Learning to fly a balloon can seem to be a daunting task, but we can make it easier for you.
New! Business Guide
We are often asked about the feasibility of starting a balloon ride business in some far-off location. Unfortunately, there are no easy answers since there are many variables to consider. Everything from weather, location, regulations, to the size of balloon that is used can make or break a balloon ride business. We've just published our own guide that will give all the items, point by point, that you need to research before you spend tens of thousands of dollars on a hot air balloon and support equipment.
This book was written by a veteran of the balloon business who has been a pilot for over 30 years. This insider's guide will prove invaluable as you do your research.
Starting a Balloon Ride Business
In the US, you are trained by an instructor that holds a commercial balloon pilot certificate. The FAA has published a great guide that explains the training and certification process. You can order and immediately download the PDF version of the FAA's Student Pilot Guide from our store:
Student Pilot Guide
Balloon Flying Handbook
This new version of the FAA's balloon flying handbook is probably the best single book for those interested in learning more about flying balloons. PDF version can be downloaded immediately.
Private Pilot Practical Test Standards
This is the official FAA list of what should be covered during your checkride when applying for a Private balloon pilot's license. It is used by the examiner so is an invaluable guide for the student. Download now.
Commercial Pilot Practical Test Standards
This is the official FAA list of what will be included during your Commercial baalloon pilot checkride. It is used by the examiner so is an invaluable guide for the applicant. Immediate Download.
Pilot's Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge
The FAA's comprehensive handbook for all pilots. While this isn't specifically for balloon pilots, it is an invaluable textbook and reference for anyone learning to fly. Highly recommended for all students. PDF version can be downloaded immediately.
The following articles are written mainly for those who are current or future balloon pilots, but may be of interest to others learning about hot air ballooning.
This article by Ruth Ludwig originally appeared in the November 1995 issue of Flight Training magazine. It is a great overview of how balloons fly, what it takes to become a pilot, and why balloon flight is so addicting! It is reprinted here with permission.
Learn how a fortunate few are able to earn a living in this wonderful sport.
Veteran balloonist Bruce Comstock tells what it takes to plan a successful long distance flight. There's more planning than you might have thought!