Searching for Balloon flights in Pittsburgh? You've come to the spot! Finding a pilot to provide Balloon flights is easy. Also, you can visit the rest of our site, or look in your local yellow pages.
Enjoying Balloon flights is something everyone can participate in, but it is also a very popular way to give a gift! When you speak with the company you are considering booking with, always to ask how many passengers will be in the basket.
When it is time for your trip, 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 experience!
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:
The best way of travel, however, if you aren't in any hurry at all, if you don't care where you are going, if you don't like to use your legs, if you don't want to be annoyed at all by any choice of directions, is in a balloon. In a balloon, you can decide only when to start, and usually when to stop. The rest is left entirely to nature.
— William Pene du Bois, 'The Twenty-one Balloons.'
The pilot heats the air in the balloon to rise, and lets the air cool to descend. An experienced pilot has absolute control over the balloon's altitude, but can't turn against the wind. The pilot steers the ballon by finding different air currents that are moving in the direction he wants to fly.
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In their simplest form, balloon competitions score how close a pilot can get to a pre-determined target. Small weighted markers are dropped at the target. The challenge is to be the closest to the target, but unlike all other forms of flying, balloon pilots do not have direct control of their direction of flight. The balloon simply drifts with the wind.