Getting Young People Involved in Ballooning with the Support of Amazon Studios and Prime Video

Aeronaut Training Program

Thanks to the support of Prime Video and Amazon Studios, Seattle Ballooning is providing scholarships for free balloon training to young people in the Seattle area. What’s even more astounding is students will get to fly in Seattle Ballooning’s hot air balloon replica from the movie “The Aeronauts.”

There are currently 4000 balloon pilots globally, and there are less than 15 active hot air balloonists in the State of Washington. Our goal is to create a diverse next generation of hot air balloon pilots in the Northwest.

Typically the cost of getting a hot air balloon license is $7,000-$10,000, not including the cost of purchasing a your own hot air balloon ($10,000 – $45,000). Our hot air balloon scholarships allow students from all walks of life to get flight hours, learn flight operations, and learn how to fly hot air balloons without having to purchase a hot air balloon.

Due to this unique program, we can only accept a total of 25 students for the 2022 summer program. Our program’s focus is helping young people get into hot air ballooning from diverse backgrounds.

  • Over 50% of selected applicants will be women
  • Over 25% of all students will be people of color
  • Over 25% of students will be from low-income and underserved Seattle communities

What does the program include: 

  • Hot air balloon ground school training
  • Hands-on operation and set up of hot air balloons
  • Training on how to crew hot air balloons
  • Up to 6 hours of flight training time in balloons
  • Solo in a hot air balloon once all test and training is completed

Students are responsible for paying for any fees related to FAA paperwork, FAA practical tests, FAA knowledge tests, and additional flight time needed above the minimum hours required. Once students solo, most go on to purchase their own balloon for further training and solo flight time. Contact us if you have any further questions on costs.

How to Apply

To apply please complete the following:

Video Application:  Make a creative and entertaining video on why you want to be a balloon pilot. Post on either Instagram and/or Tiktok and include the hashtags #seattleaeronaut and #seattleballooning.

Written Application: Once you have posted your video, fill out your information and submit our written application.

Want to guarantee yourself a spot in the program? The top 3 videos with the most engagement on TikTok or Instagram with the hashtags above will get a spot!

Application and video engagement contest closes March 1st, 2022. You’ll be contacted that next week if you are selected for the program.

Requirements to be part of the Seattle Ballooning student training program?

Students must:

  • Be between the ages of 16-22
  • Live in the greater Seattle region May 1 – Sept 1
  • Have a valid drivers license
  • Be able to lift 50lbs
  • Have no felony, DUI, or drug convictions
  • (As we are governed by the FAA, we have random drug screening of all commercial pilots, student pilots, and crew members)

What happens once I am selected?

Once the student pilots have been selected. They will have ten days to register through IACRA and get their student pilot’s license. We will send out directions to get all paperwork around your student license complete. If the student pilot license is not issued within ten days, the scholarship will be given to another recipient.

Online/In-person ground school will begin in mid-April.

The flight program will start the 3rd week of May.

Check out more clips:

Hot Air Balloon Pilot Eliav C.
About the Author

Chief pilot of Seattle Ballooning. I get the opportunity to provide luxury hot air balloon rides just South of Seattle in front of Mt. Rainier. When you do what you love, it’s not considered work.

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