Hot Air Balloon Facts and FAQ's

How long are the flights?

On average, flights are approximately one hour in length. Some flights can vary from 45 minutes to 1 1/2 hours depending on the amount of fuel on board, the combined weight of those in the basket, the temperature of the air and when the pilot finds a suitable landing field.

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 day due to thermal activity, which makes the air unstable.

What type of weather conditions are needed to fly in a hot air balloon?

Hot air balloon passenger flights take place in winds less than 10 knots, with no rain or approaching storms in the immediate area. Flights also require visibility of at least 4 km.

Are there age or health restrictions?

Yes. Because of the possibility of a bumpy landing, all passengers must be in good physical condition with no problems with backs, knees or hips and no auditory restrictions. We cannot fly any passengers who are or may be pregnant or any children under the age of 16. Please contact our office if you have any questions about the ability of a passenger and we will be happy to discuss it with you.

What type of clothing should be worn?

Special clothing is not required for hot air ballooning. We always suggest practical wear, such as long pants, a light jacket, a hat and no sandals or high heels. We do not fly high enough for a change in temperature so plan to dress for the temperature of the day.

Can you fly during the winter?

Yes, some of the best flights take place during the fall and winter months. During this time, visibility is usually unlimited.

Is it cold up there?

No, it is the same temperature on the ground as it is in the air. The temperature only begins to drop when you begin to fly very high.

How big is the RE/MAX hot air balloon?

The RE/MAX Hot Air Balloon is 77,000 cubic ft. That is approximately 80 feet high and 60 feet in diameter.

What makes the hot air balloon rise?

Hot Air! A pair of high-powered propane burners ignites and heats liquid propane that is aimed into the balloon to make it rise. The burners create 30 million BTU's of heat. In comparison, an average home barbecue generates 30,000 BTU's. Each flight uses approximately 100 litres of propane.

How fast do you fly?

The balloon travels the same speed as the wind. An average flight is approximately 15 km in length.

How do you steer the balloon?

Hot Air Balloons can not be steered like a plane or helicopter. Balloons travel only in the direction of the wind. There may be different wind directions at different altitudes that the pilot may use to maneuver the balloon. Upon landing, our 'Chase Crew' that has been following the balloon since lift off retrieves the balloon and passengers and returns them to the launch location.

Can anyone fly the balloon?

To fly a hot air balloon you must be a licensed balloon pilot. Much like a fixed wing pilot, balloon pilots go through extensive training including ground school, written exams and hands-on flying. A balloon pilot must have a minimum of 50 hours experience to fly passengers in Canada.

What is the balloon made of?

Balloons are made 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 have an average life expectancy of 300 hours of use. Manufacturers have many different colours of fabric to choose from to create the many different patterns seen flying through the sky.

How much does a hot air balloon cost?

An average hot air balloon, including the basket will cost approximately $60,000.00 Canadian.

Who makes hot air balloons?

Hot air balloons are made by a small group of select manufacturers around the world. The largest manufacturers of which can be found in England, The United States and Canada. Sundance Balloons and its' U.S. sister company Firefly Balloons are among this elite group. We hold a Transport Canada Type Certificate and manufacture state of the art balloons at our factory located in Belmont, Ontario.

How high do you fly?

Though the altitude record for hot air ballooning is 64,997 feet, the height of most flights range anywhere from treetops up to 2,500 feet.

What can cause a cancellation of a balloon flight?

As safety of the passengers, crew and equipment is of utmost priority, flights will sometimes have to be cancelled. Various factors can cause cancellation such as weather conditions, equipment malfunction or pilot injury or illness. Safety is our primary concern and we will not fly if this is jeopardized.

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