Hot air balloons are registered aircraft which follow FAA safety and maintenance standards, just like a commercial airliner. All balloon pilots are licensed and trained according to rigorous standards, and specific safety mechanisms and equipment are required for every flight. Our pilots routinely attend Safety Seminars and Continued Education programs.
Safely launching and flying a hot air balloon typically requires two crew members. Duties of the crew include putting together and setting up the balloon, following the hot air balloon in our chase vehicle, talking with landowners and getting permission to land the hot air balloon on their property, and making sure the property is left as it was originally found.
The hot air balloon envelope is hooked to the basket and then spread on the ground. A gasoline powered fan fills the envelope with cold air with the balloon stretched out on it’s side. Once the envelope is packed with air from the fan, the pilot lights a propane burner, and heats up the air inside the balloon. With a few short squeezes of the burner, the hot air balloon stands upright, and is ready for launch. Typically, the entire inflation takes about 15 – 20 minutes.
At our max altitude, the temperature will only be a few degrees lower. Fortunately, you’ll have the heat of the burner to make up the difference. Wear comfortable , non-open toed shoes and comfortable clothing. You want to be able to easily and comfortably get in and out of the basket. Dress in layers. Mornings can be chilly in the desert but it warms up fast. Winter evenings cool off fast at sunset. Light jackets, Sweaters and Hoodies are all good to have but not always necessary to wear.
Our Pilots and crew are not trained medical professional and cannot judge any medical condition as safe for flight. We must be notified before the flight of any possible medical condition which would be cause for concern. Such conditions may include but are not limited to:
- Requirement for oxygen breathing equipment, kidney machines, etc.
- Long Term or Debilitating illnesses
- Inability to stand for extended periods, reliance on a walker/cane, etc.
- Recent Major Surgeries, Broken Bones, Joint Replacements, etc.
In most cases, we should be able to accommodate the passenger in question; however, we need to know what limitations may be present so we can plan for a safe experience. If in doubt, consult your physician about the suitability of a balloon flight. Keep in mind the possible landing conditions that may be experienced.
Unfortunately, wheelchair-bound passengers cannot be accommodated in our balloons. There are only a handful of specially-equipped wheelchair hot air balloons in existence in the world. Ask us to help you find a qualified Flight provider.
Per FAA regulations, passengers clearly under the influence of drugs or alcohol cannot and will not be flown. Refunds will not be given for those who arrive in a such a state.
Hot Air Balloons float with the wind. Pilots control the temperature of the balloon using a propane burner to heat the air inside the balloon. Winds move in different directions at different elevations.
Seasonal meeting times apply because ballooning is best just after sunrise and just before sunset. That is when the air is the coolest and calmest.
Time vary but we generally meet at the meeting location approximately at sunrise and close to 2 to 2-1/2 hours before sunset.
May 15 to 31: 5:30 AM
June 1 to 30: 6:00 AM
July 1 to 31: 6:00 to 6:30 AM
August 1 to 31: 6:30 to 6:45 AM
September 1 to 15: 6:45 to 7:00 AM
Use this to plan your event. Please allow 3 1/2 to 4 hours hours for your sunrise event.
May 15 to 31: 6:30 PM
June 1 to 30: 7:00 PM
July 1 to 31: 7:00 to 6:45 PM
August 1 to 31: 6:45 to 6:15 PM
September 1 to 15: 5:15 to 5:00 PM
Use this to plan your event. Please allow 3 1/2 hours for your sunset event.