​​​​​​​​​​​​​​spirit Ballooning

​​​Hot Air Balloon Rides in Connecticut, Western MA and Eastern NY
(860) 464-4359  |  
info@spiritballooning.com

​frEQUENTLY aSK qUESTIONS

Spirit Ballooning © 2016 | All Rights Reserved

What do I wear?
Wear casual clothing, jeans, t-shirt, sneakers or boots are suggested.  Please - absolutely no open toed shoes or flip flops. The fields we take off from and land in can be wet or muddy. Because of this we recommend clothing that you don't mind getting wet or dirty. It is normally chilly in the morning so bring a jacket and the sun can also warm things up quickly so dressing in layers is also suggested. Do not wear dresses, sandals, high heels.  

What should I bring?
We ask that you keep your carry on items to a minimum, but bring along your camera. You'll want to take a lot of pictures.  As Spirit Ballooning LLC takes no responsibility for lost or damaged items. Safety straps and protective cases are recommended.

How long does the balloon flight last?
During the best flight conditions, the flight will last approximately 45 to 90 minutes. There are many variables that can affect the flight including winds, temperature, fuel, and available landing sites. We cannot make any guarantees on the distance, duration or visibility of the flight. Your entire ballooning experience may take anywhere from 3 to 4 hours. This will include transportation to and from the launch site. Pre-flight preparation, the flight, pack up of the equipment and the post flight celebration.

When do balloons fly?
Ideally balloons require calm or light winds that are generally found right after sunrise and a couple of hours before sunset. Surface winds are ideal when under 5 mph.

How do I make a reservation?
You can make a reservation by calling us at 860-248-5863 or email us at info@spiritballooning.com to schedule a flight.

Do I need to book a flight in advance?
Yes, due to the unpredictability of the weather, it may be necessary to reschedule your flight. The farther in advance you book the better chance you'll have of flying during a particular time frame.

Are Gift certificates available?
Yes, call us at 860-248-5863. Certificates do not expire, but we encourage them to be used within one year.

Are Gift Certificate refundable?
If a gift certificate is purchased but wants to be returned Spirit Ballooning will reimburse your account with a full refund. 

How many people can the balloon hold?
The Pilot plus up to 4 passengers.  (Weight limitations apply).

How do balloons Fly?
An inflator fan is used to fill the balloon envelope up with cold air, then we use burners to heat it up with hot air. The hot air rises and the balloon stands upright. In the air the pilot adds heat to ascend and lets the air in the balloon cool to descend. Winds usually change direction at different altitudes to change direction and steer the balloon.

How safe is ballooning?
Hot air ballooning is very safe. Our number one priority is the safety of our passengers and crew. Our pilot and crew regularly attend safety seminars to keep up to date on safety rules and regulations.  The flight will be rescheduled if at any time the pilot in command feels the conditions are not safe for the passenger, crew, or observers.

Are there any health restrictions?
Yes, passengers will be standing the entire flight. We do not recommend that pregnant women, anyone with head, back, neck or leg injuries, or someone who has recently undergone surgery fly. Please let us know when you book your flight if you have any special needs so we can make any reasonable accommodations.

Am I required to sign a liability waiver?
Yes, all passengers and crew are required to sign a 
waiver to participate with Spirit Ballooning LLC.

Can I bring friends?
Yes, friends can come and help be part of the crew, but due to limited seating in our chase vehicle, they must bring their own transportation.

Can I help with the setup?
Yes, ballooning is a participating sport and we can encourage everyone to help during setup and pack up. 

When was the first balloon flight?
The first flight in a hot air balloon was on September 19, 1783 in Versailles, France. A sheep, a duck and a rooster where the first passengers.

The first “manned” flight was on November 21, 1783 when the Montgolfier brothers took a flight in Paris, France.

The first hot air balloon flight in America was on January 9, 1789. The flight originated in Philadelphia and flew across the Delaware River and landed in Deptford, NJ. This flight was witnessed by George Washington.

What fuel do hot air balloons use?
Liquid propane is used for fuel.

How high do Hot air balloons fly?
Generally we will fly between 500 and 3,000 feet above sea level. This varies depending on direction and speed of the winds.

Do you need a pilot's license to fly a Hot-Air Balloon?
Yes. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regulates ballooning and requires a Lighter Than Air (LTA) Commercially licensed pilot to fly passenger for hire. Pilots must take instruction, pass a written and practical test and be re-examined periodically. Darrel is experienced in hot air balloons, glider and fixed-winged aircraft. He is a member of the Balloon Federation of America, Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association and the Connecticut Lighter Than Air Society. Darrel is a Commercial rated pilot and instructor in Lighter than Air aircraft.

WHAT is required to become a LTA pilot?
To become a licensed LTA Commercial pilot, he or she must have at least 35 hours of flight time, of which at least 20 must be in balloons (the remaining 15 hours may be in other aircraft). The commercial pilot must pass an additional written, oral, and flight check prior to being issued a commercial pilot's license.