Have you ever considered working on balloons?

Though NAA’s Summer 2019 Youth Aviation Programming came to an end on July 16th… it didn’t do so without first going up, WAY UP, in a hot air balloon!

Youth learners, and NAA team members, connected with American Balloons for a sunrise lift. Sweeping views of Florida swamplands, Busch Gardens and the Tampa skyline left everyone speechless.

Balloon preparation with American Balloon in Wesley Chapel, Florida.

Balloon preparation with American Balloons in Wesley Chapel, Florida

Both prior to and during flight, students learned various facets of prepping the balloon for liftoff, in-flight navigation and weather radar, the effects of heat and humidity, and balloon landings.

After the ride, students were given a detailed ballooning history lesson from American Balloon owner/operators Tom and Jessica Warren.

Aviation Programming that Went Back to the Beginning of Flight!

Did you know that the start of aviation was actually quite odd? At the blast of a cannon, in 1783, a sheep, duck and cockerel entered a round wicker basket tied to the balloon by a rope at Versailles in France. Aviation has come a LONG way since then. Lighter-than-air flight, though less common these days, is still an exciting part of the industry!

Members of NAA's Summer Youth Program with L. Robuck in the American Balloon hangar

Members of NAA’s Summer Youth Program with L. Robuck in the American Balloon hangar

The Warrens then generously opened their hangar space to students for a mock-annual inspection. They highlighted the different parts of a hot air balloon, how inspection differs from balloon to balloon, and even allowed the students to pressure test the durability of balloon fabric. The level of hands-on practice offered was both extremely valuable and exciting to the kids.

It was interesting to learn that young balloonists are few and far between in the small ballooning community. The Warrens encouraged interest in all kinds of aviation, but offered a unique perspective about how to think outside the box regarding aviation careers. Performing maintenance on, or piloting a balloon, develops a unique skill set and, often, the opportunity to travel the world!

Contact us today for more information on how to work on balloons, in addition to heavier-than-air aircraft! We have an aviation program to suit your individual needs and passions!


NAA makes a huge difference for anyone considering a career as an aircraft mechanic. It was a memorable experience to this day. It’s a great decision for anyone willing to work hard.

Joseph A.

(Alumni), Daytona, FL