Training Overview

Selecting an Instructor

Flight training is a very personalized process. Usually an instructor flies with an individual student in a one on one teaching situation. Because of this, we recommend that a student give careful consideration to his/her choice of instructors. It is important that your instructor’s personality mesh well with yours. It is obviously also important that your instructor be a safe, skillfull, conscientious pilot. Likewise, it is critical that your instructor be able and willing to teach. One can be a skillful pilot without being a good teacher. Many balloonists do not consider themselves flight instructors, so you may need to ask around your local balloon community to find those who do offer instruction.

We offer two guidelines for your search:

  • A good instructor is cheap at any price. A bad instructor is expensive (exhorbitantly so!) at any price. When you find a good one, don’t quibble on price. Spend as much as it takes (not only in dollars, but also in time, attention and effort) to absorb as much as you can from him or her.
  • No pilot knows it all. No instructor can teach it all. Look for opportunties to fly with different instructors. Take the best from each and build that into your own technique.

Topics Covered in Training

The specific details about what should be taught, and about what a student balloonist should learn and be able to do, are found primarily in two places: Part 61 of the Federal Aviation Regulations (FARs) and in the Practical Test Standards. Be sure to have your own copy of each, and familiarize yourself with them.