Blair Beard

Blair Beard
Blair started chasing balloons in 1979.  In 1981 he was given his first balloon flight by now friend Chris Mooney.  That fall he became a student pilot.  In 1982 he received his private and commercial ratings from Tony Fairbanks. Over the years Blair has flown for: Sky Signs Balloons, Horizons Balloon Team, Carousel Balloon Team, Magical Mystery Flights, Lollipop Balloon Rides, Air Ventures, USA Hot Air Balloon Team, and now SPORT BALLOONING XPERIENCE.  Blair has helped train many pilots including his wife Joanne, daughter Kimberly and son Ryan. As a family, they designed and build their family balloon “Northstar”. Blair with his wife Joanne organized the “4th of July Balloon Extravaganza” in Pottstown, PA for 25 years. Competition is not the main emphasis of Blair's flying but he enjoys being involved when the opportunity presents itself at the festivals and rallies he frequents.

Blair served on the Board of Directors for the joint FAVIA 225 Celebration – 2018 BFA National Convention. There he managed Community Outreach/Education for the local Philadelphia area.  He was the guy encouraging everyone to buy chances on the Hurricane Inflater fan!

Although ballooning is a passion for Blair, his main occupation was music education for 42 years.  He still participates in 3 community bands.  Now a musical instrument repair technician, Blair spends 2 to 3 days a week taking care of needy flutes, clarinets, and oboes.   Volunteering as a Boy Scout leader, running, and outdoor activities also occupy much of Blair’s non-flight time.  

Flying on a medical waiver, Blair must take a 2nd class medical with a battery of tests every year.  This is a task in itself and after 7 years he thought he has a pretty good handle on the process. This year's delays for “special issuance” medicals have everyone involved searching for a solution. Cooperating with other aviation pilot associations may help bring some resolution to the problems.

Blair would be honored to voice the views and concerns of his constituents to the BFA board and to pass on and clarify BFA news, changes, and ideas to his represented area.  We all share a bind as balloonists; the BFA shares that bind in being the only organization that can speak collectively for us all on a national level.  Blair will encourage participation and membership in the BFA to keep our future bright, and numbers strong for situations that concern us all.

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