9
$\begingroup$

For normal sightseeing flights in a typical hot air balloon, what instruments or avionics does the pilot usually carry? Do balloons have a minimum equipment list?

$\endgroup$
5
$\begingroup$

The magic regulation for minimum equipment on a balloon (in the USA) is 14CFR31.85 ("Required Basic Equipment" for manned free-air balloons).

The FAA requires that balloons be equipped with:

For all balloons

  1. [Reserved]
  2. An altimeter.
  3. A rate of climb indicator.

For hot air balloons (additional equipment):

  1. A fuel quantity gauge.
  2. An envelope temperature indicator.

For captive gas balloons (additional equipment):

  • A compass.

Beyond what's required by regulation, in most free balloon operations I've seen they also carry an aviation radio and/or a CB radio (to communicate with their ground crew) - this is usually a handheld transceiver.

The FAA Balloon Flying Handbook also makes for interesting reading. They talk about required and optional instruments and equipment found on various types of balloons in Chapter 2.

$\endgroup$
  • $\begingroup$ Additionally, to fly in controlled airspace: an aviation radio and a transponder. (BMA in Stockholm Sweden) $\endgroup$ – ghellquist Jul 19 '18 at 14:24

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.