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Colorado Hot Air Balloon Pilot Certification.

The Best Hot Air Balloon Pilot Training in Colorado!

If your desire to explore the aeronautics of ballooning extends beyond the joy of a once in a lifetime ride, then you may be looking for information on obtaining your pilot’s certification. Look no further! Denver Hot Air Balloons can guide you through the process.

You can expect your training to be very challenging, but a tremendous amount of fun!

A licensed pilot in Colorado has completed ground school and flight training with a certified hot air commercial pilot. This process consists of:

  • Passing a Federal Aviation written examination:
    • There are five theory exams.
    • Topics covered include:
      • Meteorology
      • Aerostatics
      • Airmanship
      • Navigation
      • Flight Rules and Procedures
      • Code of Conduct
    • Obtaining the regulated hours of flight time with at least two solo hours
    • Passing a flight test with a FAA examiner and furnishing a medical statement of health

It takes about 15 hours of 'hands on' instruction to obtain the flying skills required to sit and pass your private pilot's flight test. Most Colorado students complete the training in one to three months. However, training times vary because much depends upon the student.

Student Pilots

Before you begin your training, you will need to obtain a student pilot’s certification in Colorado.

  • Student pilot certificates can be issued by FAA inspectors
    or designated pilot examiners.
  • Student pilots must be at least 14 years of age.
  • No medical certificate is required, but applicant must certify that he has no known medical defect that would prevent him from piloting a balloon.
  • Student pilots may solo under the supervision of a qualified instructor, but must first demonstrate to their instructor that they are proficient in pre-flight preparation, operation of controls, lift-off and climb, descent and landing, and emergency procedures.
  • Student pilots may not carry passengers.

Private Pilot Certification

  • You must be at least 16 years of age to be eligible for a private pilot’s certificate in Colorado.
  • No medical certificate is required, but you must certify that you do not have any known medical defects that would prevent you from piloting a balloon.
  • You must pass a written test that will cover:
    • FAA Regulations covering pilot privileges, limitations, and flight procedures
    • Use of navigation charts
    • Weather conditions & reports as they relate to ballooning
    • Operating procedures with gas and hot air balloons
    • Instruction should have been received in ground handling and inflation, preflight checks, takeoff and ascents, descents and landings, and emergency procedures.
    • Must have at least 10 hours of flight experience, of which 6 must have been under the supervision of an instructor. Flights must have included:
      • Tow flights of at least 30 minutes
      • One ascent to 3000 feet above takeoff point
      • One solo flight

Commercial Pilot Certification

  • You must be at least 18 years of age in Colorado.
  • No medical certificate required, but you must certify that you do not have any known medical defects that would prevent you from piloting a balloon.
  • You must pass a comprehensive written exam that encompasses all the material required for a Private Pilot Certificate, and additional operating procedures relating to commercial operations and requirements for flight instructors.
  • Training for all procedures required for a Private Certification must be received from an authorized instructor, plus emergency recovery from a terminal velocity descent.
  • Required 35 hours of flight time for a commercial certificate must include:
    • At least 35 hours of flight time as a pilot
    • 20 hours of flight time in balloons
    • 6 hours of flight time under the supervision of an instructor
    • 2 solo flights
    • 2 flights of at least one hour duration
    • 1 flight to 5000 feet above the take off point

Whatever your goals may be, we can help you achieve them. Contact Denver Hot Air Balloons at 1-800-279-3861 to begin today!



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