Learn To Fly A Hot Air Balloon
You and your friends drift over the countryside in the basket of a hot air balloon. Floating effortlessly, you are at one with the wind, the earth and sky. Hot air balloons offer romantic adventure and a unique way to enjoy the outdoors with family and friends. Best of all, balloonists form a community unlike any other. We love this sport and invite you to join us. If you’ve ever dreamed about flying a balloon, here is our plan for making your dream come to life.
Try it! Most people who decide to try ballooning have gazed at one floating silently over the countryside just after sunrise. Or, they have gone to a balloon event and gotten goose bumps watching a balloon envelope rise to the size of a ten-story building as the roaring flame of its burner breathes life into it.
The yearning to be in the basket as it lifts away from the earth in defiance of gravity is almost irresistible.
“How can I do that?” is the question.
Celebration Aviation has professional pilots offering balloon rides. Typically, a balloon ride cost $185.00 per person for a 1 hour flight. Usually arrangements can be made with 1-to-2 week’s notice.
A better way to get experience ballooning is to volunteer to be a crew member. Crew members assist with inflation, participate in the “chase”, help pack up after landing and join in the post- flight celebration. While you may not fly right away, you will have a chance to get some hands-on experience and a chance to share the fun of a ballooning adventure. And, eventually your opportunity to fly is usually a reward for your crewing effort.
Find Your Sense of Style… Express Yourself! There are about as many shapes, sizes and designs of balloons as there are people. Picking out the one that is “right” for you is part of the fun. Your decision should be based on your needs after you have become aware of what is available. A used balloon can be a good way to get into the sport although you will want to have it inspected at an FAA repair station or the manufacturer before you buy.
Keep Your Dollar Sense Even while you’re dreaming, a little practicality is a good thing – when it comes to money, good used balloons begin at about $18,000, while you can expect to pay about $38,000 for a new one. Larger or more elaborate balloons range from $55,000 to $80,000 or more.
- Flight training for a private pilot’s license ($2,800-$3,800)
- Balloon insurance ($700-$1,200/year)
- Inflation fan ($900-$1,500)
- 2-Way radios (optional, but very useful)
- Chase vehicle (pick-up truck, trailer or van)
- Fuel ($40 – $60/flying hour)
- Champagne (for those post-flight celebrations!)
Feed Your Mind: Thinking about ballooning can be almost as much fun as doing it. Here are a few books we recommend:
- ‘Ballooning’ by Dick Wirth, edited by Per Lindstrand
- ‘Balloon Digest’, a publication of the Balloon Federation of America (with contributions from Phil Thompson of Lindstrand Balloons)
- ‘Hot Air Balloon Crewing Essentials’ by Gordon Schwontkowski
Or subscribe to a ballooning publication:
- ‘Ballooning Journal’ published by the Balloon Federation of America, P.O. Box 400, Indianola, IA 50125, ph: (515) 961-8809
You can join a national balloon organization:
- Balloon Federation of America (BFA) is the oldest balloon organization in the US. Visit them at www.bfa.net
Key Facts About Lindstrand Balloons:
- Lindstrand Balloons USA, is a fully US-owned manufacturing company based in Galena, Illinois.
- Lindstrand offers a full range of U.S. type certified sport, commercial, ride and special shape balloons to meet the needs of all balloonists.
- At Lindstrand we believe “fun” should come as standard equipment on every balloon we build. Get some help with your dreaming by ordering your free Lindstrand information packet today!
Ground-based flight training covers aeronautical theory in subject areas such as meteorology, navigation, aviation flight rules and procedures, and airmanship. This flight training can be time intense so scheduling is required. About 10 -12 hours of ground-based flight training (coupled with personal reading and self study) is required to be certified with a private pilot “lighter than air” rating. About 20 – 24 hours of ground-based flight instruction is required for a commercial rating. The culmination of your ground based flight training will involve taking a FAA approved written and oral examination.
Flight-based instruction requires about 12 – 15 hours of flight time to obtain the flying skills required to be considered competent as a private pilot (Commercial ratings require a minimum of 10 additional hours of flight instruction and a minimum total of 35 hours of flight time). No Medical is required. Celebration Aviation has trained students to a commercial rating in a few as 21 days but this is not typical. Most students complete the private in-flight training in about three to six months, however actual training times vary based on individual student abilities and the availability of flyable weather during the instruction period.
Flight training in the balloon is normally given mornings, depending on weather, in one of the fleet balloons depending on the training requirements for that flight. Celebration Aviation has instructors with thousands of hour of flight time and teaching experience.
Private Pilot (Student Certificate – Must be at least 14 years old.)
The basic requirements include:
Must be 16 years old.
Minimum of 10 hours of flight time
Minimum of 6 Instruction flights of at least 30 minutes duration
One flight to 2000 ft. AGL
One solo flight
Written FAA exam (if you have no previous pilot certificates.)FAA Private Pilot Airmen Knowledge Test Guide.
Flight Test with an FAA examiner or Designated Examiner. FAA Private Pilot Practical Test Standards
No medical is required.
Must be 18 years old.
Minimum of 35 flight hours, 20 of which must be in a balloon.
10 additional hours of commercial flight instruction.
One flight to 3000 ft. AGL
Total of two solo flights.
Written FAA exam (if you do not have a commercial pilot certificate in any other powered category.) FAA Commercial Pilot Airmen Knowledge Test Questions.
Flight Test with an FAA examiner or Designated Examiner. FAA Commercial Pilot Practical Test Standards
No medical is required.
Flight Training Rates:
350.00/ hr. in our equipment
$150.00/ hr. in your equipment
(Including ground instruction)
Ground Instruction Rates:
Designated Examiner Fee: