How We Can Help
If you are in, near, or can get to the Western New York area, we would love to fly with you! We offer a carefully developed-yet highly personalized-course of instruction. Our instruction is one-on-one, and we can give the exposure to most of the real life types of flying you may experience later in your flying career, such as passenger flights, promotional flights, tethering, and balloon rally situations. Our instructors are not only experienced, skilled pilots, they are also highly motivated as teachers. Our chief instructor, Mr. Carroll Teitsworth, is one of the more experienced balloon instructors in the country.

Flying Area

For anyone whose image of New York is the concrete jungle of Harlem or Astoria or Manhattan, be assured that western New York is a long way from New York City. We are a farm area with a very diverse agriculture, including a lot of dairy. We have rolling hills, rivers, lakes, trees, beautiful scenery, sheltered valleys and absolutely luxurious numbers of open fileds for landing sites.

Flying Weather

When it’s great, it’s really great, and when it’s not, it’s really not. You generally have to schedule at least 2 flights to average one flown. We cannot guarantee that you will go home with a license in a week. But you can do morning and evening year ’round, and our fall foliage is gorgeous. In winter, snow makes for soft landings. Springtime turns a pilot’s thoughts to flight and summer is hot and humid, but less so than further south. If you take your training from us, you will learn a great deal about analyzing weather forecasts and about how to decide when to stay on the ground, which will make you a better pilot!

Our graduates don’t just fly balloons. They wear them!


Our Chief Instructor, Mr. Carroll Teitsworth is a Designated Pilot Examiner. The fact that you can take your test with the instructor who supervises your training does not make the test easier. It means you will be well prepared! 

Buy a balloon or rent one?

In general, renting a balloon is not nearly as common as renting an airplane. That may be because so much ballooning is done at balloon festivals, where everyone wants to fly. Another reason may be that the colorful patterns of your own balloon can become a factor of great personal pride. Whatever the reasons, the question is, what about for training? To buy or to rent?

We advise for your consideration these points:

  • I want to be sure I really like the sport before I make the financial commitment of buying a balloon. So let me do some flying to be sure I like it. But on the other hand,
  • The money I spend on rental could be a nice down payment. It’s cheaper in the long run to buy early. And finally,
  • When I take my family for their first ride when I have my brand new license, I want to be very familiar and comfortable with the balloon I’m flying. This should not be my first flight in this particular balloon!

So our offer is this: you are welcome to rent our balloon as much as you wish as you start your training. As soon as you are ready to buy your own, we will gladly sell you the one you’ve been flying (some of the rental can even apply to purchase price). Or we will help you find the balloon that is just right for you.

New or used balloon? What about homebuilt?

New is nice. And state of the art equipment gives you a huge safety edge. But your training perios and first year or two of flying might very possibly put some hard use on your balloon. So many pilots start with a used balloon, then move up to a new one when their skills and commitment have reached that level. Also, it may take some time to determine what type of flying you like best. Will you like sport flying at rallies, or heavy duty competition? Do you want to fly paying passengers, or a corporate contract? The most important consideration in the balloon you buy is the type of flying you want to focus on.

The homebuilt balloon is much less expensive both in initial acquisition and in life long maintenance. It is a neat experience to build your own aircraft, and learn a LOT! But a homebuilt balloon cannot be used for commercial purposes. For more information on homebuilts, see