14/03/17 - A hot air balloon tour is a fantastic way to experience Melbourne city and one of the top things to do when visiting the city. We answer your top seven burning questions on hot air ballooning.
- 1. Why are hot air balloon flights booked on early morning schedules?
Early mornings are the most opportune times for hot air ballooning. The winds are lightest at dawn, and we need settled conditions to operate a balloon safely. Later in the day when the temperatures heat up, balloons cannot fly safely.
- 2. At what level do hot air balloons fly?
Hot air ballooning is usually experienced from tree top level to as high as 3000 feet. The optimal flight level is a low-level one as this affords the best vantage for viewing.
- 3. I have a fear of heights. What do I need to know about a hot air balloon flight?
It is a very natural human reaction to have a fear of heights, after all, humans cannot fly.
However, after flying with us, many people who claim to be fearful then go on to confess to having enjoyed a pleasurable flight experience, (no fear whatsoever) as hot air balloons rise and float gently and slowly, there is absolutely no sensation of movement, as we are moving with the wind, minimising any uncomfortable sensations similar to motion sickness, there is none of this whatsoever. It’s not anything like being near the edge of a cliff or a tall building, as there is no fixed point of reference, so there is never a real fear of height experienced.
- 4. How is a hot air balloon navigated?
A fully licensed and experienced pilot is in control of the balloon, from beginning to end. Balloons are not steered, rather the pilot will climb and descend through various air currents, all these are travelling in different directions. The pilot will use these various wind directions to change the direction of the balloon’s flight path. Successful hot air ballooning is also very reliant on the pilot’s intimate knowledge of local geographic effects on the winds.
- 5. What do I need to bring on a hot air balloon flight?
It is best that you bring only essential items along with you in the basket, as space is limited. Passengers are welcome to leave any bags, backpacks etc. in our vehicles, as the vehicle will follow us on the ground and meet us where we land. Items that prove most useful to carry on-board the flight include: a camera, sunglasses and a hat or cap.
- 6. What should I wear?
It is important that you are comfortable during your flight so dress in layered clothing to keep the morning chill out and you can easily remove outer layers as the temperatures rise later on. Closed-toe, sturdy shoes are the best option to help you climb up into the basket and remember you will be on your feet throughout the flight.
- 7. Is hot air ballooning governed by any regulations?
Yes, the Civil Aviation Safety Authority CASA conducts routine airworthiness checks on hot air balloons which are all fully registered aircraft. Pilots are licensed, and need significant experience prior to flying in the airspace over Melbourne, plus they all need to be certified by CASA.
If you have any questions that are not addressed above, please contact us at BalloonMan. We have experienced and knowledgeable staff to address your concerns. We look forward to providing you with a safe and enjoyable hot air ballooning experience in the skies over Melbourne. We offer all of our passengers a 5-Star champagne buffet breakfast, in Collins Kitchen at the luxurious Grand Hyatt to celebrate their hot air balloon tour.