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Training is challenging, but fun!

A licensed pilot must complete ground school and flight training with a certified hot air commercial pilot. To become a licensed hot air balloon pilot you must:

1. Pass a Federal Aviation written examination. There are five theory exams. Topics covered include:

  • Meteorology
  • Aerostatics
  • Airmanship
  • Navigation
  • Flight Rules and Procedures
  • Code of Conduct

2. Obtain the regulated hours of flight time with at least two solo hours.

3. Pass a flight test with a FAA examiner and furnish a medical statement of health.

It takes about 15 hours of 'hands on' instruction to obtain the flying skills required to sit and pass your private pilot's flight test. Most students complete the training in one to three months. However, training times vary because much depends upon the student.



Student Pilots

Before you begin your training, you will need to obtain a student pilot's certification.

Student pilot certificates can be issued by FAA inspectors or designated pilot examiners.

  • Student pilots must be at least 14 years of age.
  • No medical certificate is required, but applicant must certify that he has no known medical defect that would prevent him from piloting a balloon.
  • Student pilots may solo under the supervision of a qualified instructor, but must first demonstrate to their instructor that they are proficient in pre-flight preparation, operation of controls, lift-off and climb, descent and landing, and emergency procedures.
  • Student pilots may not carry passengers.

Hot Air Balloon Pilot
Pilot a Hot Air Balloon

Private Pilot Certification

You must be at least 16 years of age to be eligible for a private pilot's certificate. No medical certificate is required, but you must certify that you do not have any known medical defects that would prevent you from piloting a balloon. You must pass a written test that will cover:

  • FAA Regulations covering pilot privileges, limitations, and flight procedures.
  • Use of navigation charts.
  • Weather conditions & reports as they relate to ballooning.
  • Operating procedures with gas and hot air balloons.

Must have at least 10 hours of flight experience, of which 6 must have been under the supervision of an instructor. Flights must have included:

  • Tow flights of at least 30 minutes
  • One ascent to 3000 feet above takeoff point
  • One solo flight

Commercial Pilot Certification

You must be at least 18 years of age. No medical certificate required, but you must certify that you do not have any known medical defects that would prevent you from piloting a balloon. You must pass a comprehensive written exam that encompasses all the material required for a Private Pilot Certificate, and additional operating procedures relating to commercial operations and requirements for flight instructors. Training for all procedures required for a Private Certification must be received from an authorized instructor, plus emergency recovery from a terminal velocity descent:

  • At least 35 hours of flight time as a pilot.
  • 20 hours of flight time in balloons.
  • 6 hours of flight time under the supervision of an instructor.
  • 2 flights of at least one hour duration.
  • 1 flight to 5000 feet above the takeoff point.

Hot Air Ballooning Pilot

Get Certified.

Become a hot air balloon pilot. Get started by calling 1-850-972-8808 and speaking with our representatives.