About Us



Our Mission : To bring the launch field to students across the U.S.A.

We achieve this mission by Educate. Train. Develop.

Educate. Our online, self-paced, ground school allows students access to quality ground/knowledge training. Our online courses make learning easy and fun and also allow students to take courses on the go. Our courses not only prepare students to pass the FAA Knowledge Exam, but more importantly they prepare students for flight training and continuous learning after receiving their pilot certificate. Our founder/President is an FAA Designated Pilot Examiner and we work with multiple FAA Designated Pilot Examiners to find areas where knowledge or training is lacking and we can improve the course.

Train. We provide training tools to flight instructors and students such as our one of a kind training syllabus, flight instructor refresher courses, posts on our Facebook page, etc. As we continue to grow, our goal is to bring the launch field to students across the U.S.A. by developing a balloon training program. We have created a network of highly qualified balloon flight instructors who are willing to volunteer their time to help us train students. Our goal is to have equipment available to these instructors, and connect the instructors with students. We will bring the launch field to students and in return, the number of hot air balloon pilots in the U.S.A. will increase.

Develop. Obtaining a pilot certificate is a “license to learn.” We want balloon pilots to develop through lifelong learning and continuing education. We have developed and will continue to develop continuing education courses for current pilot to take to develop additional knowledge.

If we can Educate. Train. Develop., we can reach our mission to bring the launch field to students across the USA and thereby improve safety and increase the number of pilots in the USA.


Board of Directors – Officers

Adam Magee


Adam Magee – Adam is a world class pilot known for a strong passion in aviation safety and raising the standards of balloon pilots. Adam is the youngest pilot to be designated by the Federal Aviation Administration as a Designated Pilot Examiner for hot air balloons. This means that Adam is able to issue hot air balloon pilot certificates. Adam’s incredible background covers all areas of pilot training and he is counted on as a resource in the ballooning community.
Pro-Bono Professional Experience in Aviation

Visionary. Adam recognized a lack of quality education and training for hot air balloon pilots and had the vision to go above and beyond all expectations to create a 501c3 nonprofit organization to combat the issue. This included filings with the Secretary of State, creation of bylaws, and application/approval from the IRS, creating a website, marketing, all the content and building the organization from the ground up.

Instructor. Adam has created professional online courses to train, educate, and develop hot air balloon pilots. The courses take complex subjects and break them down into easily understood concepts. Courses created within the last year include: Private Pilot Test Prep, Commercial Test Prep, Private Pilot Checkride Prep, and various short – sub topic courses for continuing education. He also created a first of its kind private and commercial pilot syllabus to walk an instructor through both the ground and flight training in working with a student.

He also runs the Balloon Training Academy’s Facebook page which every week posts questions, safety tips, and tricks for training pilots. Every Thursday he posts extremely popular “Thursday Thinkers” which are very challenging questions on the regulations. Over 10,000 people each week enjoy the outside-the-box challenging questions.

FAASTeam Advocate. Adam is an appointed FAASTeam Representative, WINGSPro, and DRONEPro. He actively assists the FAASTeam in creating PowerPoint presentations for the National FAASTeam about ballooning as well as hosting events. Adam also wrote a featured article about balloon training in the FAA Safety Briefing Magazine November/December 2018 issue as well as the September/October 2019 issue.

Mentor/Safety Adviser. Adam has served as Safety Officer, Weather Officer, and Event Director of hot air balloon festivals/events. Adam is also a valued Event Official on the International level and is one of few Americans in the jury pool for International hot air balloon competitions.

Adam has mentored local pilots and pilots at events to make safety conscience decisions. Adam has also helped pilots who have located to new flying areas understand aeronautical charts and flying areas. Adam, with the Balloon Training Academy has given away 1,400 hot air ballooning checklists tags to put on pilot bags and tanks to encourage and increase checklist use in hot air ballooning.

Recognized Expert. Adam is the youngest ever balloon pilot to be designated by the Federal Aviation Administration as a Designated Pilot Examiner. There are approximately only 12 hot air balloon pilot examiners in the USA. Adam has spoken at National Balloon Federation of America Safety Seminars across the U.S.A., including being a featured speaker at the Balloon Federation of America National Convention in Philadelphia in the Spring of 2018. He has also written articles for the BFA’s magazine, the BALLOONING Journal, on hot air balloon training. He has also written articles for balloon club newsletters across the USA. Adam was asked to be a presenting speaker at the first ever Balloon Instructor Symposium in November of 2019 in New Jersey. 

Work with NAFI
Adam spearheaded and developed with the National Association of Flight Instructors the Elite Balloon Instructor Program fueled by NAFI. The program modeled after NAFI’s Elite Flight Instructor program, recognizes hot air balloon flight instructors who are raising the bar on hot air balloon education and training.

