Ballooning is one of those things that flies a bit under the radar, but it definitely falls into the category of male dominated professions.
There are two categories here- there is competitive ballooning where pilots fly through points in the air and have to drop weights onto targets from the air.
Another NSW woman is quite prominent in the international competitive ballooning scene, which is apparently also a very traditionally male dominated area.
There is also commercial ballooning, the one we are probably more familiar with. Where you take a serene scenic flight at dawn over the countryside. Thats what I was doing here when I photographed this pilot out for a pleasant solo flight over a crisp and colorful Canberra autumn morning. I have worked out who it is, but have yet to get in contact.
Hot air balloons need to be registered as aircraft and kept maintained to the high standards of CASA. To be a commercial pilot, you must become a private balloon pilot and build up to 75 hours of flying in command before starting the commercial training. It seems like a great job, very peaceful and good for those who love an early morning.
Hot air balloons cost from 35000 to 45000 but thats not including the gas, trailer, fan, ropes, radios and weather monitoring equipment.
This is a local ABC story on Nicola Scaife the Hunter valley Balloon pilot.
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