Searching for Baloon rides in Washington? This is to the right place! Finding a firm to provide Baloon rides is easy. In addition, you can visit our ride guide, or look in the yellow pages.
Enjoying Baloon rides is something anyone can participate in, but it is also a popular way to celebrate a birthday! When you speak with the ride provider you are considering booking with, always to ask how many other passengers will be on the flight.
When it is time for your trip, 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 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:
Suddenly the wind ceased. The air seemed motionless around us. We were off, going at the speed of the air-current in which we now lived and moved. Indeed, for us there was no more wind; and this is the first great fact of spherical ballooning. Infinitely gentle is this unfelt motion forward and upward. The illusion is complete: it seems not to be the balloon that moves, but the earth that sinks down and away...
Villages and woods, meadows and chateaux, pass across the moving scene, out of which the whistling of locomotives throws sharp notes. These faint, piercing sounds, together with the yelping and barking of dogs, are the only noises that reach one through the depths of the upper air. The human voice cannot mount up into these boundless solitudes. Human beings look like ants along the white lines that are highways; and the rows of houses look like children's playthings."
— Alberto Santos-Dumont, 'My Air-Ships,' New York, The Century Company, 1904.
What happens if a bird flys into a balloon?
It would likely bounce off! Even though a bird wouldn't get that close, it would do no harm to the balloon or the bird. The envelope fabric is much tougher than it might appear. It is possible to fly a balloon with a hole large enough for a man to go through as long as the hole is not at the top of the envelope.
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One thing that makes ballooning difficult for the ground crew is one of the same things that make it exciting: the weather. The winds are almost always changing. Depending on what phase of the flight is being accomplished when those winds change means the ground crew must adapt their methods to deal with those changes. This is exactly why hot air ballooning is so exciting. Every flight is different! Each flight is truely an adventure.