Hot Air Ballooning is a highly weather dependent, outdoor activity. What conditions will keep us on the ground?
~WIND~ Wind is the most critical factor in a safe flight. More flights are canceled due to wind because it effects every part of a flight, from inflation to landing. We typically like the surface winds to be 5 mph or less. So, when the forecast has words such as: HIGH WINDS, WINDY, GUSTY or BREEZY, that is not a good day for a balloon ride.
~FOG or POOR VISIBILITY~ How far can we see? Our aircraft must follow the Visual Flight Rules (VSR) regulated by the FAA. Therefore, we must have a certain amount of visibilty to safely fly. Again, if the forecast contains these words: FOGGY or MISTY a flight maybe postponed.
~RAIN & STORMS~ We will not fly in rain, thunderstorm or snowstorms. Thunderstorms need to be at a distance of 50 miles or greater to insure a safe flight. If a forecast contains these words: SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS, VICINITY, SNOW or RAIN, your flight may be postponed.
As we all know, weather is not an exact science, Mother Nature always has a mind of her own. We make every effort to make a safe decision as to fly or not. If a flight is postponed due to weather, understand that we are making this decision for the safety of our pilot, passengers and crew. We have a saying, "It is always better to be on the ground wishing you were in the air, rather than be in the air wishing you were on the ground".
~What to wear~
We fly our hot air balloon year round so we ask that you dress for what ever the weather is forecasted to be the day of your flight. The temperature up in the balloon is no different than the temperature on the ground. Dress in casual and comfortable clothing that allows you to climb into the balloon basket, dresses and skirts are not recommended. In the morning, launch sites can be wet with morning dew; we recommended sneakers or boots and do not recommend open toed shoes or sandals. PLEASE...NO MINI SKIRTS AND NO HIGH HEELS!!
~What can I bring?~
We suggest that you bring a camera and video camera to capture your memories. Since there is limited space in the basket we ask that there be no carry on bags. Sunglasses or a hat is also recommended.
~How long does this excursion last?~
Expect to be this us for about three hours. Once we meet we will have a safety briefing explaining what to expect during the launch, flight and landing. We will then drive to our launch site, inflate the balloon and lift off. We aim to fly for about an hour but the typical flight can range from thirty-five minutes to about an hour and fifteen minutes. Once we have landed we will pack up the balloon and enjoy a champagne toast. We will then return you to your car.
~Can I help set up and pack the balloon?~
Absolutely! We encourage you to be a part of the whole experience of setting up and packing the balloon. Or you may choose to sit back and take it all in while snapping pictures and video.
~When do we fly?~
We fly year round (weather permitting) at sunrise and two hours before sunset. This is when the winds are the calmest and safest time to fly. We do not fly in the middle of the day due to safety concerns. Sunset flights are currently being offered on Friday, Saturday and Sunday only. During winter months (December through Mid~April), weekend dates are not offered.
~Who can fly?~
The minimum age requirement is six years old, there is no maximum age restriction. However we do recommend passengers to be in good physical health and able to climb in and out of the basket and stand for the length of the flight. Unfortunatley, for safety reasons we do not fly woman that are past their first trimester of pregnancy. All passengers must agree to sign a Safety and Release Waiver Form before flight. Please click on the link below, print, sign and bring your Safety and Release Waiver form with you on the date of your scheduled flight.