What is Hot Air Ballooning Like?
Hot air balloon flights are ultimately one of the most breath taking rides that youll ever experience. Its incredible how you will feel as you slowly lift off the ground and float in the air like a fluffy white cloud. As you descend, you may brush over the tree tops or even do a splash-n-dash in a nearby lake. When you land, depending on the graces of Mother Nature, you could float down to the ground like a feather or at times you could experience a series of bumps. The best way to find out what a hot air balloon ride is like is to experience it for yourself. Your flight will be approximately 1 – 1.5 hours depending on weather and landing conditions. However your total adventure will last about 3 hours – this includes inflation, your flight, pack up, and the traditional champagne brunch. Make your online reservation now or call us at 877-495-RIDE!
How Safe is Ballooning?
Hot air ballooning is very safe. Our pilots and crew will do everything possible to ensure that your flight is very safe. They regularly attend safety seminars so that they are up-to-date on all of the safety rules and regulations. At anytime if the pilot-in-charge feels that the conditions are not safe for the passengers, crew or the equipment, he will cancel the flight and reschedule it at your earliest convenience. Safety is our teams number one priority! Aerostat Adventures wants you to have a very safe and enjoyable flight!
Are You Insured?
Yes. All hot air balloons must be insured. We carry our insurance through The Shantz Agency Insurance Company. Our aircraft is also registered with the FAA.
Who Enjoys Hot Air Ballooning?
Everyone! Our customers have ranged from kids to parents to grandparents and everyone in between! Hot air ballooning is very exciting and loads of fun. We think that everyone should try at least once – even those of you who are afraid of heights.
How many passengers can you take up at a time in the balloon?
There are many different sized balloons that can carry anywhere from 1 – 12+ people at a time. Aerostat Adventures offers intimate flights in which we carry 2 – 4 passengers along with our pilot.
How long does a balloon flight last?
During ideal flying conditions, the flight lasts approximately 45 – 90 minutes. We cannot make any guarantees as to the duration, distance or visibility of the flight as these variables depend upon the weather, the winds, fuel consumption, and landing site availability. Your entire ballooning experience, including transport to and from launch site, pre-flight preparation, flight, and post-flight celebration, may take anywhere from 3 to 4 hours.
When do balloons fly ?
Winds are generally most favorable the first hours after sunrise and the last hours before sunset. The suns uneven heating of the earth’s surface causes strong, variable winds. In the morning, it takes a few hours for the sun to heat the earth’s surface enough to generate the thermal activity that creates wind. In the evening, the suns intensity has diminished enough to reduce winds to acceptable flight levels. Ideal winds are 3 to 6 mph.
How do I book a Balloon Ride?
It’s simple…You can make an online reservation right now from our website or give Aerostat Adventures a call at 877-495-RIDE and we’ll give you all the information you need to book a flight.
How Far in Advance do I Need to Book My Flight?
We suggest a minimum of 2-3 weeks in advance. Since weekend flights are the most popular, you may want to book these even further in advance.
Are Gift Certificates Available?
Gift certificates are available at Aerostat Adventures. Go to our online reservation area and check the box for gift certificate or give us a call at 1-877-495-RIDE for more information. Our gift certificates are valid for 1 year from date of purchase and are non-refundable.
Do You Offer Refunds?
Our tickets and gift certificates are non-refundable, but they are transferable. Both are valid from 1 year of date of purchase. To avoid forfeiture of your ticket or gift certificate, we require at least 72 hours notice for cancellation or to reschedule. Please note that Aerostat Adventures reserves the right to reschedule your flight with or without notice if we deem it unsafe flying conditions. We will reschedule your flight at your earliest convenience.
What do I Wear and Bring?
We recommend that you dress in comfortable casual clothing such as jeans, t-shirt, sneakers or boots. Be sure that you wear clothing that you dont mind getting wet or dirty since the fields we land in can be wet or muddy. We also recommend dressing in layers during the cooler months. DO NOT wear dresses, sandals, high heels or any other clothing that you do not want to get messed up.
Bring along your camera. Some of the greatest pictures of the surrounding area can be taken from 500 feet in the air so bring lots of film and a protective case for landing…we don’t want to scratch anything. We are not responsible for any belongings that could fall out the basket though! You may also want to bring a pair of binoculars but remember space is limited so keep your carry-on’s to a minimum.
Is Health a Consideration?
Yes. Since our passengers stand during the flight and because there is some agility during the loading / unloading of the balloon, we do not recommend that pregnant women, people with injuries to head, back, neck or legs or anyone with recent surgery to fly. If you do have any special needs, please be sure to let us know when you book your flight so we can make any prearrangement that may be necessary.
Can I Help with the Setup?
Yes, in addition to your flight, you will have the opportunity to participate “hands on” during the setup and/or pack up, just let a crew member know and they will be glad to let you help.
How do Balloons Fly?
Hot air balloons use the basic principles of gravity and cold & hot air. We use an inflator fan to fill the balloon envelope up with cold air, then we use burners to heat it up with hot air to make it stand upright. Once in the air when the pilot wants to descend, he lets the air in the balloon cool. When he wants to rise, he heats the air up again. This is very helpful when the pilot wants to catch the higher or lower winds in order to change their direction. This is also how the pilot steers the balloon.
When was the first balloon flight?
The first flight in a hot air balloon was on September 19, 1783 in Versailles, France. A sheep, a duck and a rooster where the first passengers. The first manned flight was on November 21, 1783 when the Montgolfier brothers took a flight in Paris, France.
The first hot air balloon flight in America was on January 9, 1789. George Washington was there to see the balloon leave Philadelphia, PA. It went from Philadelphia across the Delaware River and landed in Deptford, NJ.
What fuel do balloons use and how high do they fly?
Hot air Balloons use liquid propane for fuel. Hot air balloonist usually fly anywhere from 1,000 to 3,000 feet above sea level. It varies depending on winds and the direction that they are trying to go.
Do you need a pilot’s license to fly a Hot-Air Balloon?
Yes. Our Pilot, David Crotts, is a FAA licensed LTA Commercial licensed pilot. He is experienced in both hot air ballooning and fixed-winged flying.He is also a member of the Balloon Federation of America and several other ballooning organizations.
To become an FAA licensed LTA Commercial licensed pilot the pilot must have at least 35 hours of flight time, of which at least 20 must be in balloons (the remaining 15 hours may be in other aircraft). The commercial pilot must pass an additional written, oral, and flight check prior to being issued a commercial pilots license. The holder of a commercial pilots license may operate a balloon for hire and may give flight instruction. For additional requirements on both ratings, please consult FAA Regulation Part 61 for details.
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