Please feel free to call us at (928) 486-1075 or go to our Contact Us page with any additional questions.
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You may make a reservation for yourself or purchase a Gift Certificate by filling out our Online Reservation Form or by calling us at 928-486-1075.
Our flights generally take place shortly after sunrise -- therefore, we like to depart for the launch site about 1 hour prior to sunrise, allowing us time to prepare all equipment for a safe launch.
Ballooning is strictly a fair weather sport -- Assuming good visibility, the key consideration for a safe flight is wind speed. Generally a launch will not take place if wind speeds exceed 6-7 mph. The reason? High winds can cause unsafe conditions when the pilot has to land the balloon. In addition, our flying areas is not much greater than that in distance. Rain, surrounding storm systems or high winds are typical weather conditions that will prompt us to postpone and reschedule a flight.
The evening before your scheduled flight, we will contact you to let you know if the weather appears to be conducive for a flight . You will also be given details regarding where and when to meet the crew for the trip to the launch site.
The actual balloon launch site for each flight is chosen according to the wind direction and speed on that day.
Our goal is to give our passengers a flight of at least 45 minutes. Flight duration is dictated by wind conditions, speed and availability of landing spots. Flights may be (but very rarely) slightly shorter. But may also be (most likely) longer than our minimum. We do everthing possible to ensure a good long flight experience. When making your plans, you should expect your whole adventure with us to last between three to four hours.
The chase crew is in constant radio contact with the pilot. In addition, they will follow the path of the balloon visually as much as possible, all of which will allow them to be at the landing spot prior to or shortly after the balloon has landed.
Every flight is different. Most passengers prefer low level flights as more can be seen and heard. The pilot will fly higher and lower in search of the most favorable wind direction. Most flights are flown between 500-2000 ft.
Once we have launched, wind direction and speed will determine the flight path and distance the balloon will fly -- for example if the wind speeds are 5 mph, it is likely that we will fly a distance of approximately 5 miles in the time you are in the air. Other than general direction we never know when we take off where we will land.
- What you SHOULD wear:
T-shirt or casual shirt and Jeans or comfortable casual pants. For morning flights layering with a jacket, sweatshirt or long sleeved shirt is a good idea since early morning flights may be cool for launch and warm by the time we land.
Tennis Shoes or Hiking style boots designed for walking comfortably on all types of terrain.
- What you SHOULD NOT wear:
Skirts or dresses which make it difficult, awkward and sometimes embarrassing to climb in and out of the balloon basket.
High heeled shoes or boots which may cause ankle injuries upon landing or on uneven terrain that may be chosen as a launch or landing site.
Open toe shoes or sandals. Since our flights will be taking place in a desert environment and there seems to be very little soft plant-life we find that feet are best covered and protected.
As a good "rule of thumb," keep clothing casual and comfortable according to climate for the time of the year.
Although it is helpful for the crew if you participate in the inflation and pack-up process, it is not necessary. Also, IF YOU HAVE ANY HEALTH REALTED ISSUES SUCH AS BACK OR HEART PROBLEMS, ETC., PLEASE MAKE THE CREW AWARE OF THIS FACT PRIOR TO LAUNCH.
We welcome passengers of all ages. However, we prefer that children be mature enough to understand what they are undertaking, which generally means at least 6 years of age. Children must be accompanied by an adult. We have no upper age limit, but ballooning is an outdoor activity requiring a degree of agility. We recommend that people should be fit enough to climb in and out of the basket and stand for an hour. If you have questions about this please don't hesitate to contact us prior to your flight.
Absolutely! However, we are not responsible for the safety of camera equipment. The pilot may ask that cameras be stowed safely away during landing, so a neck strap or, even better a camera case is advisable.
Once you have landed and the balloon equipment is packed away, you will travel with the crew to a pre-arranged outdoor area for a post-flight ceremony. This includes a "continental breakfast" of muffins, fruit, juice and champagne during which each passenger will be presented with a personalized First Flight Certificate to commemorate their 'lighter than air' experience.
Yes, it is a requirement that each passenger must read and sign a release form prior to his/her flight. For your convenience, we have made this form available for viewing and downloading HERE on the web site. Please take the time to review the form. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact us.
We accept cash, credit card and check as payment for your flight. You may pay with cash or credit card on the day of the flight. However, we only accept checks from local residents on flight day. Purchase of Gift Certificates may be made with a credit card payment online or payment in person (in-full) at the time of purchase.
We understand that sometimes it may be necessary to cancel or postpone a flight. However, it is important that you give us 24-48 hours notice for any cancellation or postponement .
IMPORTANT reasons for advance cancellation notice:
1. If you are unable to make your scheduled flight, we must have every opportunity to fill your spot in the balloon.
2. A special 'post-flight' brunch and 'personalized' certificates are prepared for each flight. Our brunch consists of freshly baked muffins, freshly prepared fruit and purchase of other food items, all prepared the day before each scheduled flight.
We pride ourselves in making this a memorable and personal experience for each passenger. If your cancellation notice is less than 24 hours prior to your scheduled flight, this will culminate in a loss of money, time and effort in preparation for us.
At this time, we do not require a deposit for our flights because our passengers have been respectful of this fact. We appreciate your understanding and consideration of these details if you must cancel.
How a Balloon Works
Principles Of Balloon Flight
Balloons work on the very simple principle that hot air rises, as it is less dense than cold air. A balloon has a set of burners to heat the air, which fills the fabric of the envelope and causes 'lift'.
As the air is heated, the lifting force eventually overcomes the force of gravity and causes the balloon to rise. The balloon will not rise forever though, since the air in the envelope will eventually cool causing the balloon to descend.
As the balloon rises the air pressure also decreases. This means that there is less cool air to support the balloon and it will begin to drop again. By varying the temperature of the air in the envelope the balloon’s altitude can be controlled.
Flying the balloon
When flying the balloon, the pilot will control the vertical motion by either heating the air in the envelope to achieve 'lift' or by allowing it to cool in order to 'descend'. Sometimes hot air will be released by pulling out and re-sealing the parachute top, but normally the natural cooling of the balloon is enough. The balloon will only go where the wind takes it. The pilot uses the different wind directions that exist at different altitudes to 'steer' the balloon. By ascending and descending into the desired altititude he can take advantage of the wind direction at that level.
When the pilot has found a desirable landing spot he will allow the balloon to descend at a controlled rate of speed. Once the balloon contacts the ground he will release hot air by pulling on the parachute top. Depending on the wind speed at ground level, the landing will either be gentle and the balloon will remain standing or, if it is windy on the surface the balloon may lay on it's side and drag for a short distance. It is important to listen closely to the pilot's instructions before landing so that you are sufficiently prepared for your landing, especially if he anticipates a 'windy landing.'