Nancy McConnell

Nancy McConnell began crewing for a hot air balloon in 1991 and it did not take long before she start pursuing her pilot certificate. 1992 began when her ordering her first balloon and by October she had her commercial ticket. During the 1990’s could find Nancy traveling often more than 400 miles to attend a BFA sanctioned event. Many years flying in 12 weekend events and at least 1 10 day event. Nancy participated as a fun flyer at several National Championship Events (Ohio, Missouri, Illinois) before taking the leap to the competition division where she finished as the second place rookie (the rookie that year had 10 more years of flying).
In 1993 Nancy drove 25 hours nonstop to participate in the “Big One” in Albuquerque earning a 3rd place metal one morning and finishing 18th overall. But by the 2000’s many of the BFA event in the southeast began to disappear and she designed and had a special shape balloon built and traveled even further across the country.

Nancy’s work changed and it became harder to attend BFA sanctioned events but in 2019 at the encouragement of Cheri White, Nancy attended the Women’s Nationals in Missouri and place high enough on the NEL list that she agreed to represent the US at the Women’s Worlds in Poland. Due to Covid that was cancelled and the Women’s Nationals in 2020. Nancy returned to Missouri in 2021 to ensure there were at least 6 women at Women’s National to crown a Champion.

The reason she has thrown her hat into the ring for an At-Large Director position is the need to increase the numbers of women participation. This past year there have been many new female pilots (as posted on facebook) and we need to encourage them to become members of the competition division.

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