BALLOONING              Started ballooning in 1983 private certificate in March 1983, Commercial May1983

                                         Gas rating October 1985. Flown in 30 countries and 39 states 


Flight experience: approx. 3,400 hours (2100 in gas) 1,370 flights (111 flights  in gas)

                                         Attended two FAI Hot Air Balloon World Championships 

                                         Attended four FAI North American Championships Hot Air Balloon Championships

                                         Attended four FAI Gas Balloon World Championships

                                         Attended nineteen U.S. National Hot Air Balloon Championships starting in 1984

                                         Attended twenty five Coupe Aeronautique Gordon Bennett’s since 1987

                                         Attended twenty four America’s Challenge Gas Balloon Race



1987 & 1988 U.S. Nationals Balloonmeister Awards

1990 Top Gun Award for service to competition ballooning

1993 BFA Presidents Award

 1993 FAI Air Sport Medal

 1994 Shields-Trauger Award for service to gas and hot air ballooning

 1996 Al Desmond Award, for service to hot air ballooning

 1996 CIA Gold Sporting Badge with three Diamonds # 3

1998 FAI Montgolfier Diploma for service to Aerostation

1999 Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta Hall of Fame

2000 AAAA Sid Cutter Award, Outstanding contribution to hot air ballooning

2005 FAI Montgolfier Diploma for best performance gas balloons for two podium finishes in the FAI 10th World Gas Ballooning Championship and the 48th Coupe Gordon Bennett in 2004

2019 Inducted into the United States Balloon Federation of America Hall of Fame



 1984-1986 Board of Directors Albuquerque Aerostatic Ascension Association

1986-1996: Board of directors of Top Gun Inc, President 1986 to 1991

1986-2000 Board of Directors of the Gas Division of the BFA, Chairman of the Board 1996   and 1997. Helped form the Division and one of the original board members

1989 to Present: Board of director of the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, Vice President 1995 & 1996, President 1997 & 1998, Treasurer 2000 to 2003

1994 - Present: Chairman of the CIA AA/AM Working Group 

1995-1997 U.S. Alternate Delegate, FAI, Ballooning Commission (CIA)

1998- 2015 U.S. Delegate, FAI, Ballooning Commission (CIA) 12 years as Vice President 

2016 -present, President FAI Ballooning Commission (CIA)



  1984, 1994, 2002, and 2005 New Mexico State Champion

  1984 3rd, 1988 3rd, and 2004 2nd, Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta

  1986, 1987, 1989, and 2014 Top Gun Champion

  1992 1st, 1994 5th FAI North American Hot Air Balloon Championship 

 1994 3rd U.S. National Hot Air Balloon Championship

 1995 1st U.S. National Team Championship, flying with Sid Cutter and Troy Bradley

2002 1st ,  2003 2nd  and 2005 2nd S.W. Regional Hot Air Balloon Championship   

Page 2    Mark Sullivan CV


EVENTS GAS         

1985 2nd Albuquerque Fiesta Gas Race, Albuquerque .to Wakeeney Kansas

1985 1st Thunderbird Gas Balloon Race, Phoenix to Alamosa Colorado

1986 4th FAI World Gas Balloon Championship, Glendale Arizona 

1986 1st Albuquerque Fiesta Gas Race 

1987 1st Hidden Manor Gas Balloon Race, Allentown PA to NE New York

1989 2nd Indianapolis Gas Balloon Race 

1990 4th FAI World Gas Balloon championship, Tyndall SD

1993 2nd U.S. National Gas Balloon Championship 

1995 1st U.S. National Gas Balloon Championship

1995 4th 39th Gordon Bennett Wil Switzerland to Zelve Belarus 1280.0 km, 65:25 forced down

1996 2nd 9th FAI World Gas Balloon championship, Bitterfield Germany 

1996 3rd U.S. National Gas Balloon Championship, St-Louis, MO 

1997 2nd 41st Gordon Bennett Warsteine Germany to Romanian coast, 1732.3 km 44:45 hours

1998 2nd 4th America’s Challenge Gas Race to Side Lake MI 1786 km 60.1 hours

2001 4th 45th Gordon Bennett Warsteine Germany to Priseace Romania 1420 km 65:40 hours

2001 4th 6th America’s Challenge Gas Race to Black River WI 1695 km 43.3 hours

2002 3rd 7th America’s Challenge Gas race to Homer Georgia 2109 km 67.25 hours e

2003 4th 8th America’s Challenge Gas Race to Bovine TX 357 km 24.9 hours 

2004 3rd 48th Gordon Bennett, Thionville Fr, Sveg, Sweden 1472 km 45:17 hours 

2004 3rd 10th World Gas Balloon Championship Bitterfield Germany 

2005 1st  9th Frieorich Thode Wanderpries, Marl Germany to Capiquet France 49.1 hours 

2008 1st  13th America’s Challenge Gas Race to Iowa Falls IA 1419 km   

2009 3rd 53rd Gordon Bennett Geneva, Switzerland to Faro Portugal 1530 km 71:20 hours 

2010  3rd 15th America’s Challenge to Cedar Rapids, IA 1507 km 41:05

2012 1st 17th America’s Challenge to Beviavillie, NC with a flight of 2623 km and 62:15 hours

2017 4th 21st America’s Challenge to College, PA with a flight of 2590 km in 61.55 hours 




1986 Co-Founded Top Gun Inc. the largest competitive balloon club in the US 

1987-1991 BFA Competition Division Sanction Manager, sanctioned over 300 events 

1989 Co-Founder of the Special Shapes Rodeo, Balloon Fiesta’s most popular event

1993 Organized the 37th Coupe Gordon Bennett in Albuquerque

1994 Organized the 9th World Gas Balloon Championship in Albuquerque

1995 to present: Events Committee Chairman, Albuq. International Balloon Fiesta

1995 Founded the America’s Challenge Gas Balloon Race

1996 Founded the Flight of the Nations, held each year during the AIBF

 1999 Organized the 43rd Coupe Aeronautique Gordon Bennett

 2000 5th America’s Challenge, first organized use of hydrogen in U.S gas competition

 2005 Organizing Chairman 49th Coupe Gordon Bennett in Albuquerque

 2006 Organized the 1st balloon event in Dubai 74 balloons.

 2008 Organizing Chairman 52nd Coupe Gordon Bennett in Albuquerque





 1987, 1988, 1994 Assistant Event Director, U.S. National Hot Air Championship

1989 to 1997 Special Shapes Rodeo Event Director 

1993 Event Director 37th Coupe Aeronautique Gordon Bennett

1994 Event Director 9th World Gas Balloon Championship

1995 & 1996 Event Director America’s Challenge Gas Balloon Race

2000 Deputy Director 44th Coupe Aeronautique Gordon Bennett, Belgium

2001 Event Director FAI World Air Games Gas Championship, Seville Spain

2006 Event Director 1st Dubai Balloon Festival, United Arab Emirates 74 balloons

2015 Liaison for Hot Air FAI World Air Games, Dubai, United Arab Emirates 

FAI World Championships and World Air Games
Year Event Country Location Ranking Average
201421st FAI World Hot Air Balloon Championship 2014BrazilRio Claro SP44443
Competition History
Year Event Country Location Ranking Average
20242024 BFA US National ChampionshipUnited StatesLongview, Texas30537
2024Rio Grande ClassicUnited StatesRio Rancho, NM20385
20232023 BFA US National ChampionshipUnited StatesLongview, Texas20610