FAQ – Frequently Asked Questions
When do you fly?
We fly at sunrise weather permitting. Flights are more peaceful and the winds are great. We even fly low enough to have a conversation with those less fortunate on the ground. People tend to hang around at launch and landings to see what it’s all about.
How long does the flight last?
The flight itself lasts about an hour give or take depending on wind conditions and other considerations of safety.
Can I help set up the balloon?
Yes, you are absolutely encouraged to join in the inflation process as your balloon comes to life. In fact, most people do help as that is one of the wonderful memories!
Can my friends & family come to watch-crew-have fun?
Yes, sharing your balloon adventure with friends/family is very popular. They can just tag along with the chase and shoot pictures of you or roll up their sleeves and have fun. They are also invited to join the celebration afterwards!
What if the weather is bad?
There is a pilot briefing before each flight to check weather conditions. Sometimes we will be lucky enough to know the day before but other times we will have to cancel last minute or even at the launch site. Safety is the first priority.
How do you steer the balloon?
We don’t really steer the balloon, we go wherever the wind takes us. The pilots control the up and down, but not the right and left. Sometimes the winds are blowing in different directions at varying altitudes. If that happens, the pilot can climb or descend to the altitude with the most favourable wind.
How many people can fit in the basket?
It is based on weight and temperature than on number of people. Most baskets can carry 2 to 3 adults.
How far will we fly?
That depends on the winds. Since we fly with the winds, if the wind is 2 mph, we will fly about 2 miles. If the wind is 8 mph, we will fly closer to 8 miles.
Where do we land?
That is part of the excitement and adventure of ballooning! The pilot launches from a field where the wind will take you in a good direction for landing spots. One could land in a large field, a cul-de-sac, or even in someone’s front yard!
What happens after we land?
The first thing if possible is have the chase crew ask the landowner for permission to land or if the balloon is already down get permission to go on the property. After packing up the balloon back in the vehicle, it is time to celebrate.
How do we get back to where we started?
Everyone appreciates the chase crew especially after we have landed and you realize we have to get back. Balloon chasing is a fun challenge and hopefully the chase crew will be there waiting on us, or will arrive shortly after the landing. We drive back to the launch site together and say our goodbye’s.
What should I wear?
Dress casually and comfortably for the weather. Remember it is a little cooler in the morning. No open toe shoes or high heel shoes allowed.
What is the basket and balloon made of? What kind of fuel do you use?
Baskets are made from wicker with a weave similar to your household wicker furniture. They are reinforced with metal tubes or aircraft cables and a wood floorboard. The wicker weave is what gives a balloon it’s strength and flexibility at landing. Most hot air balloons are made from ripstop nylon which is similar to the material for parachutes. On difference is that our ripstop is coated to contain the hot air. Balloon burners use liquid propane.