Without a doubt the best trip I have
ever been on".
A Horn Sarasota Florida
"100 times better than I ever
it could be".
Saint Paul Minnesota
Words can not
describe! I felt safe. I learned a bunch and I had a great
time! True Professional!
T. K. Schulz
Des Moines IA.
We do suggest everyone read
About the Aircraft
You can tell Capt Thompson used to be
a flight instructor!
Hot air balloons need light and stable
winds for safe flight operations. These conditions occur most
often at sunrise. As the sun rises it will heat the earth and
cause the atmosphere to boil like a pot of water. That is also
why we limit our flights to about an hour of flight. After an
hour the atmosphere begins to boil throwing us around like a toy.
Just to put this all in perspective for
you. A LONG RANGE forecast for balloons is 24 HOURS.
That is right 24 hours! Things can change very quickly and we
need such precise weather conditions that any forecast more than 24
hours in advance is too much of a guess. So please do not call
and ask us what some flight date, two weeks out, looks like.
Heck we do not know what tomorrow afternoon will bring.
You can also keep an eye
on our calendar! If we know in advance that the weather will
not let us fly we post notices on the TA Flight Calendar with click
Please remember if you
are scheduled for a flight you must call us the night before your
flight to check if the weather will be good for your flight.
If you do not check in you may end up at the
Meeting Spot all by
yourself in the morning if the weather is not good.
There are three
things that will stop us from flying.
Wind is a balloons
biggest enemy. Wind of more than about 10mph will make the
balloon almost uncontrollable. We do not like to take passengers
if the winds are more than 6 MPH.
To put a balloon up you must
first fill it with air. This is done by laying the balloon on
the ground and starting a large fan. You must hold the balloon
still long enough to fill it with air before you turn on the burner to
stand up the balloon. If you have any wind the balloon will
begin to catch the wind like a giant sail and begin to drag itself
across the field. A balloon can generate as much as 6,000lbs of
pulling force in as little as a 12 mph wind. At this time we
don't even want to talk about landing in windy conditions.
flying is a VFR type of aircraft. This means Visual
Flight Rules. These are rules written by the Federal
Aviation Administration. Not only is it illegal to
operate a balloon in poor visibility but imagine driving
your car with your eyes closed. You're bound to hit
something and it wont be pretty. To land a balloon the
pilot must slow the decent of the balloon to get it to level
off right at the ground level. Hard to do when you can
not see the ground. We also need to have room under
the clouds to fly. If the clouds are only 1,000
feet off the ground we do not have the legal distance
requirements to fly.
when you have rain you have weather conditions that can
change dramatically. Here in Florida rain is either
driven by an advancing cold front or by the convective
heating of the surface of the earth by our intense sunshine.
In either case the rain will add dramatic weight to the skin
of the balloon forcing the pilot to add extra amounts of
heat to keep the balloon aloft. It is possible for
this weight to become so heavy that it literally forces the
balloon into the ground. If the pilot can successfully
land the balloon the damage to the fabric of the balloon
will completely ruin the aircraft.