Searching for Air balloon rides in Columbia? Welcome to the spot! Finding a firm to provide Air balloon rides is easy. In addition, you can check the rest of our site, or look in the yellow pages.
Enjoying Air balloon rides is something anyone can enjoy, but it is also a great way to get engaged! When you speak with the firm you are considering riding with, be sure to ask how many passengers will be aboard the balloon.
When it is time for your charter, your pilot will offer to let you help with the assembly and inflation of the balloon. Go ahead and do it - it adds to the experience!
Why can't I get a balloon ride in the middle of the day?
Balloons fly early in the morning, right after sunrise and late in the day, right before sunset. This is when the wind is calmest since the sun is low in the sky. The wind is generally too unpredictable, with severe up-and down-drafts, during the middle of the day. It isn't safe to offer balloon rides when the wind is unstable.
Famous Balloon Quote:
As we were returning to the inn we beheld something floating in the ample field of golden evening sky, above the chalk cliffs and the trees that grow along their summit. It was too high up, too large, and too steady for a kite; and, as it was dark, it could not be a star. . . The village was dotted with people with their heads in air; and the children were in a bustle all along the street and far up the straight road that climbs the hill, where we could still see them running in loose knots. It was a balloon, we learned, which had left St. Quentin at half past five that evening. Mighty composedly the majority of the grown people took it. But we were English, and were soon running up the hill with the best. Being travelers ourselves in a small way, we would fain have seen these other travelers alight.
The spectacle was over by the time we gained the top of the hill. All the gold had withered out of the sky, and the balloon had disappeared. Whither? I ask myself; caught up into the seventh heaven? or come safely to land somewhere in that blue uneven distance, into which the roadway dipped and melted before our eyes? Probably the aeronauts were already warming themselves at a farm chimney, for they say it is cold in these unhomely regions of the air. The night fell swiftly. Roadside trees and disappointed sight-seers, returning through the meadows, stood out in black against a margin of low, red sunset. It was cheerfully to face the other way, and so down the hill we went, with a full moon, the color of a melon, swinging high above the wooded valley, and the white cliffs behind us faintly reddened by the fire of the chalk kilns.
— Robert Louis Stevenson, from his travelogue of a canoe trip from Antwerp to Paris, written when he was 25, 'An Inland Voyage,' 1878.
Balloons do most of their flying in the boundary layer of air close enough to the earth's surface to be affected by it. Just as water flows around and over rocks in a stream, so does air flow over and around obstructions in the landscape. Balloonists learn to "hide" behind a hill or tree line to gain calm conditions at launch, and to stay clear of rotors a little further downwind of those same obstructions during flight. Balloons flow with the air currents up and down riverbeds and valleys, and around hills and buildings. Working with these local variations is much of balloon flight planning.
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How much do balloons cost?
About the same as a car or boat. The most popular sport size balloons cost from $18,000 to $25,000 or more. Support equipment (radios, fan, extra tanks, tools, repair kit, etc.) adds from $2,000 to $ 5,000 more. You can also buy used balloons.