Types of licenses

There are three licenses that the FAA gives out. A student license, a private license, and a commercial license. Each license requires more experience and qualifications.

A student license doesn’t actually allow you to fly a balloon on your own. It allows you to obtain a private license. To receive a student license, the following must apply to you:

If you meet the requirements, you can fill out the application and receive a student license.

A private license allows you to fly by yourself as well as with passengers. You cannot charge for rides, nor advertise on your balloon. A commercial license is needed for that. The following are the requirements to obtain a private license:

A commercial license allows you to charge for flights as well as advertise on your balloon. To obtain a commercial license, you must complete the following:

How can I find training?

Fill out the form below and we will get you in touch with the top instructors in the United States.

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Besides finding an instructor, the following resources will help you out.

The Balloon Flying Handbook is published by the FAA themselves. This guide is a great resource for new students as it will introduce you to the theory behind ballooning.

The Student Pilot Guide is also published by the FAA. This is a more practical guide that gives you tips and strategies to get through flight school.

The last resource is we recommend is The Ballooning Manual.

If you would like to support Hot Air Flight, we do make a small commission if you decide to purchase one of the resources above.