30 May 2019

Hall of Fame Inductee - Paolo Bonanno

PAOLO BONANNO           


Friday October 4 2019 this year’s acknowledged CIA Hall of Fame inductees Paolo Bonanno and Norma Pritchard (deceased) will be honoured at Anderson Abruzzo Albuquerque International Balloon Museum, next to Fiesta Park in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Paolo Bonanno (Italy) embraced the sport of hot air ballooning at the age of 36 by building his own balloon in only 12 days – basket, burner and envelope.

The success of his first flight in his newly constructed balloon put him on a path of working with innovative ideas producing future safety systems that would carry his name and build this reputation: the Bonanno quick release, the safety valves and burners produced in the past twenty years by some of the major balloon producers around the world.

Paolo developed and made the burners for the first Atlantic Chrysler Rosier challenge, Bonanno Quick release Bonanno liquid propane filters, Bonanno Fuel Level, electronic gas level indicators for airships and hot-air balloons. The Bonanno Freedom, single & duo, a Folding Hopper that can be transported as checked luggage in airlines travels, and soon the Bonanno “Sky for everyone”, a special basket for paraplegic pilots and paraplegic passengers.

When not working at the technical aspect of the sport he loved Paolo Bonanno chased targets to hold the title of Italian Champion for the years 1989, 1991, 1993, 1995, 1996, 1997, 2008.

In 2005 he was a founding member of the Mongolfiere Aeroclub of Mondovi city, currently vice president.

In 2013 Paolo was awarded the Montgolfier Diploma with the BBAC award presented to him the following year.

This inspirational Italian balloonist was nominated in 2015 for the CIA Hall of Fame.  It was four years later at the age of 75 and after 39 years of dedicated contribution to his sport Paolo Bonanno was inducted into the CIA Hall of Fame. 

Today he is considered the “Maestro” of burners by thousands of pilots all over the world.