More than a hundred clubs in France
Apart from commercial companies, the major activity of aerostation in France takes place within aerostatic clubs. In general, future pilots begin with an activity on the ground called “retrouving”, “chase crew” or “recovery” in good French. It’s about getting behind the wheel of the vehicle and following the ball to be at the finish when it lands. And of course to lend a hand to the driver (an individual sport that is practiced as a team). Then the enthusiast becomes a student pilot, then acquires his precious sesame, now European. There are clubs all over France, rather north of a line that goes from Lyon to Bordeaux. They are grouped within the French Aerostation Federation (created in 1977). In Chambley it is the CAM “Chambley Association Montgolfières” which brings together around thirty pilots and trainees.