Other Service to the FAA

Adam was a contributor/reviewer for the new LTA Balloon Airman Certification Standards (ACS) which replace the Practical Test Standards.

Awards and Recognition Earned

  • Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Designated Pilot Examiner (DPE)
  • 2019 FAA District CFI of the Year
  • 2019 FAA Regional CFI of the Year
  • Balloon Federation of America Directors Award
  • Bill Murtoroff Spirit of Ballooning Award for youth aviation education

Service to the Aviation Community
Adam is a life member of the Balloon Federation of America and the Balloon Federation of America Hot Air Competition Division. In 2016, Adam was elected by his peers to a three year term on the Balloon Federation of America Hot Air Competition Division Board of Directors. He has provided valuable input as a Director including rules guidance and interpretation, communications, and created the game of Balloon Golf – similar to spot landings contest.

Adam volunteered with the Balloon Federation of America Youth Program since 2009. He organized a BFA Youth Summer Camp in Dubuque, IA from 2012-2014 – Adam and Kim were the youngest to organize and direct a camp at the age of 21. In 2015 Adam wrote the BFA Youth Camp Guidelines.

Adam was a contributor for the BFA Balloon Event Guidelines as well as on the organizing committee of the first ever BFA Balloon Event Symposium. Adam is also a Board member and Treasurer of The National Balloon Museum in Indianola, IA.

Kimberly Magee

Vice President/Secretary

Kim Magee – Kim is a world class pilot known for doing things that no one has done before. Kim achieved 6 World and 9 National records in hot air balloons, pushing the sport of ballooning to levels never reached before! Kim’s incredible pilot skill, drive, and determination has earned her the Balloon Federation of America’s highest honor, the Shields Trauger Award.
Kim has also received many other awards and recognition including: BFA Directors Awards in 2018 and 2013, Hi-Fly Cup in 2017, and the Bill Murtorff Spirit of Ballooning Award in 2013.
FAA Commercial Pilot Lighter Than Air
FAA Private Pilot Airplane Single Engine Land
Amateur Radio Technician License
World Records(FAI/CIA)
AX-02 Female Distance 61.1 miles, 19 Jan 2019
AX-02 Female Altitude 10,331 feet, 19 Jan 2019
AX-03 Female Distance 61.1 miles, 19 Jan 2019
AX-05 Overall Distance 363.4 miles, 17 Mar 2019
AX-05 Female Distance 363.4 miles, 17 Mar 2019
AX-06 Female Distance 363.4 miles, 17 Mar 2019
National Records(NAA)
AX-02 Overall Distance 61.1 miles, 19 Jan 2019
AX-02 Female Distance 61.1 miles, 19 Jan 2019
AX-02 Female Altitude 10,331 feet, 19 Jan 2019
AX-03 Female Distance 61.1 miles, 19 Jan 2019
AX-03 Female Altitude 10,331 feet, 19 Jan 2019
AX-04 Female Distance 61.1 miles, 19 Jan 2019
AX-05 Overall Distance 363.4 miles, 17 Mar 2019
AX-05 Female Distance 363.4 miles, 17 Mar 2019
AX-06 Female Distance 363.4 miles, 17 Mar 2019
BFA Shields Trauger, 2019
BFA At Large Director’s Award, 2018
Hi-Fly Cup, 2017
BFA Bill Murtoff Spirit of Ballooning, 2013
BFA At Large Director’s Award, 2013
The Balloon Training Academy
501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to
promote safety and train new pilots.
Co-Founder and Vice President
Women’s World Championship 2018 Naleczow, Poland, 4th Place
US National’s Top Female Pilot, 2018
Jr World Championship Wloclawek, Poland 2018
Women’s World Championship, Birstonas, Lithuania 2016
US Women’s National’s 2016, 4th Place
Iowa State Championship 2015, 3rd Place
John Petrehn Memorial Cup Winner 2013
National Balloon Classic Newcomer of the Year 2013
Black Hills Balloons South Dakota Safety Seminar, 2020
Northeast Ohio Balloon Pilot’s Association Balloonowledge, 2019
FAVIA 225/BFA National Convention, 2018
Women in Aviation- Heartland Chapter Girls in Aviation day, 2018
Gateway Aerostatic Association Continuing Education Seminarx 2015
Multiple publications as part of CIA/FAI Public
Media Relations Sub-committee.
Multiple Articles in Ballooning, the magazine of the
Balloon Federation of America
Balloon Federation of America
Dubuque Balloon Camp
Co-Founder and Director, 2011-2014
Youth Committee, 2011-2018
Social Media Manager, 2017-2019
AERONAUT founder 2019
Great Lakes Balloon Camp Counselor, 2011

Read more about Kim’s World Record flights here: https://www.thegazette.com/subject/news/meet-university-of-iowa-grad-who-shattered-world-hot-air-balloon-records-kimberly-magee-20190722

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