About Hot Air Ballooning
Hot air balloons generally fly in the mornings, right at sunrise, or in the evenings, about 2 hours before sunset. If you have never visited a hot air balloon festival, you should expect to see the balloons appear right before the mass launch.
Tethered rides will tentatively begin around the mass launch time. This is if the winds are conducive. Tethered rides are a short up and down that will give you a nice view of the Festival from the air. Pricing is $25 per person. (Ages 3 and under are free and at the discretion of the pilot.)
If you are interested in taking a full hot air balloon ride, here are some questions you may have before booking your ride. We also fly year round. You may contact us at 908-283-0721, if you have questions that have not been answered here, or would like to book your flight at the festival or at another time of year.
Frequently Asked Questions About Our Hot Air Ballooning
What is the hot air balloon made of? The balloon itself or “envelope” is made of 1.7 ounce, high tenacity, rip-stop nylon, the same type of material used in parachutes. Our basket or “gondola” is made of woven wicker and is all-woven in construction, giving it great flexibility and impact-absorbing qualities upon landing.
Is hot air ballooning dangerous? There is inherent danger in just about anything that we do. We usually tell people that it is safer in the balloon then in your car. Ballooning is like any type of flying. If you follow the rules, and use your common sense, it is as safe a sport as you make it.
What if I am pregnant? We recommend not flying.
What if I had a recent surgery like knee or hip replacement? We recommend not flying. If you have any doubts you should share your condition with us prior to booking.
How do you steer a hot air balloon? Winds vary at different altitudes. Every day is different, so some days are more steerable then others. You steer by going up and down to find the winds that are going the way that you want to go. That is the challenging part of flying hot air balloons - trying to get where you want to go.
How do hot balloons fly? Balloons fly when there is a less dense air mass created inside the balloon then the surrounding air. This is caused by heating the air inside the balloon.
What kind of fuel do hot air balloons use? Balloons use liquid propane. Most balloons carry between 30 to 40 gallons. In a typical flight we will use 15 to 20 gallons. Balloons are powered courtesy of Gastec at the Festivals.
What days and times do you fly? 7 days a week. Morning and evening flights are available. Morning flights are at sunrise and evening flights are normally 2 hours before sunset
When is the best time to fly, in the morning or early evening? Both times are very beautiful, though both are quite different. Even if you are not a morning person, the morning flight will be a pleasant eye-opener. You have to commit to waking up early in the morning to go on the morning flight but it is well worth it. You will find yourself surrounded by beautiful farmland and rolling hills. We typically do not have morning flights available during the festivals, but most times can accommodate you outside the festival.
Why do hot air balloons only fly at sunrise or a few hours before sunset? During the summer, the winds are the calmest in the morning or early evening. In our part of the country, balloons usually will not fly in winds more then 10-12 miles per hour. The hills and valleys create turbulence when it is windy, which makes it unsafe to fly. In the plain states where it is flat, balloons are able to fly in higher winds because the land is flat and therefore usually less turbulent. The heat of the sun also causes turbulence as it warms the ground. In the winter, it is possible for balloons to fly anytime during the day, if winds are not related to weather fronts.
How many people do you carry? Balloons come in all kinds of sizes. They can carry from one to fifty people. The larger the balloon the more people it will carry. At the festivals we take anywhere from a single passenger up to 4 or 5 passengers a basket, based on weight and balloon availability. During the year we cater to couples, and carry two in each balloon unless requested otherwise.
Can you accommodate larger groups? No problem. Just give us a call for more details! 908-283-0721.
What if I am pregnant? We recommend to wait to take the balloon flight.
What about small children? There are restriction on flying small children. You may want to take several things in to consideration. First, can your child see over the basket. Also, if your child has been around a balloon before, how did they respond to the burner. For those children that have never been around a hot air balloon before, the burner is quite loud and spits out an extremely large flame. Chances are a young child (5 or 6), no matter how much he tells you really really wants to go, will be scared by the burner and change his mind at the last minute. Young children tend to get bored because ballooning is not an exciting ride like a roller coaster. We recommend children be at least 8 years of age, but can discuss with parents if the child is a bit younger.