12/30/11 On December 22, WTCA/WZOC Commercial Hot Air Balloon pilot Brian Kunze was invited to compete in the FAI Junior World Championship Hot Air Balloon Event held May 22-27th in Lithuania. The 2007 PHS Graduate and Information Literacy Assistant at Menominee Elementary school was tenth on the list of junior pilots from the United States invited for the event.
To qualify for the event pilots in the United States have to be under the age of 27. They also must hold a Balloon Federation of America (BFA) competition card. Invitees were selected based on the points that they had gathered from BFA sanctioned events.
Brian has been a pilot for the last 4 years and has crewed for hot air balloons for over 17 years. “It has been great to be invited to the Junior World Championship. I did not think I would since I have only competed in local competitions and have not been a part of the larger national competitions. Unfortunately due to the late notice on the invitation I will not be able to compete due to lack of funds. I look forward to competing at a higher level within the United States ballooning competitions. Hopefully in the next year or two I will have raised enough funds to compete in the second and third annual Junior World Championships. ”