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. Your flight will be approximately 1 – 1.5 hours depending on weather and landing conditions. However your total adventure will last about 3 hours – this includes inflation, your flight, pack up, and the traditional champagne brunch. Make your online reservation now or call us at 877-495-RIDE!
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. They regularly attend safety seminars so that they 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! Aerostat Adventures wants you to have a very safe and enjoyable flight!
Are You Insured?
Yes. All hot air balloons must be insured. We carry our insurance through The Shantz Agency Insurance Company. Our aircraft is also registered with the FAA.
Who Enjoys Hot Air Ballooning?
Everyone! Our customers 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 in the balloon?
There are many different sized balloons that can carry anywhere from 1 – 20+ people at a time. Aerostat Adventures offers intimate flights in which we carry 2 – 6 passengers along with our pilot.
How long does a balloon flight last?
During ideal flying conditions, the flight lasts approximately 45 – 90 minutes. 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. Your entire ballooning experience, including transport to and from launch site, pre-flight preparation, flight, and post-flight celebration, may take anywhere from 3 to 4 hours.
When do we fly the balloons?
We fly 7 days a week at sunrise, weather permitting. Balloons need stable, calm winds in order to fly and land safely and the ideal winds in Florida are at sunrise. We meet 1 hour before sunrise, so be sure to call us at 877-495-7433 the day before your scheduled flight between 4 pm and 6 pm to confirm your exact meeting time.
How do I book a Balloon Ride?
It’s simple…You can make an online reservation right now from our website or give Aerostat Adventures a call at 877-495-RIDE and we’ll give you all the information you need to book a flight.
How Far in Advance do I Need to Book My Flight?
We suggest a minimum of 2-3 weeks in advance. Since weekend flights are the most popular, you may want to book these even further in advance.
Are Gift Certificates Available?
Gift certificates are available at Aerostat Adventures. Go to our "Buy Gift Certificate" area to purchase a gift certificate online or give us a call at 1-877-495-RIDE for more information. Our gift certificates are valid for 1 year from date of purchase and are non-refundable.
Do You Offer Refunds?
Our gift certificates are non-refundable, but they are transferable. Gift certificates are valid from 1 year of date of purchase. To avoid forfeiture of your gift certificate, we require at least 72 hours notice for cancellation or to reschedule. Please note that Aerostat Adventures reserves the right to reschedule your flight with or without notice if we deem that flying conditions are unsafe. We will reschedule your flight at your earliest convenience.
What do I Wear and Bring?
We recommend that you dress in comfortable casual clothing such as jeans, t-shirt, 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. DO NOT wear dresses, sandals, high heels or any other clothing that you do not want to get messed up. Bring along your camera. Some of the greatest pictures of the surrounding area can be taken from 500 feet in the air so bring lots of film and a protective case for landing…we don’t want to scratch anything. We are not responsible for any belongings that could fall out the basket though! You may also want to bring a pair of binoculars but remember space is limited so keep your carry-on’s to a minimum.
Is Health a Consideration?
Yes. Since our passengers stand during the flight and because there is some agility during the loading / unloading of the balloon, we do not recommend that pregnant women, 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 when you book your flight so we can make any prearrangement that may be necessary.
Can I Help with the Setup?
Yes, 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 with cold air, then we use burners to heat it up with hot air to make it stand upright. Once in the air and 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 Annonay, France. A sheep, a duck and a rooster where the first passengers. The first “manned” flight was on November 21, 1783 by the Montgolfier brothers. The first hot air balloon flight in America was on January 9, 1789. Jean-Pierre Blanchard made a 45 minute flight from Philadelphia, PA across the Delaware River to Deptford, NJ. George Washington was there to see the balloon leave Philadelphia, PA.
What type of fuel do balloons use?
Hot air Balloons use liquid propane for fuel.
How high do you fly the hot air balloons?
Hot air balloonist usually fly anywhere from 500 to 3,000 feet above sea level. The altitude will vary depending on the flight path the pilot wants to fly and the winds direction and speed during the flight.
Do you need a pilot’s license to fly a Hot-Air Balloon?
Yes you do! A pilot of a hot air balloon must have a pilot certificate from the FAA and it must carry the rating of “Lighter-than-air free balloon” (LTA). To carry paying passengers for hire in a hot air balloon, a pilot must have a commercial LTA pilot certificate. All of our pilots are FAA licensed LTA Commercial pilots. Their experience varies from 10+ years to over 25+ years of flying hot air balloons.
How can I become a balloon pilot?
To become an FAA licensed LTA pilot, you must meet certain criteria. There are 3 types of LTA pilots – Student pilot, Private pilot, and Commercial Pilot. Each level has a minimum amount of mandatory requirements that must be fulfilled before advancing to the next level. For complete details and additional requirements on LTA ratings, please consult the FAA Regulation Part 61.