Jacques Soukup (GB)

A resident of Lacock">


Jacques Soukup (GB)

A resident of Lacock, Wiltshire, UK and a US Citizen, Jacques started ballooning in hot air balloons in 1979 and received his gas balloon rating in 1983. He has extensive international ballooning experience with over 2000 hours in hot air, gas and roziere balloons. Along with his partner, Kirk S. Thomas, Jacques was a pioneer in the development and popularization of special shaped balloons, such as the heads of Uncle Sam and Carmen Miranda. A major player on the ballooning world’s political stage, Jacques was elected by over 40 countries to serve as President of the Ballooning Commission of the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI), the world’s air sport and record setting Federation, for nearly 4 years. He also served as a Vice President of the FAI for 6 years.

Record Setting and Competition Flying
Jacques W. Soukup was a pioneer in the use of roziere (combination gas and hot air) balloons. It is a roziere balloon which he and his two co-pilots will be flying on their round-the-world mission. In March, 1985, Jacques and co-pilot Don Cameron established eight world records in roziere balloons and in March of 1987 Jacques added eight additional altitude records in that balloon, raising his world records to a total of 16.

In 1986, Jacques placed third in the US Gas Balloon Championship and fourth in the World Gas Balloon Championship with Mark Sullivan in Phoenix, Arizona, USA. In October 1988 he and David Levin finished third in the World Gas Balloon Championship in Augsburg, West Germany. He has also won the Robert Maxwell Trophy at the Leeds Castle (UK) Meet and has flown in three Coupe Gordon Bennett gas balloon long distance races.

1987 Shields – Trauger Memorial Award, the highest award in the BFA (shared with Kirk S. Thomas).

1990 Certificate of Sustaining Membership, awarded in "recognition of his interest in and support of the mission of the National Aeronautic Association, the National Aero Club of the United States."

1991 Tissandier Diploma, awarded by the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale for being "widely recognized as a leader in the sport in the USA and throughout the world."

1993 FAI Air Sport Medal in recognition for services to ballooning in the world.

1998 Made President of Honour of the FAI Ballooning Commission.

1998 Made an FAI "Companion of Honour" in recognition of his services to world air sport.

Service to Ballooning:
1985 – 1989
Balloon Federation of America Gas Balloon Events Committee.
Chairman 1986 – 1989.

1987 - 1990 Board of Directors of the Balloon Federation of America (BFA).
President 1989 – 1990.

1989 – Present Co-founded the Soukup & Thomas International Balloon & Airship Museum in Tyndall (later Mitchell) South Dakota, USA. Board President 1989 – Present.

1990 – 1994 FAI Ballooning Commission Rules Subcommittee.
Chairman 1990 – 1994.

1991 - 1997 Board of Directors of the Virgin Islands Aero Club.
President 1991 - 1997.

1992 – 1997 Council of the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI).
Vice President 1992-1997.

1990 – 1997 Ballooning Commission of the FAI.
President 1994 – 1997.

Event Organization
During the 1980’s Jacques organized many of the national gas balloon competitions and in 1990 Jacques organized and was the Assistant Event Director for 6th World Gas Balloon Championship and the 1st World Roziere Balloon Championship held in South Dakota, USA. He immediately followed up these two events by organizing and directing the 1st Virgin Islands Hot Air Balloon Championship on St. Croix, Virgin Islands and the 2nd US Open Hot Air Airship Championship held in Tyndall, South Dakota, USA. He has also been appointed to serve on many international Juries at FAI sanctioned events and has often served as Jury President.