Timothy S. Cole - Honored in 1995
Tim Cole and his copilot, Steve Fossett touched their balloon down in Hamburg, Germany on August 21, 1994 after a flight of over 75 hours and 4351 Km. across the Atlantic Ocean. This was without doubt, the most technically perfect major balloon flight in lighter than air (LTA) history and was but the most recent accomplishment for this young man. This first ever balloon flight across the Atlantic Ocean from Canada to Germany established a national altitude record for this balloon class. The flight was so precise that they as they started their landing descent, they crossed only 1/2 mile from their predetermined Hamburg way-point.
Tim was born on November 11, 1945 in Sarasota, Florida. He has been in Colorado since he was 15 years old. His earlier years in aviation were in the US Army helicopter training programs where he became an honor graduate, was rated "Chief Technical Inspector" and amassed over 1500 flying hours in rotary winged aircraft. In 1968-69, Tim served a Vietnam combat tour flying in helicopters, was honored for this work and later became an instructor for officers.
After leaving military service, he was attracted to ballooning, soloing in a hot air balloon in July 1978 at Fredrick, Colorado. At the time of his induction into the Colorado Aviation Hall of Fame he had accumulated over 1000 hours flying time in hot air, helium and ammonia gas balloons. Tim is rated as a commercial unrestricted balloon pilot, instructor and inspector/repairman as well as having an airframe and power plant (A&P) rating.
With a friend, Tim pioneered the use of anhydrous ammonia as a lifting gas and designed a balloon specifically for this inexpensive, agricultural gas, thereby opening up the sport of gas ballooning to persons who could not afford the prohibitively high cost of helium gas.
On September 26, 1991, near Greeley, Colorado, Tim made a world-record solo duration flight in an ammonia gas balloon of his design. This flight was named as one of the ten most important flights of the year for any of aircraft by the National Aeronautics Association. He and a colleague were awarded the "Montgolfier Diplome" by the Balloon Federation of America and the FAI. Tim was also elected a Fellow of the Explorers Club of New York for his LTA accomplishments.
Tim is active in the Balloon Federation of America, the National Aeronautics Association, the Lighter-Than-Air Society, the Colorado Aero Club, the Colorado Aviation Historical Society and organizations associated with his insurance business.
Tim has represented Colorado well as a chief rigger and crew-member for a number of major transatlantic, transpacific and transcontinental flights by world famous balloonists. He is well known and respected for his technical background and dependability. He has shown leadership in organizing balloon activities in Colorado and other states and he is noted for his professionalism, adherence to safety standards and his fun approach to ballooning, as well as his unselfish devotion and innovative approach to problem solving.