Experienced Balloon Pilot and Hot-Air Balloon Competition Director Jim Birk returns to Battle Creek once again to be the "Balloon Meister" for the Battle Creek Field of Flight Balloon Competition. Jim Birk is experienced in the sport of ballooning, is one of the most respected members in the ballooning community and is, simply, one of the best. Jim challenges pilots with tasks while also still reminding everyone of why the sport of ballooning is so great. Birk is also completely focused on safety and will make the right call on when not to launch based on weather criteria. He would not send pilots up in something he himself would not fly in. Jim is the former Chairman of the Events committee of the Balloon Federation of America and has been involved with the event in Battle Creek for well over three decades. We welcome him back in 2018, coming to Battle Creek from Defiance, Ohio.