Mother Nature does not always provide safe weather conditions for a hot air balloon flight.
Our pilots are trained and qualified to evaluate the weather conditions and decide if it is safe to fly the balloon. If they are unfavorable and we are unable to fly on the day of your scheduled ride, we will do our best to advise you several days and of course, the night prior or early morning of your adventure.
Please understand that there are a few more factors that play into safe weather for a hot air balloon ride other than what you see on weather.com. Some examples include but are not limited to:
- Winds aloft - if over 20mph at 3000' we will not fly commercially because the risk is too high for landings.
- We look at Radar to make sure there are no storm cells within 75 miles.
- Rain - We will NOT fly in rain because it can impare our vision not to mention ruin our equipment.
- Fog can be a really big factor since we obvously need to be able to see where we are going and under FAA regulations we can only fly under VFR (Visual Flight Rules) 14 CFR 91.155
- Low Celings (Low Clouds) as mentioned above for VFR, Balloonist are not alowed to fly in clouds.
- Wind Direction - Wind sometimes tends to be blowing in a steady but unfavorable direction, If that direction would be taking us in areas that would make our flight too short due to it taking us out over the bay or right toward restricted airspace, we may have to postpone your flight or we may ask you if you wouldn't mind relocating to a better takeoff spot in order to get the most out of our ride.
- And the obvious reason - High Winds The balloon stands over 75' tall and is just acting like a sail in the wind. Balloon Pilots generally will choose to not fly if the surface winds are over 7mph, We are really looking to give you an awesome adventure but WILL NOT put yours or our lives at risk.
- No Wind - sounds weird but, this one could create problems by leaving us stranded over top wooded areas or bodies of water that give us nowhere to land.
- TFR - NOT WEATHER RELATED AT ALL - A TFR (Temporary Flight Restriction) could cause us to be grounded, For Example, if the president of the United States decided to take a visit near us, we would not be allowed to fly because the airspace is temporarlity shut down during his/her visit. We would have to drive at lease 30 miles away from where POTUS is because that's typically the boundry of a presidential TFR. There could be other TFRs that take place as well, but POTUS is the most common.
These are a few reasons the pilot may have to explain to you why we may need to reschedule your flight. Ultimately it is the pilots desision for wether he or she is comfortable with the flight conditions and by law it is their desision if it is a Go or No GO for flight based generally upon the items mentioned above.
Please ensure that our office has a contact phone number or email address to reach you. If your ride is cancelled due to inclement weather, we will be happy to reschedule your balloon adventure for the next available date & time.