Pilot school



Art Montgolfières has a long experience in free flying and captives. It is also a hot air balloon training school and has 4 qualified instructors on all types of hot air balloons.

We offer practical and theoretical training courses in three areas:

- Hot air balloon pilot licence and licence;
- Professional steering and further training;
- the periodic renewal of your licence

Regulations: Requirements for Hot Air Balloon Patent and Licence

The practice of flying the balloon is regulated by the Directorate-General for Civil Aviation (DGAC). The regulations impose a number of criteria. First of all you will have to complete a medical examination with a doctor approved by the civil aviation and be 17 years old. You will be able to access the exam after training under the direction of an instructor.

You must have flown at least 16 hours as a hot air balloon pilot, including a minimum of 12 climbs.  Two of these climbs, of a total duration of at least 2 hours, shall be carried out as a single pilot on board, with at least one climb at an altitude of more than 1000 metres. At the end of these 2 solos, you can be presented to the flight test with an examiner. The flight examination shall also include a radiotelephone test and a stop-defined ground and flight test.

We provide you with all the equipment (hot air balloon, 4x4, trailer, instruments, etc.) as well as the ground recovery staff necessary for the flights.


Hot Air Balloon Flying Training

The comprehensive training includes practical and theoretical courses for the hot air balloon pilot certificate and licence. This patent has been European since April 2015.

Your training director will be Mr Charles Aréthuse, pilot, instructor, instructor trainer and member of the Fédération Française d'Aérostation. Other pilot instructors and external speakers will also be involved to enrich your learning.

The main place of the formation is in Val de Loire, in Saint-Georges-sur-Cher, 45 km from Tours and 10 km from Chenonceaux.


theoretical courses

Between flights and depending on the weather conditions, the instructor will present various theoretical subjects relating to the practical aspects of balloon flying.

The various topics covered will cover the following topics: aerospace, meteorology, air navigation, regulation, gas safety, human factors, history of aerospace.


The practical courses :

The pilot-trainee discovers the balloon and the art of flying it by following a progressive teaching adapted to his learning rhythm. It takes somewhere between 16 and 20 hours in the air to qualify for a patent.

In-flight practical training is provided mainly in the vicinity of Chenonceaux by a dual instructor. It is important to spread these courses over the different seasons of the year in order to fly in different conditions.

They will be obligatory dispensed on small-volume hot air balloons that can usually carry 2 to 3 people.


The patent of Balloon Pilot

It is a diploma attesting to the theoretical and practical knowledge required for the exercise of the function of free balloon pilot. It remains definitively acquired to its proprietor. The patent and the licence are materialized by the same document.


The balloon pilot licence.

It is an official title giving the patent holder the right to exercise the function of free balloon pilot of the type mentioned on the licence (gas or hot air). This licence must be renewed every 24 months.

The Free Balloon Pilot Licence shall enable the holder of the Free Balloon Pilot’s Licence to perform the duties of Pilot-in-Command on any Free Balloon corresponding to the endorsement(s) on the licence and carrying or not carrying passengers subject to the possible application of the provisions relating to the use of radio telephony, the night climb rating and the instructor rating.

For the exercise of the privileges of this licence in public air transport, the free balloon pilot must have completed at least 35 hours of flight time, including 20 hours as pilot-in-command on a free balloon.


Licence renewal: control flight, test flight

In order to obtain the periodic renewal of your balloon pilot licence, you must meet the physical fitness requirements and prove that you have completed, within the 24 months preceding the licence renewal, five climbs as pilot-in-command, otherwise flight control by an instructor is required.

We can also accompany you for this renewal or for a refresher, carry out a control flight or revalidate your instructor rating.


For any information or quote contact us at 02 54 32 08 11.

Art Montgolfières brings to your service its experience and qualification as instructor and tester within the French Federation of Aerotation.

Contact us about the flying school