Have questions about your flight? Here are our most frequently asked questions:
How do I book a Hot Air Balloon Ride?
How long are flights?
On average, passenger flights are approximately one hour in length. Some flights can vary from 45 minutes to 1 1/2 hours depending on the amount of fuel on board, the passengers' combined weight, the temperature of the air and when the pilot finds a suitable landing field.
What time of day do the flights take place?
Flights take place at sunrise and approximately 2 hours prior to sunset. Hot Air Balloons are not able to fly during the middle of the day due to thermal activity, which makes the air unstable.
What type of weather conditions are needed to fly?
Hot Air Balloon passenger flights take place in winds less than 10 knots, with no rain or approaching storms in the immediate area. Flights also require visibility of at least 4 km.
What type of clothing should we wear?
Special clothing is not required for hot air ballooning. We always suggest practical wear, such as long pants, a light jacket, a hat and no sandals or high heels. We do not fly high enough for a change in temperature so plan to dress for the temperature of the day.
Can I bring my camera and binoculars?
Yes, we encourage it. Some of the greatest pictures of the surrounding area can be taken from 500 feet in the air. Don't forget to bring batteries for your camera and a protective case for landing.
Is it cold up there?
No, it is the same temperature on the ground as it is in the air. The temperature only begins to drop when you begin to fly very high.
How big is the hot air balloon?
Sundance Balloons flies balloons 210,000 cubic ft to 310,000 cubic ft in size. They typically carry 8-12 passengers, making it easy to accommodate families and groups. The large baskets make for more space per person and our balloons have turning vents so the pilot can rotate the balloon during flight, giving everyone a 360 degree view.
What makes the hot air balloon rise?
Hot Air! A pair of high-powered propane burners ignites and heats liquid propane that is aimed into the balloon to make it rise. The burners create 30 million BTUs of heat. In comparison, an average home barbecue generates 30,000 BTUs. Each flight uses approximately 100 litres of propane.
How fast do you fly?
The balloon travels the same speed as the wind. An average flight is approximately 15 km in length.
How do you steer the balloon?
Hot Air Balloons can not be steered like a plane or helicopter. Balloons travel only in the direction of the wind. There may be different wind directions at different altitudes that the pilot may use to maneuver the balloon. Upon landing, our "Chase Crew" that has been following the balloon since lift off retrieves the balloon and passengers and returns them to the launch location.
Can anyone fly the balloon?
To fly a hot air balloon you must be a licensed balloon pilot. Much like a fixed wing pilot, balloon pilots go through extensive training including ground school, written exams and hands-on flying.A balloon pilot must have a minimum of 50 hours experience to fly passengers in Canada.
What is the balloon made of?
Balloons are made from rip-stop nylon much like a winter ski jacket. Yet unlike a jacket, the balloon is coated in a special chemical to help it resist heat and last longer. Balloons have an average life expectancy of 300 hours of use. Manufacturers have many different colours of fabric to choose from to create the many different patterns seen flying through the sky.
How much does a hot air balloon cost?
An average hot air balloon, including the basket will cost approximately $60,000.00 Canadian.
Who makes hot air balloons?
Hot air balloons are made by a small group of select manufacturers around the world. The largest manufacturers of which can be found in England, The United States and Canada. Sundance Balloons is among this elite group. We hold a Transport Canada Type Certificate and manufacture state of the art balloons at our factory located in Belmont, Ontario.
How high do you fly?
Though the altitude record for hot air ballooning is 90,000 feet, the height of passenger flights range anywhere from treetops up to 2,500 feet.
What happens if I don't fly this season?
Will my voucher still be valid? As ballooning is weather dependent we have to cancel your flight if conditions are not safe. If your flight is canceled, you simply reschedule either online or by phone, for another date that suits your schedule. Sometimes passengers can be canceled a few times before being able to fly. If you have tried a few times during the flight season and have not been successful going "Up Up & Away", we simply extend your vouchers to the following spring for you to continue scheduling.
What can cause a cancellation of a flight?
As safety of the passengers, crew and equipment is of utmost priority, flights will sometimes have to be cancelled. Various factors can cause cancellation such as weather conditions, equipment malfunction or pilot injury or illness. Your safety is our concern and we will not fly if this is jeopardized. If your flight is cancelled you simply reschedule for another flight.
What happens if I don't want to use my balloon ride voucher?
All vouchers are prepaid in full and are non-refundable. We do understand that sometimes passengers situations change and they no longer can or wish to use their balloon ride vouchers. For this reason, the vouchers are transferable. If you wish to transfer your voucher to another party, please ensure their health or ability is not restricted. Simply let us know who you have transferred the voucher to and we will adjust the file so they can continue to schedule on it. If you are moving to another city that we fly in, the voucher can be transferred to that city.
What passenger restrictions are there?
In order to fly, passengers must be in good physical condition due to the possibility of a rough landing. All passengers must be able to climb in and out of the basket, stand for the entire flight and walk out of a field if necessary. Due to insurance restrictions, we cannot fly any passenger that has recently had surgery, injuries, hip, back or knee problems or physical limitation. We also cannot fly any children under the age of 10, anyone that is or may be pregnant or anyone with severe auditory restrictions.
Your safety is our main concern. If you are concerned with health or safety issues, please consult with your physician or call our office to discuss the individual situation.