Questions about your hot air balloon ride? 

 

 

How safe is ballooning?

As in all sporting activities, ballooning carries an acceptable degree of risk for bodily injury.  However, because it is a form of aviation where fair weather rules always prevail, ballooning remains one of today’s safest forms of flight.  All aircraft are insured and operated by highly experienced FAA certified commercial balloon pilots.
 

How do you steer a balloon?

Similar to sailing, a balloon travels the speed and direction of the wind.  With the ability to “steer” the balloon by changing altitude, the pilot will note different wind directions at different altitudes and navigate accordingly. 

How far will we go?

The distance that a balloon travels across the landscape from takeoff to landing is solely dependent upon the speed of the wind.  A normal flight carries the balloon between 5 and 10 miles from the point of liftoff where the ground crew begins their pursuit.  Landing the balloon normally requires little more than the area of a small baseball field.  Occasionally the giant balloons have been welcomed by homeowners as the aerostats gently set down in their yards or driveways.  Deflating the balloon always draws comments of disbelief that something so large can be packed away so small and so quickly. 

How big is the balloon
and what is it made of?

An eight-passenger balloon is about the height of a 9-story building.  Ninety feet in diameter, with 200,000 cubic feet of hot air, a balloon of this size creates a lift inertia of about one and a half tons.  The balloon is called the envelope, and is made of a strong light-weight, rip-stop nylon fabric which weighs about 350 pounds.  The basket or gondola is made of wicker, which possesses an elasticity and strength unsurpassed by any other modern material.  The basket supports the balloon’s powerful burners which converts liquid propane fuel into the heat required for a normal one-hour passenger flight.  A large basket with 60 gallons of fuel weighs about 700 pounds.

 
Where is the takeoff field?

111 Lotus Street
Colorado Springs

Click to see close-up
Click Map to see close up

  

How much does a balloon cost?

A large passenger balloon costs $65,000 or more.  The smaller sport balloons start at about $18,000.  The average life span of a balloon is between 400 and 800 flying hours which translates to about 6 to 8 years. Prices start in Colorado Springs at $200.00 per person for A.M. flights. In Arizona, the “Champagne Flight” starts at $150.00 per person.  The “Observer Flight” is $80.00 per person.

How cold does it get and what is the appropriate dress?

As a standard, hot air balloons fly only at sunrise and just prior to sunset.  Cooler temperatures are an asset, but more importantly, the thermal activity (wind) is normally calmest at the beginning and end of each day.  The flight itself is warmer than standing on the ground.  Dress as you would for a walk outdoors on the day of your flight.  A jacket is always easy to shed.  During the cooler months gloves and hats are suggested.

How much does it cost
and how long will it take?

Flights are scheduled at sunrise and sunset seven days a week, all year round.  Prices vary with the location and type of flight as well as the number of passengers.  Flights are subject to favorable weather and wind conditions as well as FAA regulations.  The entire excursion takes 2 to 3 hours, with a minimum of a one-hour in the air.

What happens after your flight?

The crew will be awaiting you upon landing to celebrate the tradition of ballooning with a champagne toast.  You will then be presented with a personalized flight certificate suitable for framing.

                      

      


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