Welcome to "All you ever wanted to know about hot air ballooning, but was afraid to ask..." site. The following information will give you insight on what to expect with your balloon flight. Of course, if you have additional questions, please feel free to call or email.
We've come a long way since 1783. The sport of hot air ballooning got its start after two French brothers observed air filled paper bags floating over a kitchen fire. Well, at least that is one of the stories you will hear about Joseph and Etienne Montgolfier who launched the first unmanned hot air balloon in 1783. On November 21 of that same year, Pilatre de Rosier and Marquis d'Arlandes completed the first manned flight. This began the stage of man's fascination with flight.
Today's hot air balloons are beautiful, reliable, and relatively easy to fly. Space-age material and engineering have been combined to bring the sport to new levels of popularity and safety. The costs are also reasonable. There are balloon clubs around the world. The Balloon Federation of America (BFA) covers the entire U.S.
Your day will begin at sunrise in the hot summer months and at mid-morning or evening during the cooler winter months.
Do's and Don'ts:
Wear sturdy shoes (no sandals please) and all natural fibers like cotton, flannel, and wool (don't wear nylon jackets or pants). Bring along a hat and gloves for cold weather and "hands on training". And, avoid drinking caffeinated drinks before your flight (these are diuretics and there are no "honey buckets" in the basket). Binoculars, cameras, and video equipment are always encouraged. And, if you wish, bring your favorite music on ipod or other device for in-flight music. And, if you have children 12 years or under who will not be flying with you, please bring an adult to either drive your vehicle or manage the children. Make sure you have a signed waiver ready to hand to the Captain.
When you arrive at the balloon site, you will be greeted by a merry band of balloonists. Don't be shy. We usually meet at sunrise at the Sequim Valley Airport (but call ahead to make sure we haven't changed the meeting location.)
A pie-ball (helium-filled balloon) will be launched at the site to verify the wind speed and direction. We will then drive to the launch site, set-up the balloon system, and begin our adventure.
Hot air ballooning is weather dependent and flights occur only when weather is optimal to ensure the safety of passengers and crew. Rain, wind, and days when the ceiling (cloud cover) is too low or too heavy are "no fly" dates. If the weather is uncooperative for our day's flight booking, we will reschedule for another time. Please contact us two days prior to your flight to make sure the balloon will be able to fly.