Hot Air Balloon Rides F.A.Q.
Click on a Question below to see the answer!
How safe are hot air balloons?
Per the NTSB statistics aviation (flying) is the safest form of travel; and per the statistics hot air balloons are the safest form of aviation. You can review here
Why not book a hot air balloon ride with a third party like Groupon, or Living Social?
There are many other third party booking agency from all around the world selling hot air balloon rides right here in Phoenix, Arizona. Such as Groupon, Living Social, Viator, Expedia, Adrenaline365, Rush Cube, and many more. Finding the local hot air balloon company can be frustrating now days with so many third party agencies selling hot air balloon rides. Google maps, or Google places seems to also promote out of town companies depending on the P.O. box they submit. Yes all you need is a post office box to become a google local company.
How to find the local organic hot air balloon ride company? Call and ASK:
How long have you operated in Phoenix Arizona?
Where is your company headquarters?
Do you operate in Phoenix year round?
Are your pilots full time Phoenix residents?
Aerogelic Ballooning has been a local organic hot air balloon company since 1976. Originally born in Mesa Arizona (Phoenix suburb) built by Phil Cory (father of current owner Shane Cory) and originally named Cory Bubble Ballooning (yes totally corny 70's name LOL). All of Aerogelic Ballooning's pilots are full time residents of Phoenix Arizona and operate in Phoenix year round.
Where Do You Launch on a Hot Air Balloon Ride in Phoenix, Arizona?
Aerogelic is proud to say we fly from all over the Phoenix, Arizona area and as far north as Show Low, or Pinetop, AZ. Some of the more popular locations to fly out of are Phoenix, Scottsdale, Glendale, Chandler, Mesa, Tempe, Queen Creek, Arizona. The two most common launch sites in the Phoenix Metro area and the Chandler Launch Sites. Which could consist of nearly 100 possible hot air balloon launch locations. However, a hot air balloon can launch almost anywhere depending on the wind speed and directions available for that flight hour.
What are the age requirements to fly?
Aerogelic Ballooning's oldest passenger was 106 years old. She went for a hot air balloon ride every year for her birthday starting on her 100th birthday. Unfortunately, on her 107th birthday we reached out in hopes to see her again and found she didn't quite make it. So you probably wont be too old to fly in a hot air balloon. Although babies or toddlers are not permitted your children 6 years or older will absolutely love the balloon ride. Dont forget toys... always fun to fly paper airplanes out of the balloon, or toy parachutes from thousands of feet up!
What about medical conditions?
As hot air balloon ride professionals we can not recommend whether activities are safe for you with medical conditions. We therefore recommend consulting your primary doctor if you may have any questions. Although we do not allow pregnant women, or recent debilitating injuries aboard our hot air balloons. Our hot air balloons are not FAA type certified for wheel chair access; although there is such a thing worthy of investigation start here: http://www.newmobility.com/2015/10/accessible-balloon/ also review our terms and conditions here:https://www.aerogelicballooning.com/terms.php
What Am I Likely to See on My Hot Air Balloon Ride in Arizona?
Wind conditions determine the exact sights you'll see, but some of the favorite sights are the Phoenix cityscape, the Sonoran Desert, the Scottsdale Arizona businesses, McDowell Mountain Regional Park, the San Tan Mountains, Phoenix University of Phoenix Stadium, the gorgeous landscapes around Scottsdale and some of the lakes and waterways scattered around the area.
How Do You Steer a Hot Air Balloon?
The balloon ride goes where the wind takes it. However, the winds at varying altitudes may blow in different directions and at different speeds, so the trick is to climb or descend to an altitude where the wind is blowing in the direction you want to go.
Do You Need a License to Pilot a Hot Air Balloon in Phoenix?
Yes. A Balloon Pilot Certificate is required by the Federal Aviation Administration. You must pass an FAA written exam, have a prescribed number of hours of flight instruction in a balloon, make a solo flight and a flight to altitude, pass a flight test and oral exam with a designated fight examiner and submit a medical statement. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hot_air_balloon#Licensing)
How big are hot air balloons?
