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Volunteer Chase Crew Registration

Each year volunteers sign up to volunteer as crew for Special Shape Hot Air Balloon Pilots. This enables those balloons to have the necessary support during inflation, static display, and glow.

Please click on the link below and it will take you to the Volunteer Chase Crew Registration Form.

Click here to register as volunteer chase crew

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.

Pat Cannon 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.

  • Tether - Saturday and Sunday Mornings
  • Tether and Glow - Friday and Saturday Evenings

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. This year there will be no scheduled, announced, or publicized flights. If conditions allow, you will be allowed to fly from the field with permission from the Balloonmeister and you must utilize a launch director. There will be no morning flying competitions.


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 1st.

Sport pilots

Sport Pilots will receive $300 at pilot check-in.

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 17, 18, & 19, 2021.

Pilot Registration

Click on the link below to register for the 2021 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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