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What it takes to learn to fly a Balloon...

Information for Pilot Certificates...

The following is extracted and simplified from Federal Aviation Regulation Part 61 - Certification: Pilots and Flight Instructors.

A student pilot's certificate must be obtained before beginning training. Successful completion of training leads to a private pilot's certificate, lighter-than-air category with a free balloon class rating. After further training and experience a commercial rating may be obtained, qualifying an individual to fly for hire or to instruct. The following are the general requirements for student, private, and commercial certificates:

Subpart C - Student Pilots

1.A student must be at least 14 years of age.
2.He must be able to read, speak, and understand the English language (some exceptions allowed).
3.No medical certificate is required, but the applicant must certify that he has no known medical defect that makes him unable to pilot a free balloon.
4.Student pilot certificates may be issued by FAA inspectors or designated pilot examiners.
5.Student pilots may also solo after demonstrating to their instructor that they are familiar with Part 91 of the Federal Aviation Regulations and are
proficient in the following aspects of balloon operation:
Pre-flight preparation
Operation of controls
Lift-off and climb
Descent and landing
Emergency situations
6.A student pilot may fly a balloon only under the supervision of a qualified instructor. He may not carry passengers or fly a balloon for hire.

Subpart D - Private Pilots

1.To be eligible for a free balloon private pilot's certificate a person must be at least 16 years of age.
2.Read, speak and understand the English language.
3.No medical certificate required. Same as paragraph 3 above.
4.The applicant must pass a written test on such items as:
Federal Aviation Regulations covering pilot privileges, limitation, and flight procedures
Use of navigation charts
Recognition of weather conditions and use of weather reports
Operating procedures with gas and hot air balloons
5.The applicant must have received instructions on the following pilot operations:
Ground handling and inflation
Preflight checks
Takeoff and ascents
Descents and landings
Emergency conditions
6.Flight experience must include at least 10 hours in free balloons, which must include 6 flights under the supervision of an instructor. These flights
must include at least the following:
Two flights of at least 30 minutes duration
One ascent to 3,000 feet above takeoff point
One solo flight

(These requirements are for hot air balloons; requirements for gas balloons are slightly different)

Subpart E - Commercial Pilots

1.The age requirement for a commercial pilot certificate is 18 years.
2.Read, speak, and understand the English language.
3.No medical certificate required. Same as paragraph 3 above.
4.The applicant must pass a more advanced written test on the subject matter listed in paragraph 4 above, additional operating procedures relating to
commercial operations and those duties required of a flight instructor.
5.Advanced training must be received from an authorized instructor including those items listed in paragraph 5 above plus emergency recovery from a
terminal velocity descent.
6.The applicant for a commercial certificate must have at least 35 hours of flight time as a pilot, of which 20 must be in balloons (remaining 15 hours
may be in other aircraft). Flight time must include 10 flights in free balloons, 6 under the supervision of an instructor, 2 solo flights, 2 flights of at
least one hour duration, and one flight to 5,000 feet above the take-off point.
7.The holder of a commercial pilot's certificate may operate a balloon for hire and may give flight instruction.

Z-Balloon Adventures is authorized by the FAA to train student pilots and for additional flight training to obtain a commercial rating and also to administer annual flight reviews and bi-annual flight reviews.

Please contact us for our current rates at 515-265-2402

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Call us at 515-265-2402



We reserve the right to refuse any balloon rides for the safety of our other passengers as well as the people on the ground as well as the pilot and flight crew.
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