Pilot - Barbara Fricke

Barbara A. Fricke has been a hot air balloon pilot since 1989 and gained her gas rating in 1996. Her balloon interest comes from seeing the movie Around the World in 80 Days as a child. 

She has more than 2100 hours of pilot time including flights in Austria, Belgium, Canada, Finland, France, Germany, Switzerland, and the United States. She served as president of the Albuquerque Aerostat Ascension Association in 1995-6 and chaired AAAA's Education Committee for many years both before and after being president. She has organized ground schools, safety seminars, and the Fiesta Safety Seminars and was awarded the AAAA's Bob Ruppenthal Education Award in 1994 and the Sid Cutter Award in 2000. 

In 2001, 2010, 2013 and 2016, Barbara along with Peter Cuneo won the America’s Challenge Gas Balloon Races at Fiesta. In 2003, 2005, 2007 & 2011 they took second place and third place in 2012 & 2014. They flew in the Gordon Bennett races from Thionville, France in 2004, from Waasmunster, Belgium in 2006, from Albuquerque in 2008 placing 3rd, from Geneva, Switzerland in 2009, from Gap-Tillard, France in 2011, from Ebnat-Kappel Switzerland in 2012 and from Gladbeck, Germany in 2016 where they placed 4th.

Barbara loves flying gas balloons because she can stay aloft for long periods of time and see lots of country.

In 2001, they flew in Virginia where they carried geese in an experimental migration study that was featured on the ABC News Magazine show 20/20. She participated in a smoke balloon flight in Nazca Peru, Nov. 2002. 

Currently, Barbara serves on the Board of Directors for the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta and on the Balloon Federation of America's Gas Division Board. 

Professionally, Barbara is a retired professor from the University of New Mexico School of Medicine.