We don’t know how many of our members or their family members have been stricken by the COVID 19 virus, but yesterday, it’s seriousness brought tragedy as Ted Watts lost his battle with the disease. Ted was a vital member of you BFA Board of Directors. Ted had been hospitalized for the past several weeks battling for his life. He had lost his brother to COVID several months ago.
Ted completed law school and became a JAG Officer in the United States Army from 1971 to 1976 when he left active duty and went into private practice. He had continued to practice until he was sickened by COVID.
Ted first became pilot in 1988 and he initiated a balloon event in Meadeville, PA and served as the Chairman of the event ever since. He went on to earn his commercial rating as well as his gas balloon rating. He became a member of the BFA in 1995 and had served in many capacities over the past 25 years. Ted worked with a BFA blue ribbon committee during discussions with the NTSB and the FAA on the impact of the tragic Lockhart, Texas accident and its impact on future regulations. He was deeply involved in crafting the official BFA position statement on the impact of potential new regulations. He has made numerous presentations at BFA sanctioned safety seminars at locations all over the US.
Ted has served on its Board of Directors as well as its liaison to the Hot Air Competition Division for the past four years and was recently reelected to another three-year term. Ted has served as a safety officer and other official capacities on local, national and International events. Ted is a recipient of both the Spirit of Annie and Steve Lachendro Memorial Awards presented by the Northeast Ohio Balloon Pilot’s Association.
On a more personal note, Ted was a friend. He was always there to provide both wisdom as well as legal opinion on many issues in ballooning. He will be missed as a dear friend, advocate of ballooning and for his passion. Please keep Ted’s family in your prayers.
As part of our BFA family, please stay safe through this pandemic.
On behalf of our Board of Directors