Learn How to

Become a Balloon Pilot


Call 1-855-266-7627 to Start Training with Us!

Learn How to

Become a Balloon Pilot


Call 1-855-266-7627 to Start Training with Us!

Pilot a Hot Air Balloon for a Hobby or Career


Freedom is among the top reason that people list for taking to the skies. In order to become completely unleashed among the clouds though, you will have to take control of the craft and become a pilot. Taking flight is one thing, but steering the hot air balloon yourself is an entirely new experience. There is nothing quite as rewarding as taking full ownership over what you are doing and where you are going in life. For a second, think back to getting your driver’s license as a 16 year old. In hindsight, the freedom to grab a burger without a ride from your parents may seem a bit muted, but at the moment there was nothing as incredible as this simple pleasure. If you want to recapture this small piece of freedom, becoming a pilot is a great way to do so.

Many people believe that becoming a pilot is unobtainable, but the fact is that the airways are more accessible than ever before. The key is to start small. No matter your interest level in piloting and the world of aerospace, there is a natural progression to the knowledge and skills needed. In fact, many commercial airline or helicopter pilots first look towards non motorized aircraft in order to gain a full understanding of everything that goes into flight. For many young and aspiring pilots, this first step entails discovering the world of hot air balloons.

Hot air balloons are a natural progression for any individual looking to discover more about the air because it was the first step that human kind took as well. As a species we have long looked towards the air. Many people forget that balloon flight came long before the modern planes and unpiloted aircrafts that we commonly associate with flight today. Humans have been taking to hot air balloon flights since 1783, long before the first aircraft took to the sky.

Pilatre De Rozier was the first voyager to take to the skies in a primitive balloon of his own invention. Though, it cannot be said that Rozier made the maiden voyage. In fact, just as was done with the first spacecraft, Rozier opted to send animals up on the first balloon ride. A duck, a sheep and a cockerel made for an interesting first group to say the least. Their voyage lasted for 15 minutes before crashing back down to earth safely. Nearly two months later on November 21, Pilatre de Rozier and the Marques d’Arlandes, a member of the French Military, took flight above the streets of Paris. The success of this flight was an incredibly noteworthy event across the globe as people from every nation realized this most momentous occasion. Rozier, however, was not satisfied. He wanted to test the limits of his balloons. On June 15, 1785, he attempted to fly clear across the English Channel. Unfortunately, he would not make it as the balloon, filled with hydrogen and hot air, exploded. Pilatre De Rozier perished that day, but his successes lived on through the hot air balloon.

Rozier and d’Arlandes’ successes in balloon flight were monumental in setting humankind up for everything that has been achieved in the 200 plus years since their initial flights. Any flight enthusiast would gain from a deeper understanding of the roots of flight and aircraft. While the invention of planes and helicopters has marked an advancement in the uses of flight, there is still nothing that compares to a balloon flight. It is simply the best way to connect with flying in the simplest way possible. The advancements have thankfully not taken away from the spirit of the hot air balloon ride. The balloon rides have become more enjoyable while remaining as simple as ever. The relaxing experience of floating above the clouds makes everything better. Relax and kick back as you forget about all of your worries on the ground and enjoy the company and the views.

“When once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return”Leonardo da Vinci

Looking to Start Your Pilot Training?

Pilot training classes for a sport pilot license or a private pilot license are available all throughout the nation! Our affiliates over at Flydar.com have a vast network of available flight schools. Whether you are looking to become a sport pilot, or want to further your training and earn a private pilot’s license, Flydar is sure to have an option for you! Choose the training you are looking for, below, and you’ll be on your way!

Requirements for Becoming a Balloon Pilot


The skies are just waiting to be explored, you just need to become a licensed pilot yourself. In order to be able to pilot a hot air balloon, a person must first possess a license. In the United States, these licenses are administered by the FAA. Just like helicopter and airplane pilots, a person looking to become a hot air balloon pilot must go through a bit of training. This will involve both in class and instructional based work. In flight training is one of the most important steps in learning to pilot a hot air balloon. Once an individual has accrued the necessary training hours, they are ready to take the FAA test and pilot a hot air balloon for themselves.

