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Enjoying Balloon flights is something the entire family can enjoy, but it is also a very popular way to get married! When you speak with the pilot you are thinking about riding with, don't forget to ask how many others will be flying with you.
When it is time for your ride, 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!
Be sure to bring a camera and plenty of film!
You'll be surprised at how many pictures you take before, during and after your flight. Bring more film or memory than you think you'll use. Once you're in the air and snapping away you sure don't want to be surprised by running out!
You can bring cameras for still or video, and we suggest you carry them in a protective case. Your pilot may ask you to put your cameras away during landing to make sure there are no objects that could fly out of your hand and hurt someone. Once you're on the ground you can start shooting again.
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.
Balloons are flown by a licensed pilot, who is assisted by a ground crew. The crew help assemble and inflate the balloon, and follow on the ground during flight. After the balloon lands, the crew packs up the balloon and everyone is taken back to the original meeting place.
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Do you need a licence to fly a balloon?
Yes. 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. 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.