You know the feeling. You’re gliding along at 200 knots and you’re seated in a hot air balloon that’s cruising along at 200 knots. You look out the window and you’re mesmerized by the beautiful scenery below. You have to force yourself to look away from the window, you’re so captivated.
When it comes to hot air balloons, the question is not whether you’ll get motion sickness, but how badly, and when. Usually, the higher you go, the worse it is.
But, what if you’re flying with a hot air balloon company that has its own doctors on board? How sick will you get? No, you don’t get motion sickness in a hot air balloon.
What is a motion sickness?
Flying in a hot air balloon is an experience that requires a lot of trust in a pilot and the balloon. You have no choice of course over the balloon, so it could be very dangerous if the pilot is inexperienced.
But there is also a large amount of trust in the design of the balloon, and the location it travels to. There are some questions that need to be answered when considering the safety of a new balloon flight.
If you’ve ever been on a hot air balloon ride, you know the feeling. You look out the window, see the ground below, and your stomach wants to get the heck out of there.
Motion sickness, or “air sickness,” is a type of “space sickness” that occurs when you travel in a vehicle or aircraft and experience a sickening feeling in your stomach, back, or head.
It can occur even on flights lasting only a few minutes. It can be predictable or unpredictable, acute or chronic. It is caused by disturbances in the inner ear and in the oculomotor system.
Is there turbulence in a hot air balloon?
You may have heard some people say that a hot air balloon isn’t safe because it’s not an airplane. Well, you may wish to hear them say that again since the International Society of Airship Pilots says there’s little risk from turbulence in balloons.
Recently, however, the National Transportation Safety Board has issued an Aviation Safety Advisory raising awareness of the potential dangers. What is turbulence?
If you have ever been on a hot air balloon ride, like me, you must have noticed that the balloon will rise and fall in the air a couple times before it is completely vertical. This is turbulence. It is a natural feature of hot air balloons, and it can be dangerous for the passengers on board.
The reason for this is that hot air rises less than cold air. The heavier the hot air, the less it will rise. This is why hot air balloons rise and fall in the air.
You may think this is not a problem, but sometimes or even often the balloon will rise or fall more than usual. This is when turbulence starts, and it can be dangerous.
How dangerous is flying turbulence?
Yes, you’ve heard it before: flying in turbulence is dangerous. But, is it really?
The truth is, most pilots will tell you that the only time turbulence is dangerous is when it causes a sudden change in pitch, roll or bank. Basically, when the plane suddenly stops flying straight, and you start yawing. The rest of the time, the effects of turbulence are minimal.
Can turbulence make you sick?
You might be surprised to hear this, but life as a hot air balloonist can be pretty turbulent. Storms, extreme heat, and even physical injuries can make your days a lot more stressful. However, there are things you can do to help yourself stay in peak shape.
Is being physical fit required on a hot air balloon?
You may be surprised to learn that there are no physical fitness requirements on a hot air balloon. This is because a hot air balloon is not a machine that you are meant to use to produce energy.
Instead, it is a piece of machinery designed to hold people and objects at a certain altitude. This allows the balloon to float over most obstacles, such as mountains and buildings.
So, it’s true that if you are not physically fit enough to do so, it is not possible for you to ever become physically fit enough to pilot a hot air balloon.
If you want to be successful at life, it makes sense to start with a strong foundation. No matter what you do, how many millions of dollars your buy or how successful you are, you’ll never be able to achieve anything if you’re not physically fit.
The same goes for travel, whether you’re flying on a hot air balloon or a commercial jetliner. If you don’t have the physical stamina required for a successful trip, you’ll be in for a world of hurt.
Do i get vertigo on a hot air balloon?
There are many factors that can lead to dizziness and disorientation during a ride in a hot air balloon. A high temperature and low pressure can cause the balloon to lose lift, and if the balloon descends too quickly, the gondola can be pulled into the earth’s center of gravity, causing one to lose their balance.
Whether you are on board a hot air balloon for a ride across the countryside or for a sightseeing flight with the city skyline as your view for the day, the main feeling you will have is likely one of giddy excitement.
But what happens when you feel dizzy or nauseated? That could be the effect of vertigo. Vertigo occurs when you feel dizzy or nauseated or have a spinning sensation.
One of the most common challenges people face when experiencing a flight on a hot air balloon is vertigo. This is a phenomenon that occurs when the brain detects movement in an environment that is stationary.
What is a vertigo?
Vertigo is a dizziness that can occur after a person is exposed to a variety of stimuli that cause the brain to interpret visual perceptions incorrectly. For example, if a person stands on a high ledge, they may feel a spinning sensation in their head.
Vertigo is the symptom that makes a person feel like they are experiencing this kind of dizziness. Sometimes, vertigo is a temporary symptom, and it will disappear after a while.
Other times, vertigo symptoms are a sign of a medical condition that must be treated.
Can bad weather make you air sickness?
I’ve been air sickness all my life. Sometimes it’s not bad, sometimes it’s horrible. Sometimes it’s just the slightest rocking of the boat that sends me into a violent, all-out violent vomiting attack.
I’ve been known to have to walk around like a zombie for hours, and that’s just the beginning. I’ve been in helicopter flights where I’d get lightheaded and sick.
I’ve been on planes where I was literally throwing up over the side of the plane. Ground and airborne sickness can be a real problem for the hot air balloon pilot.
The health and safety of the pilots and passengers depends on a number of factors. When weather is bad, it can affect how the balloon rides.
How much it affects a pilot’s ability to stay in the air is a matter of research, and is currently quite limited. Weather affects a pilot’s ability to get into the air, and is something to consider before embarking on a flight.
What to do when air sickness occurs?
When soaring high in the sky, airplanes are protected from the elements. People on the ground, however, may experience a number of physical discomforts from the environment surrounding the balloon.
Those who are prone to airsickness often complain of nausea, lightheadedness, and dizziness.
There are so many things that can lead to a case of airsickness. What really causes it? How do you prevent it? What are the symptoms? How do you control your symptoms? Here are some helpful tips to prevent airsickness.
- Relax, and calm down.
In hot air balloons, the culprit is actually altitude sickness, whereas in airplanes, it’s most often caused by low pressure, most frequently at high altitudes. The most important thing you can do is to relax and try to calm down.
- Keep your eyes on the horizon.
If you’ve ever been in a hot air balloon, you know that dizziness can set in while you’re in flight. So why do the folks that fly them say they never get dizzy?
The answer is that people actually feel the effects of the altitude change while they’re on the ground, but as they get in the air, it’s too late to react.
Gravity does its job, and everything drops. But, with the right training and experience, the effects of altitude are easily avoided.
There are few things more soothing than the sight of a hot air balloon floating across the sky. The entire experience is a beautiful reminder that we are all part of this wondrous world.
It’s easy to take this kind of scenery for granted and not realize that without it, so much of the world would be a lot brighter and more beautiful. So focus on the horizon to get rid of your air sickness.
- don’t close your eyes.
Our eyes have an incredible ability to help us judge distances and orient ourselves in the world. It also helps us see and process the little details that make up the vast expanse of the universe.
Some people suffer from what is called “Dizziness” which is caused by the brain interpreting the information received from the eyes as being wrong.