qui obligent cette remise sont les limitations de transits interprovinciaux qui impactent directement la participation des pilotes de tout le pays ainsi que le maintien des encadrements actuels jusqu’au 24 juin. La sécurité et la santé de la communauté sont au cœur des intérêts de l’organisation. Choisir de reporter la compétition était donc un choix évident dans le présent contexte ». Les nouvelles dates de l’événement sont du 19 au 22 août 2021.

FAI webinar: Loggers in air sports. Case study of the CIA balloon live app

REMINDER – 21 April 2021 @ 16:30 CEST / 14:30 UTC

FAI webinar: Loggers in air sports. Case study of the CIA balloon live app

This is a kind reminder to let you know that the deadline to register to the FAI webinar is this Sunday 18 April.

So please, REGISTER NOW if you haven’t done so.

We are delighted with the interest shown so far in this event and we thank all of you who have already registered.

Loggers have become essential devices for pilots, event organisers, competition officials and members of the public. As technology progresses, so too do the expectations of the air sports community, particularly regarding mobile apps, live-scoring and live-tracking. This webinar focuses on the eco-system around these loggers, in particular the development, logistics and in business.

Join this webinar to:

  • Learn from 10 years of experience with Balloon Competition loggers: the rental system, customs & logistics aspects and the financial success for FAI/CIA
  • Discover the state-of-the-art logger app ‘Balloon Live’ and the surrounding eco-system: Balloon Live Sensor, software, features, technology
  • See how it is embedded within the vision of a wider scoped project
  • Find out how the FAI Ballooning Commission (CIA) implemented it in its community
  • Gain insight into the commercial and financial elements of this project
  • Get inspired: how could parts or aspects of the FAI Balloon Live technology be used in other sports?
  • Share knowledge: talk to the business and technical leaders behind FAI Balloon Live and discuss the challenges
  • Connect with other Commissions Officials and engage in discussing best practise

CIA Vice Presidents Marc André and Claude Weber, both active as event officials in numerous Cat1-events, developed FAI Balloon Live to be more than just a device to replace traditional loggers. With a mobile app and an additional sensor box it guarantees a constant and equal quality of the position (GPS) and altitude (GPS and barometric) measurements while allowing for state-of-the-art user interface. Additionally, the live transmission of the data opens a lot of new possibilities for live scoring and live coverage of the competition.

Along with the release of the app, watchmefly.net was updated to provide the Cloud infrastructure for Balloon Live. A new WatchMeFly Comp Centre allows event organisers and competition officials to manage all the flights, tasks and Balloon Live logger data in real time.

Marc André is leading the technology development of the FAI Balloon Live project. Based in Switzerland, he is an electrical and information technology engineer. He has founded several startup companies and is currently working as Principal Engineer in the medical device industry. He has been active within CIA since 2007 and is particularly involved in the gas balloon competition Coupe Aéronautique Gordon Bennett. He is chair of the CIA Scoring Working Group.

Claude Weber is leading the project from the conceptual, financial and communication side. He lives in Luxemburg and is chair of the CIA New Technology Subcommittee. Being part of the CIA scene since 2003, he has been involved in organizing and directing international events for the past 20 years. Trained as a mechanical engineer, he works as a teacher and IT project leader in education in Luxembourg.

> Presentation of FAI Balloon Live
> Questions & Answers

> 21 April 2021 @ 16:30 CEST / 14:30 UTC
> 60 min
> Zoom

> Deadline: Sunday 18 April
> Register now

Faustine Carrera
Communication Manager

2021 CBA membership renewal.

Happy New Year to  all Canadian Balloonists and crew


As the Treasurer for the CBA I would like to take this opportunity to invite you to renew your membership for the “Canadian Balloon Association” for 2021.

As a not for profit organization we are here to speak on behalf of ballooning in Canada and to represent Canada world wide in the ballooning community.

Please check out our website at “canadianballoonassociation.ca” and our face book page.


Attached is an application form. Please fill out this new form and email back to me or send with your payment. This will assist in us making sure we have the most up to date information.

Also please forward this off to anyone else that you may know that might be interested in joining.


If you have already paid your 2021 membership, Thank you and disregard this notice.


Once you have paid your membership I will email your 2021 membership number back to you.

If you have any questions send me an email and I will try to answer them or get them answered for you.

Thank you for being a member.


You may pay by the following method:

E Transfer- to Cliff Skocdopole  cliff@skocdopole.com


Or by cheque, payable to “Canadian Balloon Association “


Membership Mailing Address:

Canadian Balloon Association

C/O Cliff Skocdopole


Condor, Alberta



CBA Membership Application 2021



David Monks has been elected as the new President of FAI for a two-year term. His election took place today at the 114th FAI General Conference held online from 2 to 5 December 2020.

An electrical engineer by profession, Monks, 53, from the United Kingdom, caught the bug for aviation when learning to fly helicopters in 1995. Since then, he has held positions in several air sports organisations, including Chairman of the Royal Aero Club of the United Kingdom and of the Helicopter Club of Great Britain at the time of his election. He has also been very active within FAI, namely the FAI Rotorcraft Commission and the FAI Air Sport General Commission, since 2009.

Over the years, David Monks has participated in many FAI Championships and regional competitions, winning the bronze medal at the 2008 FAI World Helicopter Championships and two silver medals at the 2012 FAI WHC. An ardent promoter of air sports, he is the organiser of all UK competitions and introduced new competition formats in his country. He is also a holder of three FAI World records.

Reacting to his election, he said: “I’m delighted with my appointment. I am pleased to have a newly elected Executive Board behind me to ensure we all deliver on the vision we have for FAI responding to the current challenges we are presented with.”

David Monks’s mandate commenced immediately at the end of the Conference. He succeeds Bob Henderson, who held the reins of FAI for two years.