What is a chase crew?
Chase crews help the pilot inflate and deflate his/her balloon for each flight. If you are interested in being on a chase crew, you can register online!
What is a mass ascension?
A mass ascension is when all of the balloons launch at the same time.
What is a glow?
A glow is a static display of balloons after sunset. We will host balloon glows on Friday and Saturday evening.
What is a tethered ride?
It's basically how it sounds. You ascend to a low altitude while remaining tethered to the ground. There are 6 passengers per ride.
Is there potential for the Hot Air Balloons events to not happen due to weather?
The short answer is yes...
Weather conditions have to be IDEAL in order to safely launch Hot Air Balloons. If there is any sign of a potentially non-safe flight our balloonmeister will cancel the event. Luckily, there are multiple opportunities to watch a Hot Air Balloon event throughout the weekend. Just because one is canceled it is not an indication another will be.
What are these IDEAL weather conditions you speak of?
- Winds: Winds are obviously the most critical weather phenomena that effects balloons. Winds are the #1 reason that Balloon Flights are canceled. Balloons fly best with wind speeds ranging from 4 to 6 miles per hour. Balloons will never fly in winds higher than 12 mph. Strong winds can not only damage the balloon, but it can make a pilot overshoot a target, cause a hard landing and require more space for landing.
- Winds Aloft: Winds aloft (or winds at higher altitudes) can also cause a flight to be canceled. There may be almost no wind at the ground, but at altitude, the wind may be blowing at 20 miles per hour. Winds aloft must also be taken into consideration when deciding whether to fly or not.
- Visibility: Balloon Pilots operate under FAA VFR conditions. This means they must have a certain amount of visibility in order to be able to fly (which means NO NIGHT FLYING). Depending on flight location, the visibility must be AT LEAST 1 to 3 miles. For the most part, there will be NO flying in fog.
- Rain: Balloons do not launch in the rain. Rain can damage the balloon and decrease visibility. Besides, would you want to fly in a Hot-Air Balloon in rainy weather?
- Fronts: There must be no fronts in the area for a balloon launch to occur. Fronts usually come with a change in wind direction or increased wind speeds. If pilots can plan ahead for this, then it may be possible for launch. But if the front will move through during the time of flight, the launch must be canceled.
- Thunderstorms: There must be NO thunderstorms within 100 miles of the launch point for a balloon launch to take place. Thunderstorms present hazards to any type of aircraft, but a balloon is the one aircraft that would be affected most by any type of weather condition. A lightning strike to a balloon is an extremely dangerous hazard. In addition, gust fronts can occur up to 100 miles in advance of a storm or line of storms, which could heavily impact a balloon. If the weather forecast calls for Severe Weather, it is a good bet that the balloons will NOT be launching at that time
- Source: https://www.bcballoons.com/balloons/hot-air-balloon-launch-weather-criteria