Ed Yost Master Pilot Awards

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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 www.bfa.net 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.


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.


Ed Yost Master Pilot Award recipients are Notable Balloonists as identified by the BFA Hall of Fame Committee. Click the following link to access the biographies and other information on Ed Yost Master Pilot Award recipients and other Notable Balloonists.



Ed Yost Master Pilot Award Recipients