° WHEN DO BALLOON FLIGHTS OCCUR?
The best weather conditions for ballooning exists near sunrise. Flight times vary as the flying season progresses.
° HOW LONG DOES A FLIGHT LAST?
A typical flight is about an hour, but can be slightly shorter or longer depending on the availability of suitable landing sites. Plan to allow 2-3 hours for your ballooning experience. Remember, it takes time to set-up, to fly, to pack-up, and to celebrate with a champagne toast!
° IS AGE OR HEALTH A CONCERN?
Yes. Minimum age to fly is 10 years old, and while there is no maximum age, all passengers must be able to enter/exit the gondola basket on their own. Also, pregnant women, and those persons with heart, back, or joint problems are discouraged from flying.
° DO PILOTS NEED ANY SPECIAL TRAINING?
Yes, all pilots must pass several written, oral, and practical tests in order to receive a license from the FAA. They must keep their skills current and have periodic flight reviews with another commercially licensed pilot.
° DOES THE WEATHER MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN A BALLOON FLIGHT?
Absolutely! The pilot is extremely aware of the local weather. Balloons tend to fly in winds under 12 mph.
° HOW DO YOU GET THE HOT AIR INTO THE BALLOON?
First, the envelope is packed with cold air that is blown in by a powerful fan. When it is full of cold air, the pilot will then heat the air with the burner, causing the balloon to rise.
° HOW BIG IS THE BALLOON?
Balloons range from 15,000 cu. ft. to over 400,000 cu. ft. in volume; and from about 4 to 7 1/2 stories tall.
° HOW HIGH DO BALLOONS FLY?
They can fly just above the treetops or go to a maximum height of 12,500 feet. On an average flight, altitude of the balloon will probably go as high as 2,000 feet.
° CAN YOU STEER A BALLOON?
Steering a balloon is dependent completely upon change in wind direction at different altitudes. Balloon pilots use the wind currents to navigate.
° WHAT SHOULD I WEAR?
Plan to dress comfortably for the weather of the day. Tall people may also want to wear a hat to protect their head from the heat of the burners. Long pants and closed-toe shoes are recommended.
° CAN I BRING A CAMERA?
Yes. Cameras and video recorders are a great way to remember your flight. Be sure to have enough film and batteries. Passengers are solely responsible for safety of their camera equipment.