The typical sport balloons range in size from 65,000 to 105,000 cubic feet in volume and stand about 70 feet tall. The passenger ride hot air balloon can be of any size between 105,000 - 500,000 cubic feet (4 passenger - 32 passenger). Aerogelic ride balloons are any size between 105,000 - 275,000 cubic feet; carrying up to 12 passengers. No Cattle cars ;-) To appreciate their size, you should come for a hot air balloon ride!
How Do You Get Back After a Hot Air Balloon Flight?
With the help of a "chase crew" who drive a "recovery vehicle". The balloon ride chase crew follows the flight of the hot air balloon trying to stay parallel or ahead of the balloon and try be on hand to make the recovery when the balloon touches down.
How fast does a Hot Air Balloon go?
Hot air balloons travel at the speed of the wind. Although hot air balloon rides are a fair weather sport the preferable wind speed is under 10 mph, and sometimes faster at higher altitudes. Because wind wind speed is light and hot air balloons tack in different wind directions the average balloon ride distance is give or take 5 miles.
How High do Hot Air Balloons Fly?
Most hot air balloon flights occur between 1000 and 3,000 feet above the ground. But balloons can fly at just above the ground or go much higher. The world record for altitude in a hot air balloon is 68,986 feet.
How is a Hot Air Balloon Inflated?
First the balloon (or "envelope") is stretched out on the ground and attached to the basket, which is lying on its side. A small gasoline-powered fan blows air into the balloon. Then the burner is turned on, and the air in the balloon is heated. The hot air rises, lifting the balloon upright. Since a balloon is quite unwieldy on the ground, especially in gusty winds, it takes about four people to get the balloon inflated. Of course, the more people there are, the more fun you can have.
How Long Can You Stay Up on a Hot Air Balloon Ride?
The average hot air balloon ride is give or take an hour. Although normally, the balloon carries enough fuel to remain aloft for about 1.5 - 2 hours for reserve and safe hot air ballooning. Factors like outside air temperature, weight being carried in the basket and weather determine the duration of the flight. In the winter, hot air balloon flights are a little longer, and summer hot air balloon flights are a little shorter.
What are Hot Air Balloons Made of?
The envelope of a hot air balloon is usually made of a reinforced fabric called "rip-stop nylon"* or polyester, and nomex which is a fire retardant fabric closer to where the flame would be. Even though the balloon fabric is lightweight and extremely strong, the balloon fabric is coated on the inside to prevent leaks. The hot air balloon baskets are made from rattan and each one is individually woven, and sewn by hand. All of Aerogelic hot air balloons are FAA type certified aircraft. For more information from a hot air balloon manufacture visit http://adamsballoons.us/
What kind of fuel is used to heat the Hot Air Balloon?
Hot Air Balloons use propane, kept in pressurized tanks in the basket. The tanks are connected to special burners with flexible, aircraft-grade hoses. One thrilling thing to experience is when the burner shoots out a flame as long as 10-20 feet, making a loud "whoosh." Generally hot air balloons carry 30-40 gallons of liquid propane, which will keep your hot air balloon ride going for about 2 hours.
When is the best time to fly a balloon?
Although my balloon ride passengers will tell you "anytime, with Aerogelic!” I can't really say that. Usually the best times to take a hot air balloon ride is just after sunrise and one or two hours before sunset. This is when winds are most calm, the air most stable and the scenery most breathtaking!
Why does passenger weight matter?
Hot air balloons are like any other form of aircraft; whereas they also have a weight and balance load charts that every balloon pilot has to adhere to. Balloons are most specifically bound to weight restrictions versus amount of people per hot air balloon basket. This is for your safety that we know your true and honest weight. Are you too big or heavy to go for a balloon ride? No we account for that, although over a certain weight we start leaving seats open to accommodate all people.