Flying in Balloon Fiesta is Harder Than You Think
October 5, 2015
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  • It’s no easy task to become a licensed balloon pilot.

    Just ask Robby Keaveny. It’s been his goal since he was a child.

    “I’ve been ballooning since I was a really small kid, and it’s always been a passion of mine,” Keaveny said.

    It looks like a fun job but it’s also highly technical.

    “It takes quite a bit of studying on the side of actual flight time. You do have to do some groundwork as well about weather patterns,” Keaveny said.

    To become a balloon pilot you need at least 10 flight hours with a rate instructor, as well as two solo flights and a single flight with a Federal Aviation Administration examiner.

    One way to prepare for becoming a pilot, is to first become part of a balloon crew.

    “Most balloon crews will let you hang out with them. You might even get a ride and get some burner time and figure out if you like it or not,” Keaveny said.

    Keaveny is hoping to be a licensed pilot by next year, and hopes more people will consider trying it out.