The Crew Achievement Award Program was in part designed to increase recognition of the often-unsung heroes of our sport - the dedicated crew.
Formally recognizing crew members and involving them in this program will mean crews will be more knowledgeable and enthused about ballooning - which will ultimately mean safer flights.
We hope crew members will work directly with their pilot(s) to achieve the various levels, reviewing the basics and tackling new challenges will also be a learning experience for pilots.
Crew members are encouraged to keep logbooks. Not only will this be helpful for verification of experience, but a logbook is also a tangible record of many fond ballooning memories. If you would like to purchase a BFA Crew Logbook please visit the BFA Store on this website or contact the BFA Office 515-961-8809 to order.
Click here for CAAP Participants
Click here for CAAP Application
To apply, fill out the accompanying form and send it along with appropriate documentation to:
BFA Crew Achievement Award Program
PO Box 400
Indianola, IA 50125
If you have any questions or comments about this program call (515) 961-8809.
CREW LEVEL I
Level I Philosophy:
Entry point. An individual who understands the fundamentals of balloon flight, safety, etc. Requires little instruction to perform any crew assignment. Applicant should have experience in:
- Inflation of pibal
- operation of inflation fan
- working mouth (not the deflation line's side) during inflation
- spreading envelope
- assisting to secure deflation panel
- laying out crown line
- steadying basket
- holding envelope bag when packing up
- helping load equipment on vehicle
- having a working knowledge of drop line use
- being a current member of a local balloon club (if possible)
Minimum crews: 10
Click here for Crew level I Worksheet
SENIOR CREW LEVEL II
Level II Philosophy:
License to learn. Well versed in all aspects of ballooning and capable of instruction to new crew.
Applicant should meet requirements in Level 1 plus have experience in:
- having awareness and respect for landowner's rights
- unloading basket, installing uprights, burner and instruments
- working both sides of the mouth during inflation
- monitoring deflation line during inflation
- securing deflation port
- working the crown line during inflation
- securing fan before chase
- navigating & balloon spotting in chase vehicle & Operation of radios (if used)
- participating in a drop line procedure
- turning off fuel
- disconnecting cables and removing uprights
- helping pack balloon and loading basket on vehicle
- completion of eight or more units of a BFA continuing education program within the last 12 months or working knowledge of BFA Ground Crew Manual
- being a current member of the Balloon Federation of America
Minimum crews: 30
Click here for Senior Crew Level II Worksheet
CREW CHIEF LEVEL III
Level III Philosophy:
Competent crew. Would have good understanding of flight operation and excellent understanding of all ground operations, including area of liability and emergency procedures.
Applicant should meet requirements for Level II, plus have experience in:
- completion of 8 or more units of BFA continuing education program or completion of a Red Cross approved first aid and/or CPR course withing the last 12 months
- reading pibal headings
- plotting porbable course by estimating wind speed and direction
- being capable of giving passengers pre-flight briefing
- inspecting cables before final pilot check
- connecting temperature gauge
- weigh off
- driving and navigating in chase vehicle
- disconnecting gas lines and removing burner
- assisting in refueling tanks
- tying at least three different knots used in balloon operations - including a bowline - and being capable of teaching the knots to others*
Applicant must also have completed three of the following six tasks:
1) crew for three separate flights in unfamiliar geographic territory
2) crew for three high density (more than 25 balloons) flights
3) crew (including chase) for one gas balloon flight
4) directly communicate with and assist pilot in at least two drop line procedures
5) participate in three tethers
6) crew for two airship flights
Minimum crews: 75
*Knot information available by writing to BFA office
Click here for Crew Chief Level III Worksheet
MASTER CREW CHIEF LEVEL IV
Level IV Philosophy:
Demonstrate knowledge. An experienced Crew chief with exceptional knowledge.
Applicant should meet requirements for Level III, plus have experience in:
pass the FAA Private Pilot written test.
crew for one three (3) hour flight or crew for one 35 mile flight
being familiar with the assembly of three (3) or more balloon brands
being capable of instructing in topics of interest at local balloon meetings or seminars
Minimum Crews: 100
Click here for Master Crew Chief IV Worksheet
NOTES TO REMEMBER
1. Program Emphasis - The emphasis of the program is to encourage those activities which will contribute to continuing crew education and safety within the sport of ballooning.
2. Award Applications - This is a voluntary program on the part of both the crew applicant and the endorser.
The crew applicant has the responsibility to provide the endorser and the CAAP Committee with reasonable proof that the specific requirements of the award applied for have been met. The progress through the achievement award levels will vary considerably with each individual crew. The best information available indicates that the average U S Pilot flies approximately 30 hours each year. With this assumption, the following time frame estimates are made to indicate how the average crew may progress through the program.
Estimated time for achievement in each award.
