You can either volunteer as a Chase Crew Member, or on an event logistics team as a "Navigator."
Chase Crews assist pilots, crew chiefs and other crew to inflate, support and land balloons. They volunteer directly for balloon pilots and crew chiefs.
Navigators are our "regular" volunteers who help with event logistics. They serve on more than 40 teams ranging from Information Booths and Courtesy Shuttles, to Sponsor and Media Hospitality, to flight operations such as Launch Directors and Scoring Team. Navigator teams are managed by an AIBF staff person. They may also be managed by a volunteer Team Leader/s.
Chase Crew training comes primarily from pilot or crew chief. A training video may be required.
Navigators are required to watch a short series of basic training/information videos. There is a short essay question that needs to be completed to receive credit. There may also be mandatory orientation or training meetings associated with particular teams.
Chase Crew does not have any requirements other than to show up for the 1 of more sessions you may volunteer for. There is no minimum number of shifts you must volunteer.
Navigators must be available to work during the entire Balloon Fiesta, and are required to work a minimum of 4 shifts. Some teams may require more than 4 shifts. There may be other requirements for specific teams.
Chase Crew may receive parking and admission for the session/s you volunteer.
Navigators who meet the minimum training and shift requirements receive a Navigator pack, which includes:
- Admission into the 9-day event
- Parking for the 9-day event
- Access to the Navigator Hospitality Tent for meals and snacks
- Invitations to a variety of Balloon Fiesta parties
- The current year's Navigator shirt
- The current year's Navigator lapel pin
- The current year's Official Event Program
- The current year's Official Calendar
- Discounts on event and dining area tickets
Additional benefits may be available, such as a Balloon Fiesta jacket, discount accommodations, and discount RV parking, depending upon hours served, team assignment, and role.
Unfortunately, no. Chase Crew members help the pilots during the balloon events, which is when the rest of the event is operating. So their shifts are at the same time.
Most of our volunteer positions have some physical demands. There are a few teams where the physical demands are high, such as our RV team, field crew, hospitality team, launch directors, and a few others. Those demands include physical labor such as walking or jogging long distances, lifting heavy items, etc.
Chase Crew and most other Navigator teams have moderate physical demands, such as standing for long periods of time. Additionally, Balloon Fiesta is spread over a very large field, more than 54 football fields large, which does not include the parking lots. Getting to and from your assigned area requires that you are able to walk to your assigned area.
Even courtesy shuttle drivers must be able to exit the golf cart to assist passengers boarding the cart.
There are few, if any, volunteer positions that do not have some level of physical demand.
Below are the hours for the event sessions. Shift times vary from team to team. Shifts usually begin approximately 1 hour before the event session, and end slightly afterward. However, hours may vary depending upon the area in which you volunteer.
|Day 1||Day 2||Day 3||Day 4||Day 5||Day 6||Day 7||Day 8||Day 9|
|A.M. Session||4:00-11 am||4:00-11 am||4:00-11 am||4:00-11 am||4:00-11 am||4:00-11 am||4:00-11 am||4:00-11 am||4:00-11 am|
|P.M. Session||3:00 - 9 pm||3:00 - 9 pm||3:00 - 9 pm||3:00 - 9 pm||3:00 - 9 pm|
In general, we do not allow volunteers under the age of 18. We may make exceptions, depending on the circumstances. If you are accompanied by someone under 18, or if you are under 18 and are interested in volunteering, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Balloon Fiesta is not in a position to pay for accommodations if you are traveling from outside the Albuquerque area. We may be able to offer a discounted RV space, depending on various factors. For more information, email email@example.com.
Applications for Navigators are accepted all year long.
Applications for Chase Crew are accepted starting in July each year.
1. Start by completing the online application.
Chase Crew application
2. We will review your application. If accepted, we will contact you to discuss which team would be the best fit for you.
3. Upon selecting a team, we will then refer you to that team leader. They will interview you further, explain the shifts, tasks and other requirements.
4. If you and the team leader determine that this is a good assignment for you, we will place you on that team, and the team leader will take over communications from there. They will coordinate your schedule, and notify you of any orientation meetings or other important information.
5. You will also receive a welcome email from us, providing, training details, the Navigator Handbook and more.
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