Do you need a license to fly a hot air balloon?

Hot air balloon flying in Segovia, Spain.

Hot air balloon flying in Segovia, Spain.

To pilot a balloon it is necessary to take a course on an authorized school, and pass a practical and theory test in order to obtain the pilot certificate. In addition, you need to get a valid medical certificate class 2. The pilot must be at least 16 years old to start the course. The course includes a minimum of 16 hours of flight time, which includes a minimum of 8 flights. One of those hours, at least, must be a solo flight, once you demonstrate to be proficient enough. The theory part includes: air law, general knowledge of aircrafts, flight performance and planning, human performance and limitations, meteorology, navigation, operating procedures, and flight principles. Pilots should renew their license every year by demonstrating their flight activity through the year and a valid medical certificate.

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