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Pilot Achievement Award Program (PAAP)


Gen600x15 basketThe Pilot Achievement Award Program (PAAP) was developed by the BFA Events Committee in 1982 for the purpose of advancing the sport of ballooning. The Balloon Federation of America's PAAP purpose is to encourage pilots to increase their skills and aeronautical knowledge through a program of challenges and rewards.

The sport of ballooning has continued to grow and has reached the point where both the general public and FAA take it more seriously. This interest includes not only treating us as professionals, but also increasing the amount of regulation. Not too many years ago, the majority of balloon pilots had reasonably similar experience levels. This was because modern ballooning was relatively new.

This has changed, and we now have a much wider range of experience in our pilot population. There is a tendency among a large number of pilots to plateau in their aeronautical knowledge and skills. This occurs fairly early in the pilot's participation in the sport. This plateau is the primary reason for recurrent training and practice of skills. In addition to practice, the pilot must constantly increase skills and knowledge.

It has been recognized that to move beyond this plateau some external motivation must be supplied. It is the purpose of the Pilot Achievement Award Program to supply this motivation by establishing a set of challenges and rewards. The challenges include specific flight and ground requirements to be attained, as well as options that allow pilots to follow individual interests. The rewards come in the form of public recognition for these achievements.

The program has 8 levels, each building on the previous. Our intent and hope is that pilots will find this a challenging and rewarding, fun program to participate in, and will hold those who have achieved each level with respect.

Click on the HANDBOOK button to access the specifics of the Program.

After you submit your application, you can order and pay for your Pin (or Pins) and Certificates using the following link.  They will be shipped out once the application is approved.

Order Pins Online



Level 1 Student Aeronaut - Yellow

Level 2 Basic Aeronaut - Green

Level 3 Intermediate Aeronaut - Red

Level 4 Advanced Aeronaut - Blue

Level 5 Senior Aeronaut - Bronze

Level 6 Master Aeronaut - Silver

Level 7 Prominent Aeronaut - Gold

Level 8 Distinguished Aeronaut - Antique Gold