The first step in becoming a hot air balloon pilot is deciding which type of pilot you want to become. There are two different types of hot air balloon pilots. The first is a sport, or private pilot. By obtaining this license an individual will be able to pilot their own hot air balloon for any recreational purposes. There is nothing quite like being able to take flight whenever you so choose. With a sport pilot license you will be able to take friends and family into the skies as well.

Sports Pilot License

Start Your New Hobby and See the World Like Never Before

Becoming a Sport pilot is the quickest path to the world of being a pilot. It is also a necessary first step for anybody looking to pursue further flight credentials, including becoming a hot air balloon pilot. There is no better stepping stone into flight than becoming a Sport pilot. A sports pilot training school program will provide a student with flight training and knowledge in order to become certified and licensed. Choosing the proper program is a very important decision for anybody looking towards a future as a pilot.

The right school will provide a student with everything they need in their pursuits in the world of piloting. While every school employs a varied curriculum and employs differing instructional techniques, each one will have to provide students with in flight training. The FAA oversees all pilot requirements, whether the crafts are hot air or helicopters. The goal of the federal administered rules is to create safety in the air, no matter the aircraft.

As mentioned, becoming a pilot requires quite a bit of training and preparation. The first requirement is that an applicant pilot is at least 16 years of age. The first step for anybody interested is to go to the nearest FAA office. There you will need to obtain a student pilot certificate which will be a first step for anybody looking to become a pilot. Once you have the student pilot certificate, the next step is training for 10 hours. There will be an instructor with the student for 6 of these hours of required training time. One entire flight must be performed solo and one ascent must be to a height of at least 2,000 feet. There is also a requirement that at least two of the training flights that take place are at least one hour in length. All of this training must be completed within 60 days of the hot air balloon rating application.

Private Pilots License

Become a Professional Pilot and Start Your Business…Doing What You Love!

The second rating that a person can seek to obtain as a hot air balloon pilot is a commercial pilot. In order to become a commercial pilot an individual must have completed at least 35 hours of instructional flight time. Of these 35 hours, at least 20 must occur in a hot air balloon. The remaining 15 hours of flight time can be performed in any other type of aircraft, as long as it is completed in a course that has been approved by the FAA. This has been included as a caveat to the license for a commercial hot air balloon pilot as many individuals have looked to undergo dual licensing in a number of different aircraft. In order to assist these people and in an effort to make the skies more accessible for everybody, the FAA has made attempts like this as of recently. At any rate, after obtaining the required 35 hours of instructional flight time, the commercial pilot must pass an additional written, oral, and flight check prior to being issued a commercial pilot’s license. The holder of a commercial pilot’s license may operate a balloon for hire and may give flight instruction.

Many people wonder what the benefit of obtaining such a license may be. Considering the fact that a commercial hot air balloon pilot does have to go through quite a bit more training in order to obtain a license, these thoughts are natural. The fact of the matter is that a hot air balloon pilot is a highly demanded job across the aerospace industry. As more and more pilots move towards motorized or even unpiloted machines, there is a high need for more people to take the role of piloting these incredibly beautiful crafts. Across the industry, there is nothing quite like becoming a commercial hot air balloon pilot.

The fact is that no other commercial pilot is able to provide the level of personalized and customized experience that a hot air balloon pilot can. The naturally intimate setting of the basket provides the perfect atmosphere for a pilot to truly connect with the passengers of a hot air balloon. Moreover, a hot air balloon experience is something entirely unlike any other type of flight. Flying in an airplane or a helicopter generally entails that a passenger has a destination in mind. There are deadlines to meet and schedules to keep. This is simply not the case in a hot air balloon. With mother nature and the wind at the helm of the flight length and pattern, there is nothing in the way of a pilot and passenger establishing a rapport throughout the flight–however long it may be.

Many a pilot is initially attracted to the hobby due to the high amount of freedom that it offers. What is incredible is that this thought process applies to those who seek to make this hobby a career. As a professional commercial pilot, you will be able to largely set your own schedule. Deciding where you want to get into the air and when you want to do it goes a long way in allowing for a pilot to be master of their own domain. There are so many benefits to owning your own hot air balloon services company, the least of which is the fact that you will be able to get into the sky as often as you would like.