Hot air balloons are not easy to pilot, in fact, they are very difficult. They must be flown early in the morning or during the evening. This is because the air during this time is still quite controllable for pilots. During the day, a lot of interference may be there with hot air rising (thermals) which give instability to hot air balloons.
Making the decision to become a pilot is not easy and you will find that there are many types of pilot licenses that require thinking and planning. Planning has to be done with respect to money and time. It needs to be checked first of all what are the rules in the area one is living. A total of 16 hours of flying time has to be shown as experience (in the UK). There is a time limit for achieving this and this is usually 2 years. Four instructor flights have to be shown which are perfect in every sense without any errors, which result in a “Completed without help” tick in one’s training book. As well as a checkout, recommendation and solo flight must be conduct in that order. Only after having completed this requirement, a friend can be taken along for the ride with the student now being a fully qualified private hot air balloonist.
One should search for a reputable training school. You will find that each training school has its own program and strengths. All training schools need to follow the governing bodies (BBAC in the UK) rules. Regarding the government regulation, the first requirement is that you should at least be 17 years old. There will be a test to check your knowledge and education. You will not be able to participate in the course if you are not good in Met, Navigation, Air Law and the other subjects that encompass and work side by side with ballooning. Both written as well as oral work has to be done apart from doing a specified amount of practical tasks with other pilots & instructors. Medical fitness is another task which needs to be checked.
When one has passed these tests and papers and completed the pilot training then you can explore the blue skies as you wish!