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Hot Air Ballooning FAQ's

Frequently Asked Questions

Is hot air ballooning safe?

Yes, very much so. Ballooning is the safest form of air travel. Your pilot will be a fully qualified Commercial Pilot with a wealth of experience. All flights are carried out in accordance with strict guidelines set out and monitored by the Civil Aviation Authority.

When do we fly?

Our main flying season is from April to October at dawn and a few hours before sunset. We do this to avoid the hot thermic conditions that build up during the day. Outside of our main flying season, we fly if the weather and ground conditions allow us to do so.

Where will the balloon go?

Well that is the beauty of ballooning, you just don't really know. Obviously we have forecasts which will give us a good indication, but we only really find out when we take off, every balloon flight is different.

How far will the balloon fly?

Again, we are dependent on nature. The average is around 10 miles, although it can range from 5 to 25 miles as the crow flies.

How long will we be in the air?

You will be with us for between three and four hours in total. We aim for around an hour’s flight experience in this time although exact times cannot be guaranteed.

How involved can we be?

As much as you like. In fact during the balloon's inflation you will be encouraged to get involved. It gives you a better understanding of the whole flight process and is part of the fun.

Is it cold up there?

Not really as we travel with the wind there is no discernable difference in temperature

How long does the balloon flight last?

You should allow three to three and a half hours for the whole experience.

What will I be able to see?

As we take off, you will be amazed at the 360 degree panormamic view. When we are drifting above the tree tops, you will be able to spot wildlife that sometimes doesn't even realise you are there.

As we climb higher you will be able to see the countryside pan out in front of your eyes. If we are lucky and conditions are right, we can be treated to the spectacle of clouds from close distance.

What should I wear?

Oneo fhte most common questions we get asked is what to wear for the balloon flight? You should come dressed as you would for walking at the time of year. This means long sleeves and trousers, preferably in natural fibres. Shorts are not recommended, neither are skirts or dresses.

Fields can be wet with dew in the morning and in the evening, so good waterproof walking boots are recommended. Flat soles are a must, high heels must not be worn.

In the winter we recommend gloves and wear a hat if you are tall or balding, as this will protect you from the radiant heat of the burner.

Where will we land?

When you fly, your pilot will talk to you more about how balloons work. This will help you understand how a landing site is chosen. Normally, a grass field, school playing field, park or golf course will make a good landing spot. We avoid landing near cattle or in crop.

How do I get back to the launch site?

After we have launched, the retrieve crew set off to follow us. They are in radio contact with us and will find us when we land. After we have packed the balloon away transport will be arranged to return you to your launch site if required.

Should I bring a camera?

You'll be amazed how much film you will get through. Bring your camera, bring your camcorder, but most of all, bring twice as much film as you were going to.

Can I change my booking?

Yes, you can. If you have booked a flight and wish to alter the date, you will need to give us at least three days notice.

What if the weather is bad?

We don't fly in bad weather. If the weather is bad on the day of your flight and the flight has to be cancelled, you will be asked to reschedule your flight for another time.

I have a restricted voucher, can I upgrade it?

Yes. You simply pay the difference in price. Just call us on 0845 3371566 and we will be happy to upgrade your flight voucher. (upgrade prices are based on standard voucher prices and can not be upgraded to special offer prices)

Can my friends follow the hot air balloon?

Of course. If you have friends who wish to follow the balloon, please let your pilot know before the flight. This is so the pilot can brief your friends. We ask them to stay behind the retrieve vehicle so that they can find us. Following a balloon is relatively straight forward until it lands.

At this point the radio contact is sometimes necessary. On landing, it is very important that your friends understand that they should not enter the landing site. Obviously our sport depends on the good nature of local landowners and we must remain courteous in order to preserve it.

Am I fit to fly?

People should not fly if they are suffering any serious illnesses. If in any doubt, you should contact your GP as we are not qualified to assess your condition.

What about if I am pregnant?

You MUST NOT FLY if you are, or think you may be pregnant. If you have vouchers with us and are pregnant we will extend your vouchers by 9 months.

Is there an age limit?

There is no upper age limit. Provided you are in good health and can stand for an hour we can fly you. We cannot fly anyone under the age of seven.

Children aged between eight and eleven are flown at the discretion of the pilot. Children aged under sixteen must fly with a full fare paying adult. Please contact our office for further information.

What about if I'm scared of heights?

Well you won't be alone. Many people are scared of heights, but ballooning is different. You do not get any sensation of movement or speed; the ground simply seems to fall away.

You will quickly lose any fear you had, in fact, most people who were scared initially, want to go straight back up once we have landed.

Am I covered by Insurance?

Yes. We carry third party and passenger liability cover.

 

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