Hot Air Balloon Ride: An Adventure of a Lifetime

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Thinking about going on a hot air balloon ride? Here is some information you will need to know, and the answers to some of your questions.

How does it feel to be in a hot air balloon?

hot air balloon with milky way to show how it feels to be in hot air balloon

See quotes from travel bloggers who have “been there, done that” in how does it feel to be in a hot air balloon.

What are the chances of dying on a hot air balloon ride?

Everyone wonders before they take the risk. They want to know the statistics.

“People have been flying hot air balloons safely, since 1783 to be exact, long before the Wright Brother’s first successful powered flight in 1903,” air safety expert Carl Holden told USA Today.

“The FAA regulates hot air balloons as it regulates any other aircraft”, Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Ian Gregor says.

“Ballooning is normally a very safe, routine activity,” said Glen Moyer, editor of Ballooning magazine, the in-house publication of the 2,200-member Balloon Federation of America. “It’s an activity that thousands of people participate in all the time and do so safely.”

“In the United States, hot air balloons, which use propane gas to heat the air that rises into the balloon and lifts it, are built to standards approved by the FAA”, Moyer said. “Pilots must demonstrate proficiency in emergency skills as well as ability to operate the balloon to get a license and then go through a flight review every two years.”

Hot air balloons are made of a fabric called Ripstop Nylon. It is called that because the thread strength stops a tear or rip from continuing beyond the first square of a puncture. Hot air balloons are inspected every 100 flight hours.

So, what about the statistics? The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) says only 16 people have died while hot air ballooning between 2002 and 2016 which is only about 1 person per year. The odds are in your favor.

Can you steer a hot air balloon?

The pilot can’t steer the hot air balloon like an airplane. Commercial balloon flights have several landing places they can use because they’re not sure where they are going to land when they go up. (At Seattle Ballooning they say they land where they planned 74% of the time.)

The pilot can go up, and he can go down, but the wind directs its path. He changes altitude in order to change direction. The pilot checks the direction of the wind at each height using spittle, shaving cream, rose petals, popcorn or wood shavings – something light but visible.

Here’s the track of one hot air balloon, to give you an idea of how it works.


For more information about piloting a hot air balloon, see Seattle Ballooning.

How should I dress for a hot air balloon ride?

what not to wear on a balloon ride
what NOT to wear on a balloon ride

Yes, it is romantic to go for a balloon ride, but please don’t wear a dress and high heels. See why, and what you should wear in How Should I Dress for a Hot Air Balloon Ride. Great list from a pro who knows.

Get ready for ballooning with a must-see Hollywood hot air balloon movie.

aeronauts hot air balloon movie scene

Theses aren’t documentaries that will tell you about riding in a hot air balloon. They are awesome fictional movies from several different genres that will show you the thrill and adventure of ballooning.

There’s some for the kids, the whole family, a classic, a thriller, a fantasy, an interesting romance and one for the history/science buff. I think we have everyone covered!

Have a wonderful adventure! It an amazing thing to make your own dreams come true.


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