Are hot air balloons scary?
Hot air balloons are not scary at all, and they are fun! They are also safe for children.
The hot air balloon experience is fantastic at all, and the pictures do not lie! I have been to a few of these events in my lifetime, and it is truly an incredible experience.
You can see incredible scenery 100 feet above ground hanging on the side of a mountain. You can even take your camera with you if you want!
It’s just like being in space but without any of the danger that comes along with it.
I would recommend this event to anyone who wants to get away from their everyday life and enjoy something different.
There are many things to do during the day.
So you’re afraid of heights? Don’t panic
Having a fear of heights is normal. But there are ways to overcome it.
Riding a hot air balloon for the first time may cause you some intense fear. But when you reach the sky and see the world below you, everything will be fine.
Every moment of fear will pass as soon as you realize how beautiful the view is.
If you feel scared or nervous before going up in the balloon, don’t worry. Just relax and breathe deeply. It will help you calm down.
How dangerous are hot air balloon rides?
Most balloon pilots ensure that passengers are well-informed about the risks involved before flying.
The ballooning experience is safe and low-risk. The balloon pilot will monitor the weather conditions and ensure there aren’t storm or wind gusts that could cause problems.
If the pilot feels unsafe, they may land the balloon early.
However, there are still some dangers associated with hot air ballooning.
For example, the balloon may burst due to high winds or low temperatures. Also, the balloon could be damaged when hit by lightning strikes.
But, there are rarely balloon accidents because most people know how to behave appropriately while riding a hot air balloon.
What happens if there is an issue with the equipment?
The pilot may land the balloon and contact the ground crew for emergency assistance.
In emergencies, the pilots will always call the local fire department first. If the situation becomes severe, the pilots will notify the nearest airport control tower.
Balloonists are required to carry special insurance. This policy covers them in case anything goes wrong with the balloon.
In addition, the pilot must carry liability insurance to be protected when in case someone gets hurt.
What kind of weather do hot air balloons fly?
Most of the time, balloon trips fly in good weather conditions. However, sometimes bad weather conditions occur.
When the weather is terrible, the balloon can’t fly as fast as usual. It takes more energy to keep the balloon aloft.
It means that the balloon needs to stay up longer than usual. In other words, it flies slower.
The balloon won’t rise very high if the weather is too cold.
Also, when the temperature drops below freezing, the balloon will freeze. The balloon will lose its lift and fall back down to Earth when this happens.
Are there times that balloons get caught in the fast wind?
Yes, Hot air balloons do encounter unpredictable outflow winds. These winds can come from storms, tornadoes, hurricanes, etc.
These strong winds can blow the balloon off course. The balloon will need to turn around and head back toward the launch site if this occurs.
Sometimes, the balloon may have difficulty with the wind speed. If this happens, the pilot may choose to land the balloon early and wait until the weather improves.
Balloonists are obsessed with safety.
In the history of ballooning, the safety record is excellent. There has been only two fatal balloon crashes in the United States since 1852.
In both cases, the accident is caused due to mechanical failure.
Both incidents occurred in Europe. One happened in France, and the second one took place in Germany.
National safety seminars are held every year. They provide information about the proper behavior on a hot air balloon flight.
It’s important to remember that there is no such thing as 100% safety. Balloon flights are dangerous, but they’re not deadly.
A safety briefing is conducted before each flight to make the flight enjoyable. The purpose of this briefing is to ensure that everyone knows what to expect during the flight.
The worldwide safety record of hot air balloons is outstanding.
Hot air ballooning accidents
A handful of times, a balloonist has died due to a balloon crash.
One of these tragic events happened in Switzerland. On July 13th, 2000, Paul Gervais died after his balloon crashed into a mountain near Lausanne.
The burner systems of the balloon failed because of an electrical malfunction. As a result, the balloon lost all of its lift.
After losing altitude, the balloon hit a tree. The impact broke the balloon apart.
The balloon fell to the ground and burst into flames.
What is the cause of ballooning accidents?
The study among balloon pilots shows that most accidents happen because of human error.
1. Human errors include:
- Not being familiar with the balloon’s operation
- Forgetting to check the balloon for leaks
- Failing to follow the instructions given by the balloon operator
2. Weather conditions
Weather conditions play a significant role in ballooning accidents.
If the weather changes suddenly or unexpectedly, the balloon will descend. It could lead to a crash landing.
3. Mechanical failures
Mechanical failures are also common causes of ballooning accidents.
A broken valve system can cause a sudden loss of pressure. It can force the balloon to descend.
- Propane burners can fail if they aren’t properly maintained.
- Balloon cables can break, causing the balloon to lose control.
- Balloon envelope tears can occur when the balloon hits something hard.
4. Poor aerodynamics
Poor aerodynamic design can contribute to ballooning accidents.
Some balloons don’t have enough lift.
These balloons tend to drift away from their intended path.
5. Other problems
Poor visibility, pilot inexperience, and lack of training can contribute to ballooning crashes.
The final verdict
The hot air balloon ride is not scary at all. However, it does involve some risks.
Balloon operators take precautions to minimize those risks.
They conduct regular inspections of the balloon and make sure everything is working correctly.
They also train their pilots to avoid any mistakes that could lead to a crash. Ballooning will give you fun memories and a great experience.
I’m Annie, a twenty-something year old girl who loves hot air balloons. So much so, that I have a full time job as a Flight Instructor and it is all I love talking about. Something about being up there in the elevated altitudes helps all my stresses float away!