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Hot Air Balloon Pilot and Expert Witness

Curriculum Vitae:
Cary Crawley

Hot Air Ballooning Consultant & Expert Witness


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Cary Crawley
Hot Air Ballooning Consultant & Expert Witness



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CAA Commercial Licence (CPL) - Balloons (Categories A, B and C)
CPL Instructor - Balloons
CPL Examiner - Balloons

CAA Revalidation Examiner of Type Rating Examiners, Balloons
Airworthiness Inspector - Private and Commercial Balloons
Commercial Licence - Balloons (USA, New Zealand, Egypt)
PPL - Balloons (Fiji, France, Switzerland, Pakistan)


Flying Hours:

4100+ total hours
700+ instructor hours
1400+ Group C balloon hours
100+ special shaped balloon hours


Career History:


2014 - date

GMR Consulting, UK and USA
Hot Air Ballooning Consultant and Expert Witness


1984 - date 

Commcercial Balloonist, UK and worldwide


Career Summary:

Since 1984 I have worked continuously as a commercial balloonist with virtually all of my balloon flying being business, rather than sport-related.


I have flown commercially in twenty four countries, with a combination of instruction, advertising and special stunts. However the greater majority of my ballooning work is in the field of flying large, commercial passenger balloons (1400+ hours flying Group C balloons), instructing commercial pilots and advising on the set-up of businesses in this area.


I am a UK hot air balloon Commercial Pilots Licence (CPL) Examiner, Instructor and Airworthiness Inspector for all types and size categories (A, B and C) and a CAA approved Revalidation Examiner of Type Rating Examiners, Balloons (i.e. an Examiner of commercial balloon pilot Examiners who require renewal of their ratings).


Additionally, I hold CPL’s for balloons issued by the relevant authorities in the USA, New Zealand and Egypt and Private Pilots Licences (PPL) for balloons in a number of countries where a CPL is not locally available. These include Fiji, France, Switzerland and Pakistan.


I have instructed pilots at various locations throughout the world, including the UK, Italy, the USA, Spain and New Zealand. In Egypt, where I spent about five years commercially flying and instructing over a thirteen-year period, I trained fourteen balloon pilots and was the only foreigner ever to be issued with a full Egyptian Commercial Pilots Licence for hot air balloons - as opposed to a local validation of a foreign national licence. Additionally, I instructed the first licensed balloon pilots in Pakistan and I currently perform the role of Training Captain for the largest commercial ballooning company in Asia.


I have acted as a consultant and commercial pilot for balloon operators starting new businesses in many countries where ballooning has not been established, or is still in its infancy. These countries include Egypt, Spain, Fiji, Burma, Dubai, New Zealand and Bulgaria. I also advised and assisted with the launching of the first officially approved Maintenance Organisation for balloons in Myanmar, where I currently act as Quality Manager.


I have been instructed in the UK and USA as an expert witness in connection with hot air ballooning.