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Pilot Training

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Endless Mountains Hot Air Balloons, Inc. offers both Private and Commercial Hot Air Balloon Pilot Training. Contact us for details.

What does it take to become a balloon pilot?

To become a hot air balloon pilot it requires a passion to fly, commitment, training, patience, and time. One of the best ways to decide if you want to commit to becoming a hot air balloon pilot is to participate as an active crew member. This gives you an opportunity to learn and experience the concepts of ballooning and all that is required to fly a balloon. Once you have experience as a crew member you will have learned the “basics” and are better prepared to expand your knowledge and gain the experience needed to pilot the balloon. Every balloon flight is a little bit different and there is always something new to learn. Student pilots and certified pilots must approach each flight with an open mind, the willingness to learn, and the highest standard of safety and performance. Some say that earning a pilot certificate is earning a license to learn. All Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) requirements must be satisfied. As with any FAA regulated aircraft Student, Private, and Commercial pilot certificates are required.

Student Pilot Requirements

Every new pilot starts as a student pilot. Your flight instructor can help you obtain a Student Pilot Certificate from the local FAA office or FAA Designated Examiner. If you have already obtained a FAA certificate to pilot any other type of aircraft, a new student certificate is not required. The Student Pilot Certificate allows you to begin your formal training to obtain a Private Pilot Certificate.

Private Pilot

To become a private pilot, you must fulfill the following minimum requirements as a student pilot:

  • The minimum age to become a Private Pilot is 16.
  • Read, speak, write and understand English.
  • Have at least 10 hours of training which must include the following:
    • 6 flights with an instructor
    • One solo flight
    • One ascent to 2000 feet above the takeoff point
    • 2 flights of 1 hour each within 60 days prior to rating application
  • Pass the written FAA Knowledge Test (or at a minimum, hold a Private Pilot Certificate for powered aircraft).
  • Pass the Practical Knowledge test (oral and flight) given by a designated FAA Flight Examiner or FAA Inspector.

Commercial Pilot

To become a commercial pilot, you must fulfill the following minimum requirements:

  • Be at least 18 years of age
  • Read, speak, write and understand English
  • Hold at least a Private Pilot Certificate
  • Have at least 35 hours of training, including 20 hours in balloons, which must include the following:
    • 10 flights in balloons
    • 10 hours of flight training that includes at least 10 flights with an instructor
    • Two flights as pilot in command
    • One ascent to 3000 feet above the takeoff point
    • 2 flights of 1 hour each within 60 days prior to rating application
  • Pass the written FAA Knowledge Test (or at a minimum, hold a Private Pilot Certificate for powered aircraft).
  • Pass the Practical Knowledge Test (oral and flight) given by a designated FAA Flight Examiner or FAA Inspector.
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