LEARN TO FLY FOR FREE! Join our Ground Crew Apprentice Program, and earn valuable credits towards your flight training.
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Flight Training

Have you ever dreamed of piloting a hot air balloon? Balloon Impressions is licensed by the FAA to provide flight training for aspiring hot air balloon pilots. We hope that you will learn to fly with us.

Our Flight Training Program

Our flight training, given on week nights or weekends, can be intense. You receive ten (10) hours of one-on-one ground-based flight training—coupled with personal reading and self study—to satisfy the FAA certification requirement for a Private Pilot "lighter than air" rating.

Ground-based flight training for Private Pilot certification covers:

  • Aeronautical theory
  • Meteorology
  • Navigation
  • Flight rules
  • Procedures
  • Airmanship

Upon completion of the Private Pilot "lighter-than-air" ground school, you are given a written test to prepare you for your actual FAA written test. Once you have satisfactorily passed the FAA written test, you can begin the Practical Training and actually learn to fly a hot air balloon.

2010 Flight Training Tuition
Ground School $495.00 (includes all class materials)
** Does not include FAA fee for written test **
Flight Training $395.00 per hour in our balloon
$150.00 per hour in your balloon
** Does not include fees for Practical Test **

Listed below are FAA minimum requirements for certification:

Subpart C — Student Pilots
1- A student must be at least 14 years of age.
2- Applicants must be able to read, write, speak, and understand the English language.
3- No medical certificate is required, but the applicant must certify that he/she 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 solo after (a) demonstrating to their instructor that they are familiar with Part 91 of the FAA regulations; (b) passing a pre-solo written examination; and (c) are proficient in the following aspects of balloon operation: Pre-flight preparation, operation of controls, lift-off and climb, descent and landing, and emergency situations.
6- A Student Pilot may fly a balloon only under the supervision of a qualified instructor. He/she may not carry passengers or fly a balloon for hire.
SubPart D — Private Pilots
1- To be eligible for a Private Pilot Certificate, a person must be at least 16 years of age.
2- Applicants must read, write, speak, and understand the English language.
3- No medical certificate is required. Same as Paragraph 3 above.
4- The applicant must pass a written test on such items as: (a) FAA regulations covering pilot privileges, limitations, and flight procedures; (b) Use of navigational charts; (c) Recognition of weather conditions and use of weather reports; and (d) Operating procedures with gas and hot air balloons.
5- The applicant must have received instruction on the following pilot operations: (a) Ground handling and inflation, (b) pre-flight checks, (c) takeoff and ascents, (d) descents and landings, and (e) emergency conditions.
6- Flight experience must include at least 10 hours of flight instruction in free balloons, with at least 6 flights under the supervision of a qualified instructor.
7- These 6 flights must include the following: (a) Two flights of a least one hour in duration within 60 days of the Practical Test with a designated pilot examiner; (b) One ascent to 2,000 feet above takeoff point; and (c) One solo flight. NOTE: These requirements are for hot air balloons—the requirements for gas balloons vary slightly.
SubPart E — Commercial Pilots
1- The age requirement for a Commercial Pilot certificate is 18 years.
2- Applicant must read, write, 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, including additional operating procedures relating to commercial operations and those duties required of a flight instructor.
5- Advanced training, from an authorized instructor, must inclue at least 10 hours of flight training in at least 10 flights regarding those items listed in Paragraph 5 above, plus emergency recovery from a terminal velocity descent.
6- The applicant for a Commercial Pilot certificate must hold at least a Private Pilot certificate and have at least 35 hours of flight time as a pilot, of which 20 hours must be in a balloon. Flight time must include: (a) 2 solo flights, (b) 2 flights of at least one hour duration within 60 days of the Practical Test with a designated pilot examiner, and (c) one flight to 3,000 feet above takeoff point.

Not sure if hot air ballooning is for you? Join our team of ground crew members, and get hands-on experience while earning valuable credits towards your ground school and flight training. Call our office for more details at 513-724-6400.