Searching for Hot air balloon rides in Fort Collins? This is to the spot! Finding a firm to provide Hot air balloon rides is easy. Also, you can visit our ride guide, or look in the yellow pages.
Enjoying Hot air balloon rides is something the entire family can participate in, but it is also a great way to celebrate an anniversary! When you speak with the ride provider you are thinking about riding with, be sure to ask how many passengers will be flying with you.
When it is time for your flight, 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 entire 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:
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.
How long do balloons last?
Depending on the care it is given, a balloon envelope may last 500 or more flying hours. Considering that most sport pilots fly from 35-75 hours a year, balloons do last a long time.
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Sunrise and evening? But I want to go flying at noontime, so I won't have to get up so early. Sorry-midday is best left for glider pilots. Balloons usually fly within two or three hours of sunrise and sunset, when the winds are calmest and conditions most stable. During the middle of the day, upper level pressure gradient winds mix down to the surface. In addition, the development of thermals which the glider pilots love can be highly dangerous for the balloonist. Balloonists try to be on the ground no later than three hours after sunrise, and not launch more than that amount of time before sunset. Time of year makes much less difference than time of day.