Searching for Air balloon rides in San Diego? You have found to the end of your search! Finding a company to provide Air balloon rides is easy. In addition, you can visit our ride guide, or look in the yellow pages.
Enjoying Air balloon rides is something anyone can $do, but it is also a great way to celebrate a birthday! When you speak with the firm you are considering flying with, always to ask how many passengers will be on the flight.
When it is time for your adventure, your ride company will offer to let you help with the assembly and inflation of the balloon. Go ahead and do it - it adds to the fun!
Do you need a license to fly a balloon?
A Balloon Pilot Certificate is issued by the Federal Aviation Administration in the USA. You must pass an FAA written exam, obtain a prescribed number of hours of instruction, make a solo flight, a flight to a specific altitude and pass a flight test.
A pilot offering balloon rides (flying passengers for hire) must receive additional training and have more experience than a private pilot. You don't have to be able to fly an airplane since it is a completely different type of aircraft, although many balloon pilots also fly other types of aircraft like airplanes and helicopters.
Famous Balloon Quote:
Previous to this time I had never even a balloon except from a distance. Being interested in their construction, I was about to institute a thorough examination of all its parts, when the aeronaut announced that all was ready. He inquired whether I desired to go up alone, or he should accompany me. My desire, if frankly expressed, would have been not to go up at all; but if I was to go, company was certainly desirable. With an attempt at indifference, I intimated that he might go along.
— George Armstrong Custer, while a Captain in the cavalry. Regards order to go aloft in one of Thaddeus Lowe's balloons to observe the movements of the Confederate forces. Quoted in 'Son of the Morning Star.' 1862.
A long time ago someone wrote a balloonists prayer, and we've used it in the post flight ceremonies ever since:
The winds have welcomed you with softness
The sun has held you in his warm hands
You have flown so high and so well
That God has joined you in your laughter
And set you gently back down
Into the loving arms of Mother Earth.
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Competition pilots have become quite skilled in reading the winds aloft and using them to their advantage to get where they want to be (the target!). Competitors have gotten so good that the difference between first place and third or fourth can be fractions of an inch.