Searching for Baloon rides in Newport News? This is to the right place! Finding a ride provider to provide Baloon rides is easy. Also, you can visit our Balloon Ride Directory, or look in your local yellow pages.
Enjoying Baloon rides is something the entire family can participate in, but it is also a great way to go on a date! When you speak with the ride provider you are considering flying with, always to ask how many others will be aboard the balloon.
When it is time for your ride, your 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:
Like a shamanistic language, flight speaks in different idioms. We can blast rockets to the stars. We can race across the sky on fixed wings. Ballooning appeals because it is more languorous and low-tech; it's adventure in an antique mood.
What a treat to stroll through the veils of twilight, to float across the sky like a slowly forming thought. Flying an airplane, one usually travels the shortest distance between two points. Balloonists can dawdle, lollygag, cast their fate to the wind and become part of the ebb and flow of nature, part of the sky itself, held aloft like any bird, leaf or spore. In that silent realm, far from the mischief and toil of society, all one hears is the urgent breathing of the wind and, now and then, an inspiring gasp of hot air.
— Diane Ackerman, 'Traveling Light,' op-ed in The New York Times, 11 January 1997.
A balloon has an envelope, basket, and usually a burner and fuel system. The envelope is the fabric part of the balloon, the bag that holds the lifting gas. The basket (traditionally wicker) is where the pilot and passengers ride. In a hot air balloon (which is what you'll fly in), a burner hangs between the envelope and the basket. It burns liquefied propane gas to make an intensely hot and long flame, capable of heating a large volume of air very quickly.
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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.