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Pilot Registration

Each year hot air balloons from across the United States arrive in Plano, Texas to participate in the H-E-B | Central Market Plano Balloon Festival. Throughout the history of this annual event, local, regional, national and international hot air balloons have participated in this family friendly festival.

Registration for this year’s festival is now open. Pilots that are interested in participating in our event for the first time and meet the festival qualifications listed below, please send an email to pilots@planoballoonfest.org for registration guidelines and requirements.

Michael Scott will serve as Balloonmeister this year.

pilot Qualifications

To participate in this year’s Festival all persons acting as pilot-in-command must hold at least a Private Pilot Certificate with Lighter than Air Free Balloon Rating and a minimum of 75 hours of PIC in balloons to fly, or a minimum of 40 hours PIC in balloons to participate in the tether/glow events. All hours will need to be noted on the application as requested. Each pilot must attend all pilot briefings.

All Pilots will participate in all balloon events.

  • Fly In/Out Competition - Saturday and Sunday Mornings
  • Fly/Glow - Friday and Saturday Evenings
  • Fly (no Glow) - Sunday Evening

Pilots will have the option to participate in our Runs on Sunday Morning by placing their baskets with burners along the Run Route and firing the burners as the runners go by. This has been VERY popular with our runners. There will be morning flying competitions, weather permitting.


The following items MUST be presented to us at pilot registration, as has been done in the past.

  • Copy of Pilot Certificate (front and back)
  • Copy of Photo ID
  • Copy of Balloon Registration
  • Copy of Airworthiness Certificate
  • Copy of Logbook Page showing Current Inspection
  • Copy of Logbook Page showing last Flight Review

Documentation for all pilots will be reviewed and any information that may have changed between your registration submission and pilot check in will be updated.

All balloons must be properly equipped (with inflation harness) and ready for potential inspection prior to each event. Proof of insurance will be verified by the festival.

You will be contacted prior to the festival if there is an issue or concern.


We will be utilizing one hotel this year. The Hampton Inn & Suites will provide King & Double Queen Accommodations. The hotel is located at 2813 E. President George Bush Highway, Plano, Texas 75074.

**Rooms will be available on a 'first come, first served' basis. Every effort will be made to honor your accommodation request.

Pilots registering as primary pilot will receive free room accommodations for Friday and Saturday evening,

Room Selection and Reservations will be part of the online application.

Please do not contact the hotel directly for your pilot room reservation.


Volunteer Chase Crew will only be provided for Special Shape Balloons this year. All other pilots are responsible for providing their own crew. A special room rate of $97 is available for crew and alternate pilots. These reservations must be made by you directly. To book rooms for crew and alternate pilots please use the link below.

Hampton Inn & Suites website -
Hampton Inn & Suites Crew Booking Link
The $97 rate is available until September 7th.

Sport pilots

Sport Pilots will receive $300.

Commercial Balloons

You will need to complete Pilot Registration as well as contact the Festival at 972-867-7566 to ensure your company has completed the corporate sponsorship paperwork.

Special Shapes

Please email pilots@planoballoonfest.org if you are interested in bringing your special shape to this year’s festival.


Additional information will be emailed to you in September. We look forward to seeing you at the 41st Annual H-E-B | Central Market Plano Balloon Festival on September 23, 24, & 25, 2022.

Pilot Registration

Click on the link below to register for the 2022 Festival.


If you have any questions, do not wish to remain on the invitation list, or are no longer ballooning, please send an email to pilots@planoballoonfest.org and indicate 'Remove From Invitation List' so you won't receive future correspondence about the festival.
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