How do I book a Hot Air Balloon flight?
You can book your flight on this website.
How do we confirm your booked flight with us?
Sunrise Flights: We will contact you (using your contact number provided on your booking form) at between 21:00 and 21:30 the night before your Sunrise Flight; to confirm the flight and meeting time. Sunset Flights: We will contact you (using your disclosed contact number provided on your booking request form) at between 15:00 and 15:30 the afternoon of your Sunset Flight; to confirm the flight and meeting time.
How long is the flight?
Plan on being with us for about 2.5 to 3 hours from start to finish. The flight portion lasts approximately 1 hour, depending on the wind speed and direction.
Where do we meet to start our Hot Air Balloon experience?
We meet at in the parking area just in front of civic address #4302, Route 13 in the village of Hunter River. Click here for the Google Map and directions.
What time of day do the flights take place?
Flights take place at sunrise and approximately 2 hours prior to sunset. Hot Air Balloons are not able to fly during the middle of the day due to thermal activity, which makes the air very unstable.
Do passengers ever get airsick?
No, because the balloon moves at the same speed as the wind, passengers experience no sense of motion.
Why do I only see Hot Air Balloons early in the morning or evening?
During the day, the sun heats Mother Earth sending large columns of rising warm air mixed with moisture from the ground . As the warm moist air rises, it is replaced with currents of cooler air that descend from higher altitudes. These cyclical events create thermal winds which are extremely undesirable for a safe hot air balloon ride.
What type of weather conditions are needed to fly in a Hot Air Balloon?
Hot Air Balloon flights take place in light winds with no rain or approaching storms in the immediate area.
How high do you go?
Our altitude will vary during your flight, but most flights take place between 500 and 3,000 feet. The balloon may go higher if the day’s winds allow your pilot to do so. Winds permitting, some flights will also occur at lower altitudes (treetop level; provided there are no populated areas below) that provide a wonderful panoramic view of the landscape below.
How far do you travel?
Because your balloon flight relies 100% on the wind, no two flights are the same, but most flights travel approximately 3 and 20 kilometers.
How fast do you fly?
The balloon travels the same speed as the wind.
How many people go into the basket?
Our balloons holds a maximum of 2 passengers, plus the pilot. 3 total.
What should we wear?
Wear casual clothing and comfortable shoes appropriate for an outdoor adventure (no high heeled shoes). Dress for the season and layer your clothing so that you can adjust for the warming temperatures as the morning progresses. The coolest you will be is on the ground. Once in flight, the burners tend to keep the basket nice and warm including the winter months. In the winter, appropriate clothing includes hats, gloves, boots, a warm jacket, snow pants and sunglasses. Summer attire includes long pants, sturdy shoes that will provide good support walking on uneven ground, a ball cap, sunscreen and sunglasses. No shorts, open-toed shoes or sandals please. Also recommended for summer and fall morning flights are waterproof shoes/boots of some description.
Does it get cold up there?
Actually, at sunrise, it is not uncommon for it to be slightly warmer in the air than on the ground due to a temperature inversion at that time of day. The coolest part of the morning is when we meet. It gets warmer from that point on, and quite cozy when flying in the balloon basket. We therefore recommend that you wear clothing in layers so you can adjust for the rising temperatures as the day progresses. Our evening (sunset) flights are quite cozy in the basket as well however, we also recommend that you wear clothing in layers to adjust for falling evening temperatures on the ground after we land.
What should we bring?
Bring your camera with extra batteries and video cameras are also encouraged.
Is it quiet in the balloon?
When the burner is off, it is extremely quiet. The tranquility is one of the most enjoyable aspects of Hot Air Ballooning.
Can you fly during the winter?
Yes, hot air balloons can fly in Winter however, our commercial balloon operations take place between late Spring and until all the leaves are off the trees in the late Fall.
How big is the Hot Air Balloon?
Our balloons are 90,000 and 105,000 cubic ft. That is approximately 70 feet high and 60 feet in diameter.
Does the basket sway and move around when flying?
The basket does not sway since it moves with the wind.
How do Hot Air Balloon flights work?
Hot Air Balloons rise because the air inside the balloon envelope is warmer than the surrounding air, and the resulting pressure differentials produce an upward lift causing the balloon to rise. As the air inside the balloon envelope cools, the balloon will descend. The pilot uses the burner to control the temperature of the air inside the balloon envelope, and thus controls the ascent and descent of the balloon.
How do you get the balloon inflated?
A fan is used to blow cool air into the balloon envelope as it lies flat on the ground. Once the cool air packs the balloon envelope sufficiently, the burners are used to heat the air inside as the balloon envelope lies on the ground. Gradually the balloon envelope will rise to an upright position.
How do you steer a balloon?
There are no mechanical means of steering a Hot Air Balloon. The only way to obtain some kind of steerage is for the Pilot to find different wind directions at different flight altitudes.
What is the “Chase Crew”?
Our Chase Crew will skillfully track our flight path from the ground allowing for a successful retrieval and return you our passengers, to our original meeting place; following a traditional Champagne Toast, of course!
Can anyone fly the balloon?
To fly a Hot Air Balloon you must posses a valid Transport Canada issued Hot Air Balloon pilot license. Much like fixed wing pilots or rotary wing pilots, Hot Air Balloon pilots go through extensive training including ground school, written exams, medical exams and hands-on flying. A balloon pilot who fly’s passengers for hire must also posses a Transport Canada “Special Flight Operations Certificate” and under go successful annual aviation medical examinations to keep their pilot license valid.
What is the balloon envelope made of?
The most common material balloons envelopes are made of are from rip-stop nylon much like a winter ski jacket. Yet unlike a jacket, the balloon is coated in a special chemical to help it resist heat and last longer. Balloons envelops have an average life expectancy of 300 to 400 hours of use. Manufacturers have many different colours of fabric to choose from to create the many different patterns seen flying through the sky.
What is the balloon basket made of?
The balloon basket is made of wicker for strength and flexibility. The basket also houses the propane fuel tanks and burner (s) and is attached to the balloon envelope with a series of cables.
How much does a Hot Air Balloon cost?
An average Hot Air Balloons, including the basket and fuel system will cost approximately $60,000.00 Canadian. Special Shaped Balloons will cost much more.
What about children?
Around the age of 6 years or 42″ tall, children are tall enough to see over the side of the basket and have the attention span to enjoy an hour or more flight in an open basket. Sometimes young children are sensitive to the sound of the burners, but most quickly become interested in how the balloon works. They enjoy looking for wildlife and generally enjoy the inflation and pack up almost as much as the flight itself. Very small children and infants should wait until they are old enough to appreciate the ballooning experience and are at least able to see over the balloon basket without assistance and with ease.
What about special requests?
Since we are committed to offering personalized Hot Air Balloon adventures, we are available to assist you with special requests to make your adventures with us even more special.
Can I smoke around a Hot Air Balloon?
It is not permitted to smoke around a Hot Air Balloon, due to the risk of fire. Also, the Balloon envelope can be damaged from a stray spark or hot ash.