About Us

We are THE Premier Hot Air Ballooning Competition Club

Top Gun was founded in Albuquerque, New Mexico the hot air balloon capital of the World.  The club was incorporated in 1987 as a 501 (c) 3 educational organization with the purpose of helping balloon pilots improve their skills through education and the sport of friendly competition.  The club organizes and hosts educational seminars, schools, and competitive balloon flights to help safely improve the pilot’s skills necessary to be better pilots. Club flights are always educational and provide friendships between pilots who are interested in this aspect of the Sport.  The club also promotes hot air ballooning in general.

We have monthly competitions where our Top Gun Pilots fly with each other for the monthly Top Gun title and ultimately the club championship.

Board of Directors 2024


Collin McClung, cmcclung@topgunballooning.org

Vice President

Jeff Ashworth, jashworth@topgunballooning.org


Jeff Duff, jduff@topgunballooning.org


Dave Bagley, dbagley@topgunballooning.org


Shane Shipman | sshipman@topgunballooning.org
Rebecca Desantis | rdesantis@topgunballooning.org
Natasha Stanke | nstanke@topgunballooning.org

Trent Caldwell | tcaldwell@topgunballooning.org

Eric Greenwood | egreenwood@topgunballooning.org

Top Gun Founders

Top Gun Competition Hot Air Balloon Club Founders
Top Gun Founders and Recognized Lifetime Members. Photo taken with the Top Gun Championship Trophy that is still on display in the Albuquerque International Balloon Museum today. Left to Right: Scott Appelman, Paul Smith, Troy Bradley, Wayne Bond, Mark Sullivan. Circa 1987

Top Gun Lifetime Members

We would like to recognize our Lifetime Members who have generously supported Top Gun not just financially, but also by their contributions of time and effort as present and former Club Officers, Board Members, and Support Staff.

Natasha Stanke – Board Member

Elisa Talbert – Past Vice President and Board Member

Steve Williams – Past Secretary and Board Member

JJ Mancini – Past RGC Champion