Balloonist Career

Job Description: Pilot and navigate the flight of fixed-winged aircraft on nonscheduled air carrier routes, or helicopters. Requires Commercial Pilot certificate. Includes charter pilots with similar certification, and air ambulance and air tour pilots.

*A job as a Balloonist falls under the broader career category of Commercial Pilots. The information on this page will generally apply to all careers in this category. We are still seeking more specific information about this career from experts in this field. If you can provide us with more information, .

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Balloonist Career

What Balloonists do:

  • Check aircraft prior to flights to ensure that the engines, controls, instruments, and other systems are functioning properly.
  • Contact control towers for takeoff clearances, arrival instructions, and other information, using radio equipment.
  • Monitor engine operation, fuel consumption, and functioning of aircraft systems during flights.
  • Obtain and review data such as load weights, fuel supplies, weather conditions, and flight schedules to determine flight plans and identify needed changes.
  • Write specified information in flight records, such as flight times, altitudes flown, and fuel consumption.
  • Start engines, operate controls, and pilot airplanes to transport passengers, mail, or freight according to flight plans, regulations, and procedures.
  • Plan flights according to government and company regulations, using aeronautical charts and navigation instruments.
  • Check baggage or cargo to ensure that it has been loaded correctly.
  • Consider airport altitudes, outside temperatures, plane weights, and wind speeds and directions to calculate the speed needed to become airborne.
  • Choose routes, altitudes, and speeds that will provide the fastest, safest, and smoothest flights.
  • Request changes in altitudes or routes as circumstances dictate.
  • Coordinate flight activities with ground crews and air traffic control, and inform crew members of flight and test procedures.
  • Order changes in fuel supplies, loads, routes, or schedules to ensure safety of flights.
  • Teach company regulations and procedures to other pilots.
  • Instruct other pilots and student pilots in aircraft operations.
  • Use instrumentation to pilot aircraft when visibility is poor.
  • File instrument flight plans with air traffic control so that flights can be coordinated with other air traffic.
  • Fly with other pilots or pilot-license applicants to evaluate their proficiency.
  • Supervise other crew members.
  • Perform minor aircraft maintenance and repair work, or arrange for major maintenance.
  • Co-pilot aircraft, or perform captain's duties if required.
  • Conduct in-flight tests and evaluations at specified altitudes and in all types of weather to determine the receptivity and other characteristics of equipment and systems.
  • Plan and formulate flight activities and test schedules and prepare flight evaluation reports.
  • Rescue and evacuate injured persons.
  • Check the flight performance of new and experimental planes.
  • Pilot airplanes or helicopters over farmlands at low altitudes to dust or spray fields with fertilizers, fungicides, or pesticides.

What work activities are most important?

Importance Activities

Operating Vehicles, Mechanized Devices, or Equipment - Running, maneuvering, navigating, or driving vehicles or mechanized equipment, such as forklifts, passenger vehicles, aircraft, or water craft.

Getting Information - Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.

Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings - Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.

Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material - Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.

Controlling Machines and Processes - Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles).

Making Decisions and Solving Problems - Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.

Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards - Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.

Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge - Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.

Processing Information - Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.

Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events - Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.

Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates - Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.

Documenting/Recording Information - Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.

Analyzing Data or Information - Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.

Communicating with Persons Outside Organization - Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.

Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships - Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.

Handling and Moving Objects - Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.

Judging the Qualities of Things, Services, or People - Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.

Estimating the Quantifiable Characteristics of Products, Events, or Information - Estimating sizes, distances, and quantities; or determining time, costs, resources, or materials needed to perform a work activity.

Performing for or Working Directly with the Public - Performing for people or dealing directly with the public. This includes serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests.

Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work - Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.

Thinking Creatively - Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.

Training and Teaching Others - Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.

Developing and Building Teams - Encouraging and building mutual trust, respect, and cooperation among team members.

Performing Administrative Activities - Performing day-to-day administrative tasks such as maintaining information files and processing paperwork.

Provide Consultation and Advice to Others - Providing guidance and expert advice to management or other groups on technical, systems-, or process-related topics.

Guiding, Directing, and Motivating Subordinates - Providing guidance and direction to subordinates, including setting performance standards and monitoring performance.

Coaching and Developing Others - Identifying the developmental needs of others and coaching, mentoring, or otherwise helping others to improve their knowledge or skills.

Performing General Physical Activities - Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling of materials.

Resolving Conflicts and Negotiating with Others - Handling complaints, settling disputes, and resolving grievances and conflicts, or otherwise negotiating with others.

Coordinating the Work and Activities of Others - Getting members of a group to work together to accomplish tasks.

Monitoring and Controlling Resources - Monitoring and controlling resources and overseeing the spending of money.

Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others - Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.

Repairing and Maintaining Mechanical Equipment - Servicing, repairing, adjusting, and testing machines, devices, moving parts, and equipment that operate primarily on the basis of mechanical (not electronic) principles.

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