FAQs

How Big is the Balloon?

It is approximately 70 feet tall and 60 feet wide and holds 90,000 to 118,000 cubic feet of air inside the balloon. The envelope (the fabric) weighs around 275lbs in the bag. The gondola (basket) with fuel weighs approximately 500lbs.

What is Hot Air Ballooning Like?

Hot air balloon flights are ultimately one of the most breath taking rides that you’ll ever experience. It’s 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.

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. We regularly attend safety seminars so that we 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 team’s number one priority. Balloons & Beyond wants you to have a very safe and enjoyable flight.

Are You Insured?

Yes. All of our hot air balloons are insured. Our balloons are also registered with the FAA.

Who Enjoys Hot Air Ballooning?

Everyone! Our passengers 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?

There are many different sized balloons that can carry anywhere from 1 to 18+ people at a time. We prefer to fly the smaller ride balloons. The balloons we fly are AX8-90's to AX9-118's which can carry 2 to 5 passengers along with the pilot which allows for a more personable experience!

How Long Does a Balloon Flight Last?

During ideal flying conditions, the flight lasts approximately 45 minutes to an hour, sometimes longer, 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.

When Do you Fly?

We fly the first thing in the morning at sunrise. Winds are generally most favorable the first hours after sunrise which makes for safe and favorable conditions. 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.

What Do I Wear and Bring?

We recommend that you dress in comfortable, casual clothing such as jeans, t-shirts, sneakers or boots. Be sure that you wear clothing that you don’t 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. Please DO NOT wear dresses, sandals, high heels or any other clothing that you would not wear comfortably when on the ground. Bring along your camera. Some of the greatest pictures of the surrounding area can be taken from 500 feet in the air. Also a protective case for landing...we don't want to scratch anything. You may want to bring a pair of binoculars but remember space is limited so keep your carry-on's to a minimum.

Please Note: We are not responsible for any belongings that could fall out the basket!

Is Health a Consideration?

Yes. Since our passengers stand during the flight and because there is some agility needed during the loading / unloading of the balloon, we do not recommend that 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 so we can make any pre-arrangement that may be necessary.

Please Note: We WILL NOT fly women that are pregnant for safety reasons!

Can I Help with the Setup?

Absolutely, 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. A Balloon Pilot Certificate is issued by the Federal Aviation Administration. The process is similar to the one required to obtain a license to fly an airplane or helicopter. You must pass the FAA written exam, receive a prescribed number of hours of instruction, make a solo flight, a flight to a specific altitude and pass a flight test with an FAA examiner. 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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