Searching for Hot air balloon flights in Milwaukee? You've come to the page you want! Finding a pilot to provide Hot air balloon flights is easy. Additionally, you can stop by our Balloon Ride Directory, or look in the local yellow pages.
Enjoying Hot air balloon flights is something anyone can $do, but it is also a very popular way to give a gift! When you speak with the ride provider you are thinking about riding with, don't forget to ask how many others will be on the flight.
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:
As we were returning to the inn we beheld something floating in the ample field of golden evening sky, above the chalk cliffs and the trees that grow along their summit. It was too high up, too large, and too steady for a kite; and, as it was dark, it could not be a star. . . The village was dotted with people with their heads in air; and the children were in a bustle all along the street and far up the straight road that climbs the hill, where we could still see them running in loose knots. It was a balloon, we learned, which had left St. Quentin at half past five that evening. Mighty composedly the majority of the grown people took it. But we were English, and were soon running up the hill with the best. Being travelers ourselves in a small way, we would fain have seen these other travelers alight.
The spectacle was over by the time we gained the top of the hill. All the gold had withered out of the sky, and the balloon had disappeared. Whither? I ask myself; caught up into the seventh heaven? or come safely to land somewhere in that blue uneven distance, into which the roadway dipped and melted before our eyes? Probably the aeronauts were already warming themselves at a farm chimney, for they say it is cold in these unhomely regions of the air. The night fell swiftly. Roadside trees and disappointed sight-seers, returning through the meadows, stood out in black against a margin of low, red sunset. It was cheerfully to face the other way, and so down the hill we went, with a full moon, the color of a melon, swinging high above the wooded valley, and the white cliffs behind us faintly reddened by the fire of the chalk kilns.
— Robert Louis Stevenson, from his travelogue of a canoe trip from Antwerp to Paris, written when he was 25, 'An Inland Voyage,' 1878.
How do you steer a balloon?
Balloons simply float with the wind. The pilot can control the balloon's altitude to find a wind going in the desired direction, but you cannot fly upwind or crosswind. Preflight planning insures the pilot knows which way the balloon will be traveling, and the pilot makes sure there are plenty of suitable landing sites downwind.
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During the flight the balloon is followed by the chase crew. The chase crew is usually in radio contact with the pilot, and the crew's job is to be at the landing site when the balloon returns to earth. This can be quite an adventure in itself! After the balloon lands, the crew packs the balloon back into the chase vehicle and everyone returns to the launch site. One of the most important parts of being on a chase crew is dealing with the public. When the balloon is landing, the chase crew asks the landowner for permission to retrieve the balloon.