Frequent Asked Questions
What kind of weather do balloons need to fly?
Weather is the most important requirement of any balloon flight and we take a great amount of time and effort in making our flight decision. Great weather with very light winds, no precipitation and good visibility is required. Balloons require very light winds under 9 mph, both surface wind and winds aloft (winds above tree tops to altitude) are all very important things for balloons. Visibility needs to be at least 3 miles with no storms or bad weather near the area. Balloons are very sensitive to the weather and we will not take chances with safety. If the conditions do not permit a safe and enjoyable flight experience, our pilots will cancel that flight date and we ask that passengers respect our professional decision for your safety. Reschedules can be common, just choose a new date until weather will allow your flight.
How fast do you fly in a hot-air-balloon?
Hot-air-balloons fly exactly with the winds, the same direction and speed as the wind. An average flight distance depends on wind speed, ideally balloon pilots like to fly in winds that average 5 to 6 mph. Pilots do not want too much or to little wind for a flight, that could be unsafe for an enjoyable flight. Weather is always the biggest concern for hot-air-balloons, and pilots are looking to make each flight enjoyable, and safe.
How does a pilot steer a hot-air-balloon?
Hot-air-balloons fly exactly with the winds, the same direction and speed as the wind. Changing the altitude may change the direction, but the balloon still goes where the winds blow. Our pilots have great control of altitude, but direction is up to the wind. That is why location is so important and our flying location is great! We have a gorgeous area with breathtaking sights from the air. Once we land our ground chase team will bring everyone back to our showroom to complete the adventure!
What causes a balloon to heat up and rise?
A balloon heats up and rises from hot air that is heated by propane burners. High powered burners ignite pre-heated liquid propane that is aimed to send the heat into the balloon to make it rise. The burners create up to 40 million BTU’s (British thermal unit), and each flight uses approximately 75 to 300 pounds of propane.
How high do balloons fly?
Most balloon flights will be between 500 to 5,000 feet of altitude. The flight is so smooth, there is no feeling of up and down or turbulence. It is a very solid and safe feeling when flying in a beautiful balloon. From treetops to up to 5,000 feet or more, our highly experienced commercial pilots will choose the best heights for each flight conditions to give the best sight seeing views!
How big are hot-air-balloons?
Balloons come in many different sizes, here at Balloon Quest we are privileged enough to have balloons that can fit pilot plus 1 passenger and all the way up to pilot plus 15 passengers! An average balloon is 50,000 cubic feet to 250,000 cubic feet. That is about 100 feet high and 70 feet in diameter!
Is there a passenger weight limit or other passenger requirements to fly in a hot-air-balloon?
We don’t have a specific weight limit per person, but balloons do have total weight limits. We have balloons of multiple sizes, so we can accommodate most people and most groups. We will ask for a total weight of your group to determine which balloons will be needed for a given flight. Other things to be aware of is that passengers must have the ability to hang on tightly to the basket and be able to flex their legs upon landing to absorb any bumps or bounces, the landings are normally fairly gentle, however they can be bumpy and on rare occasions the impact with the ground can be quite hard, presenting the possibility of injury. Passengers with any physical or medical problems must inform us of them prior to purchase and or their date of flight. Call and talk to one of our representatives if you have a concern about passenger requirements.
What time of the day do hot-air-balloons fly?
All hot-air-balloons can only fly safe passenger flights during two times of the day. Flights take place near sunrise and about 2 hours prior to sunset and only on days when the weather will allow flights. Hot-air-balloons are not able to fly during the middle of the day due to the thermal activity, which makes the air unstable for a balloon. The updrafts and downdrafts, or thermals could overpower the balloons’ ability to climb so all passenger balloons stay on the ground during the middle of the day.
Can balloons fly any time of the year?
Yes, balloons are able to fly year round! Great flights take place all year. Fall, Winter, and Spring can be great, but they do have more windy days so not as many days are flyable. We however fly all year as long as the weather conditions will allow the flight. Morning flights will fly more often due to more favorable conditions in the morning.
How long are balloon rides?
On average flights are 45 minutes to an hour or more in length. Time depends on landing locations, fuel, weight, and air temperature. Cooler days and morning flights typically allow for a bit more flying time. Our pilots will give the longest flights possible, depending on the conditions during each flight and length of flight can vary.
What should passengers wear for their flight?
Special clothing is not required, but our balloon pilots recommend passengers wear what he or she would normally wear for taking a long walk in the country. Our pilots suggest practical wear such as; closed toes shoes, long pants, and a hat. A hat will help keep burner heat off of your head, especially on those really hot days. Please no open toes shoes, no sandals, no hi-heels, and absolutely no bare feet.
How long have the pilots been flying the balloons?
We are proud to say that we have been flying this area for 50 years! So many of our pilots have been flying with us for 25-40 plus years! We have some of the most qualified pilots in the country, who are very knowledgeable about the balloons and equipment. Our pilots have also been in this area for many years, meaning they know a lot about the local history and landmarks, making for a great sight seeing tour from the air!
How do I book a flight?
It’s simple, just give Balloon Quest Inc. a call at 248-634-3094, stop in to our showroom/gift shop, or purchase right here online. We will give all the information you need and you may schedule your flight with the purchase or at your own leisure afterwards, your choice. Still not sure? Call us with any questions and talk to one of our expert pilots on staff.
Fear of heights? No problem!
Hot-air-balloons very gently float with the wind and never against the wind. This means in balloons you will never feel turbulence or that up and down feeling like in an elevator. No one ever gets that feeling of height in your stomach and you will just have the surreal pleasure of fantastic views. So if a passenger thinks they will be nervous about flying in a balloon due to heights, he or she has nothing to fear because you will have a safe feeling with no turbulence or up and down feel on a balloon! No other form of flying can make that claim!