Flight Instruction

Southern Balloon Journeys offers flight instruction for those wanting to pursue a pilot’s license. Flight instruction is done under FAR Part 61 which allows Commercial rated balloon pilots to give lessons to those aspiring to become pilots. The first step is to obtain a Student Pilots license and then start flight instruction for either a Private  Pilot or a Commercial Pilot rating. 

 

Student Pilot

Requirements to obtain a Student Pilot license in hot air balloons are being able to speak, read, write and understand  the English language and be a least 14 years old. There are no testing requirements to pass and the applicant will usually receive their Student Pilot license upon completing the application. A medical certificate is not required for flying hot air balloons.

 

Private Pilot

Those wanting to acquire a Private Pilot rating need to be at least 16 years of age and have a minimum of 10 hours of flight instruction. Included in the 10 hour minimum is six flights with an instructor, one solo flight and one flight involving a control ascent to 2000 feet above the launch site. You will need an endorsement from an authorized instructor certifying you are prepared for the required knowledge test and pass that test. Also, you will need an endorsement from an authorized instructor certifying you are prepared for the Practical Test more commonly know as your check ride. For the check ride you will be required to be within 100′ +/- of an assigned altitude and for ascent & descent rates.
Private Pilot Practical Test Standards

 

Commercial Pilot

For those wanting to obtain a Commercial Pilot rating will need to be at least 18 years old and have a minimum of 35 hours of flight time as a pilot. Of that 35 hours 20 of them need to be in balloons with at least 10 flights in balloons and two solo flights. One flight will need to include a control ascent to 3000′ above the launch site. You will need an endorsement from an authorized instructor certifying you are prepared for the required knowledge test and pass that test. Also, you will need an endorsement from an authorized instructor certifying you are prepared to take the Practical Test more commonly know as your check ride. For the check ride you will be required to be within 50′ +/- of an assigned altitude and for ascent & descent rates.
Commercial Pilot Practical Test Standards

 

Listed below are suggested books for study. They can be downloaded from the FAA website or purchase from various vendors.
The Balloon Flying Handbook
Aviation Weather
Aviation Weather Services

And for pilots who pursue a Commercial Pilot’s certificate this book is also recommended

Aviation Instructor’s Handbook

FlightSchoolList.Com Aviation School Directory