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Ron Behrmann, George Denniston,
Greg Livadas, Mike Rose,
Alan Sanderson, Peter Stekel
Don Piccard, Stephen Blucher
Bill Bird, Diane Thomas Darnall
David Edmister, John Fanning
Robert Hardin, John Larsen
2336 47th Ave SW, Seattle, WA 9811 6
activities. As such, the Federal Aviation Administration has establishedstandardsthat
participantsmustmeettoearna pilot certificate.
Beyond meeting those standards lies a more important goal—safe flight. That goal
isfirst addressed when the new studentbegins his or her training.
Ballooningis unique inthatthe government doesnot require aformal instructor
rating to teach. Rather that ability is bestowed upon the holder of a commercial balloon
rating. Part of the commercial practical test standard measures the applicants ability to
As a sport we are faced with two challenges. The first is to help introduce new people
to thesport. The second is to train them. To accomplish the later well requires dedication.
Where does one find the resources for instructing?
InthisissueBalloon Life examines the evolution of balloontrainingin the sport.
Whatto lookfor in selecting an instructor. And, some of the paperwork evolved. The
government loves paperwork, get it wrong and the applicant is sent packing without ever
begin able todemonstrate the skillsthey have learned.
More importantthanpassingmusterwiththeFeds,a goodpaperworktrailwill
documentwhathas beentaught, learned, needs review, or hasn’t beentaught yet.
As a sport we are still in the infancy of knowledge and education/training materials.
Almost30yearsagoWillHayesfirstpublishedBalloon Digesttomeetthe needfor
written materials. In the mid 1980s Amogene Norwood wroteTaming the Gentle Giant.
TodayBalloonPublishingCompanyinOakland,CaliforniapublishesHow to Fly a
Balloon,Balloon Ground School Home Study Manual, andBalloon Instructors Manual.
Manualgives the instructor a beginning road map to train new students. Gene Tabbert’s
Flight Training File,nowsoldbyLibertyBalloonCo.,isanexcellentresourcefor
instructor seminars aroundthe country.
Aviation is governed my a set of rules and regulations set down by the Federation
Aviation Administration. Principle among these is the Federal Aviation Regulations. A
large tome, frequently updated and changed, they often lay around collecting dust after
one has achieved their rating.
requiredtoknow. Readingthemisn’t like readinga novel, sometimestheycaneven
make yourhead hurt just trying to understand what the writermeant. You can always ask
Washington cangive an “official” interpretation.
Thatnot-with-standing,thismonthBalloon Life beginsa new columnonFARs
written by Stephen Blucher. Stephen has been writing such a column for the Ballooning
Society of Pikes Pike newsletter and now brings his insightful knowledge to the readers
Each month he will examine a different regulation. If you have a question regarding
a particular part send your question along to Stephen byemail at firstname.lastname@example.org