Level I - 4 months ( 4 months total)
Level II - 8 months (12 months total)
Level III - 20 months (32 months total)
Level IV - 8 months (40 months total)
3. BFA Crew Award Designee - Any individual who is a BFA Master Crew Chief, an FAA Designated Balloon Examiner, a BFA-appointed Crew Award Designee or a BFA board member past or present is eligible to endorse an award application. It must be noted, however, that these individuals have no real or implied obligation to do so except on a voluntary basis.
The provision for the third category is made so that any BFA-recognized balloon association or club may request the BFA Crew Achievement Award Committee to designate one of their highly qualified members to administer the award endorsements for their specific membership. The Committee may also appoint other individuals with the Level III award or equivalent qualifications to the status of BFA Crew Achievement Award Designee. For Level I, only the applicant's pilot need endorse the application.
4. Crew Achievement Award Program Appeal Jury - The BFA Board of Director's liaison to the Crew Achievement Committee shall appoint three members, two BFA Pilot members and one BFA Master Crew Chief member to serve as an appeal jury. This jury will assemble information and facts related to disputed award application and render a final decision accordingly.
5. BFA Continuing Education Program - Continuing education is a requirement of the Crew Achievement Award program because of the ever present need to both reinforce and update the crew's understanding of the various factors relating to balloon flight activity.
The BFA Education Committee has the responsibility for encouraging pilot and crew education through the development of suitable text materials and crew education and safety seminars held throughout the country which meet the requirements for the BFA endorsement.
Any questions or request for assistance in regard to BFA continuing education programs should be directed to the BFA Education Committee.
6. Flights in an unfamiliar geographic area - Crewing conditions do vary considerably throughout the country and in many instances, a hundred-mile distance may present the balloon crew with many surprising challenges. Each new experience tends to broaden the crew's knowledge and skills. Unfamiliar area is any area at least 150 miles away from the regular flying area.
7. High density launch - Many pilots prefer to fly in isolation and avoid the more intense activity of a rally or competitive race. The inflation and launching of a balloon in the close proximity to other balloons does add some new factors for a crew to cope with. The result of this experience is broadening of crew knowledge, skills and confidence.
8. Completion of written FAA test - Though completion of the test alone does not mean the applicant will become a pilot, knowledge gained in preparing for the test is invaluable and helps the applicant better understand the conditions in preparation for a license. More importantly, ensures that the applicant has good understanding of conditions relating to safe flying.
A. Anyone is eligible to participate in the Crew Achievement Award Program. Applicants for Levels II-IV must be current members of the Balloon Federation of America.
B. Applications for the Achievement Awards are available from the BFA office or online at www.bfa.net
C. The required endorsement on the application for an award is acceptable from any of the following individuals who will be identified in this program as " Authorized BFA Crew Award Designee.
Any BFA Master Crew Chief
An FAA Designated Balloon Examiner
A BFA appointed Crew Award Designee
Any BFA board member past or present. (note: Level I, only the applicant's pilot need endorse the application.)
D. All Participating BFA members will be required to apply for each Achievement Award in sequence unless a special circumstance justifies a waiver petition which will be presented to the Crew Achievement subcommittee for consideration.
E. The burden of proof of meeting the specific requirements of each level is the responsibility of the applicant. Specific activities should be documented and verified by each pilot for that flight in the form of a crew logbook, whenever possible. Proof of written FAA test results (Level IV) and attendance of continuing education programs (Level III) is required. Appropriate documentation or verification of completion of the requirement for each level, along with endorsements shall be submitted with the application
F. The application fee structure for the BFA Crew Achievement Award Program is as follows. The appropriate fee must accompany the application. If payment is not included the application will be held without action pending receipt of fee.
Level I - $ 5.00
Level II - 7.00
Level III - 10.00
Level IV - 15.00
G. Awards for each level will include a certificate and a pin signifying the level achieved. Those successfully completing Levels III and IV will also receive a patch for that level.
H. Each applicant will screened by the BFA Crew Achievement Committee. The applicant will be notified by mail of the acceptance of the application or, if rejected, the reason for such rejection. The applicant will have the right of appeal to a special Appeal Jury within 60 days of rejection notification date.
I. There may be special circumstances where a waiver request on a specific criteria is justified. In these cases, a formal request in writing for the waiver must accompany the award application and include a full explanation and justification. The request must also be signed by the endorser of the original application.
J. The BFA board may authorize an Honorary Achievement Award for any crew member in recognition of an exceptional crewing accomplishment.
For all levels:
· Endorsement of BFA crew award designee
· Logbook copies (if applicable)
· BFA member number (for Levels II-IV only)
· Proof of attendance at BFA continuing education Program or Red Cross First Aid and/
or CPR course (Level III)
· Results of written FAA Private test (Level IV)
The following are available from the BFA Office:
(MC or VISA accepted)
Crew Logbooks: $15.00 each
Ground Crew Manual: $15.00 each
A shipping fee will be added.
Mail order to: Balloon Federation of America
P.O. Box 400
Indianola, IA. 50125
Or call: 515-961-8809 515-961-3537 (fax)
Order online at www.bfa.net at the BFA On-Line Shop
Worksheets are available to assist you in providing appropriate information for each level.