Balloon Flights in the Disney World area of Orlando Florida.  Rides Flown Daily at sunrise in Central Florida. Over35 Years Experience!

A Proud member of

HotAirBalloonist.com

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Without a doubt the best trip I have

ever been on".

A Horn Sarasota Florida

"100 times better than I ever thought

it could be".

C Michaels  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!

 

 

 

Thompson Compound Weather Station

Click here.  TAweather

 

Thompson Aire

Weather Conditions

407-421-9322 or Contact US

 

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 on popup. 

 

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 Best Western all by yourself in the morning if the weather is not good.

 

There are three things that will stop us from flying.

 

High wind

Wind is a balloons biggest enemy.  Wind of more than about 10mph will make the balloon almost uncontrollable.  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.

 

Poor Visibility

Balloon 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.  Your 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.

 

Rain

Generally 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.

 
Want to look at the weather information we do...

Weather Links.

Soundings of the atmosphere at Orlando GSD Sounding Plots ORLANDO
Balloon Weather Forecast (6 - 8 hour) Orlando - Sanford, FL Balloon Weather
Hourly Weather for Orlando Hourly Weather Forecast for Orlando
Hourly reports from stations around Florida Hourly (State Weather Roundup) - NOAA's National Weather Service
Kissimmee Airport Log Kissimmee Weather
Observations and Guidance Forecast for KMCO Orlando International Airport.
Observations and Guidance Forecast for KORL Orlando Executive Airport.
Current and Forecast US Surface Analysis Charts US Surface Analysis
Orlando Metro Radar Intellicast.com - Metro Radar - Orlando, FL
7 Day Forecast 7 Day Winter Garden
Another Hourly Forecast hourly intellicast
Surface forecast chart Intellicast's Surface 12hr for Orlando
Radar LOOP NWS radar image loop of Base Reflectivity from Melbourne, FL
Wind Forecast Graphic Intellicast's Wind Forecast for Orlando
Florida Metar Map Weather Map of Observations stations
Current Weather at the Thompson Compound. TAweather

 

Confused with all the info?   A great place to start is FAQ or the SITE MAP page