Welcome to the adventure of Hot Air Ballooning! Ballooning is filled with beauty, spectacle and excitement. We know you will have a fabulous flight.
Weather: Ballooning is strictly a fair weather–light wind activity. Generally a balloon launch is not possible when the wind speed exceeds 10 mph. This is why balloon rides only occur around dawn or a couple of hours prior to sunset when winds are usually lightest and the air is the most stable. If weather conditions cause a postponement of your flight, we will be happy to reschedule.
Equipment: The design and structural integrity of our balloon system is carefully regulated by the FAA. The fabric of a balloon is periodically tested for strength and porosity. The propane burner system provides the heat source for heating the air and generates enough heat to warm hundreds of homes for several hours! The basket is designed to be extremely strong but still be flexible enough to absorb the stress of a bumpy landing.
Pilots: Our pilots are certified by the FAA as commercial balloon pilots and are qualified to carry passengers for hire.
Landing: As with airplanes , the most critical phase of balloon rides are takeoffs and landings. The absence of any real directional control means that landing areas must be in the direct path of our balloon, and that path is determined by the air currents around the hot air balloon. As a result we sometimes have to deal with natural and man-made obstacles. At times we must descend rapidly in order to clear an obstacle and still land in a small landing area. It is very important that passengers properly follow the pilot’s instruction to avoid bumping into objects in the basket or other passengers.
Summary: We hope this information has been helpful to you. While most balloon flights are very gentle, we want to make you aware of those rare occasions when bumpy landings can occur.