Whether flying in a hot air balloon has been a life long ambition or a surprise gift, you will find it an exciting and memorable adventure. Following is some information that will help to make your flight a pleasant one.
How to Schedule Your Flight
What to Wear
How Does a Hot Air Balloon Work?
How Fast Does It Go?
When is the Best Time to Fly a Balloon?
How Long Can It Stay Up?
How Do You Get It Back?
Do You Need a License to Pilot a Balloon?
How Do You Know Where You Are Going or Where You Will Land?
HOW TO SCHEDULE YOUR FLIGHT
If you have not already scheduled the time of your flight, we may call you to arrange the scheduling. Or you may call us at (717) 569-6642 to make the arrangement. IF YOU HAVE BEEN GIVEN A GIFT CERTIFICATE YOU MUST CALL US TO SCHEDULE YOUR FLIGHT! We donít want to spoil the surprise, so we will wait for your call. We fly all year round on days when the weather permits, so we can almost always schedule your flight on the day you choose.
WHAT TO WEAR
The air temperature in the balloon basket will be about the same as the temperature on the ground, so if you are comfortably dressed to be out of doors at the time of your flight you will be comfortable in the balloon. Wear old clothes, especially sturdy shoes which will allow you to walk in a grassy field , sometimes wet with dew. Many people prefer to wear a hat because there is sometimes a bit of heat descending from the burner, though a hat is not necessary. As we fly only in excellent weather, sunglasses are handy.
HOW DOES A HOT AIR BALLOON WORK?
Present-day Hot Air Balloon systems closely resemble the original balloons and work on the simple principle that hot air rises. They consist of a fabric envelope to contain the hot air, a burner system to produce the hot air and a wicker basket to carry the people. Lift is derived from heating the air inside the envelope and descent by allowing some of the air to escape through a vent or by letting it cool naturally.
HOW FAST DOES IT GO?
As fast as the wind ...or as slow. Since the balloon has no propulsion system, its speed is determined by the speed of the wind. Balloons generally are not flown when the wind is faster than 7 mph because they are difficult to handle during inflation and when landing if the wind is too strong. Once in the air, however, a balloon could fly at virtually any wind speed.
WHEN IS THE BEST TIME TO FLY A BALLOON?
Usually just after sunrise and one or two hours before sunset. This is the time of day when winds are calmest and the air most stable. Balloons are rarely flown during the heat of mid-day.
HOW LONG CAN IT STAY UP?
Normally the balloon carries enough propane fuel to remain aloft for two to four hours, but factors like outside air temperature, weight being carried in the basket and weather determine the duration of the flight. Your flight will be approximately one hour in duration. The actual duration of the flight will be determined by the pilot, keeping safety factors foremost.
HOW DO YOU GET IT BACK?
With the help of friends who drive the chase vehicle. This chase crew follows the flight of the balloon (as well as the existing roads allow) and should be on hand to obtain landowners permission and make the recovery when the balloon touches down.
DO YOU NEED A LICENSE TO PILOT A BALLOON?
YES. A balloon pilot certificate is issued by the Federal Aviation Administration. A pilot must pass an FAA written examination, obtain a prescribed number of flight hours in a balloon, make a solo flight and a flight to altitude, pass an oral test and a flight test and submit a medical statement. Our pilots are all experienced and commercially certified to carry passengers.
HOW DO YOU KNOW WHERE YOU ARE GOING OR WHERE YOU WILL LAND?
At the beginning of the flight you will know what general direction the wind is going but a landing site will not be selected until the pilot decides to land and chooses a suitable landing site among the opportunities available.
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