Tom Ricke is from Clive, Iowa. When Tom married his wife, Julie, he married into a ballooning family. His father-in-law flew for 25 years. He has been a licensed balloon pilot for 14 years and has 425 hours as pilot-in-command of a balloon. Tom is a banker by trade.
The name of his original balloon was "Pastime", which is the name of his wife's favorite authentic Mexican restaurant in Mason City, Iowa. In 2013, Tom will be flying his new balloon called "Another Pastime".
This will be Tom's 15th year participating in the Field of Flight Hot-Air Competition. His crew consists of his wife Julie, son Jacob, daughters Morgan Smith and Courtney Schulte and nephew Phillip Johnson.