What does it feel like to ride in a hot air balloon?
A balloon flight is like no other type of flying. The entire flight is very peaceful with little sense of movement. Balloons, unlike other types of aircraft, have no engines or props. Therefore, during a balloon flight, the only forward movement is generated by the wind. You become part of the wind, and travel the same speed and direction. Throughout the flight, you experience a sense of absolute peace and have an opportunity to enjoy spectacular views below.
What are hot air balloons made of?
Hot air balloons are typically made from either polyester or rip-stop nylon which has a special coating to prevent air from leaking through the fabric.
How big is the balloon we will be flying in?
Hot air balloon sizes range from a one person up to 16 people. The balloon you will be flying in is capable of carrying 4 people including the pilot.
How do you inflate and deflate a balloon?
To inflate a balloon, we use a gasoline-operated fan to fill the balloon with cold air. Once the balloon in filled with cold air, we use the burner to heat the air inside. This causes the balloon to stand up. To deflate the balloon, we open a valve at the top of the balloon to release the hot air.
Are there any weight restrictions?
Maximum total weight for a flight is 450 lbs.
When is the best time to fly?
Balloons typically fly year round right at sunrise or a couple of hours prior to sunset. During these times, the winds are most favorable and views are exceptional. During mid-day hours, the sun heats the surface of the earth causing pockets of hot air, known as thermals, to rise. Thermals can carry a balloon straight up to a higher altitude very quickly, making for a rather bumpy ride. Since balloons rely on the wind, it is necessary to schedule flights when winds are 10mph or less.
What is a balloon tether?
A balloon tether is an actual hot air balloon flight. The balloon is anchored to the ground, then allowed to ascend 60-80 feet above the ground where it hovers briefly with its passengers before it slowly descends. If the lines that anchor the balloon were to become detached, the balloon would then be in free flight. A suitable area for a tether is one that is clear of obstructions, such as powerlines, trees, buildings or anything else that would create an unsafe condition. During a tether, because the anchored balloon creates additional stress, winds need to be lower than during a normal flight. We recommend winds be 8mph or less for a tether.
How many people will be flying with me?
We are capable of taking three (3) passengers on a flight, if the combined weight of the passengers falls within our limitations. If we have a booking for a 2-passenger flight, and another request from one (1) passenger not connected to the other party, we will combine the bookings for a 3-passenger flight. Private flights for two are available upon request.
What is a private flight for two?
A private flight for two is just what it says it is—private. You are guaranteed only 2 passengers. We will not book anyone else with your party. We also include champagne or a sparkling drink of your choice and a cheese-and-cracker tray for the special occasion. Private flights for two are available upon request. Please call our office for more details and pricing.
Can I bring my pet?
Unfortuately, the answer is no. The high pitch sound of the burner excites and scares most animals.
How many people does it take to fly a balloon?
To actually fly the balloon, you only need the pilot; but you would need at least one additional person to assist in inflation, and to drive the chase vehicle that follows you to your landing spot.
Where do you launch?
Some of our regular flight locations in the Cincinnati area include BlueAsh Airport, Warren County Airport, and Clermont County Airport, just to name three. We are not limited to those locations. We can also do location flights upon request.
What is a location flight?
A location flight takes place at someone's home or special event. The location must be inspected by Balloon Impressions prior to the event to ensure that the location meets FFA regulations for suitability and safety. The price for location flights varies depending on the location. Please contact our office for more details amd pricing.
How long is the flight?
A typical balloon ride will last approximately one hour. You should plan between 2½ to 3 hours for your entire adventure. The additional time is needed to prepare the balloon for flight, pre-flight briefings, balloon recovery, and transportation back to the meeting area.
How high do you fly?
We vary how high we fly depending on weather conditions, terrain, and FAA regulations. A typical flight will vary between skimming above lakes and meadows to flying to 2 or 3 thousand feet.
Will I get motion sickness?
You should not. There is very little movement of the basket once your in the air.
Does it get cold up there?
We generally do not fly high enough for you to notice any temperature change. Temperature will decrease around 2 degrees for every 1000 feet we go up.
Is it quiet?
During your flight, the only sounds you will hear are sounds from the ground and the sound the burner makes whenever heat is needed for the balloon.
Is it safe?
Balloons are one of the safest forms of flying you can do. Your pilot will be a FAA certified commerical pilot with several years of experience, and all hot air balloon are inspected annually by a FAA certified inspector to maintain their airworthiness.
Do birds ever fly into the balloons?
I have never heard of an incident with a bird. The sound of the burner will most often scare them away. If a bird was to fly into a balloon, it would just bounce off.
Can you steer a hot air balloon?
Balloons are steerable by changing the flight altitude level. At different altitudes the winds will vary in direction, and your pilot has the skill to use those changes to steer the balloon to a safe landing.
Where will the flight take me?
The exciting part of ballooning is that every flight is different. We fly where the winds dictate and cannot predict with absolute certainty where we will land; but we will be able to place your flight within a local geographic area. From years of experience, we always choose a launch site that assures suitable landing sites.
Where will we land?
That's the most exciting part about ballooning. You never know exactly where you are to land until you are in the air. Our pilots will always select a launch location that will provide several landing sites along your flight.
How does the chase crew keep in touch?
Our professionally-trained flight crew maintains radio contact with the pilot throughout your flight.
How do we get back after the flight has ended?
The flight crew navigates to your landing site, in most cases, before you actually land. At the landing site, the flight crew assists the pilot in the balloon recovery and debriefing. After packing up the balloon and loading it into the trailer, you are transported back to your vehicles.
What should I wear?
Ballooning is an outdoor activity. Be aware of the weather, and dress accordingly. We recommend long pants and non-slip shoes. We also suggest that you wear a hat.
Can I bring a camera?
Absolutely, and be sure to bring lots of film. The balloon itself is very colorful, and you may want to take pictures of the setup and inflation as well as during the flight. Video cameras are also welcome.
If you have other questions, please feel free to or call us at 513-724-6400.