Hot Air Balloon Rides in New Jersey
A hot air balloon uses a burner to heat up the air inside the balloon. The burner is usually fueled by liquid propane. The burner mixes the fuel with air and ignites the mixture, which creates a flame directly underneath the bottom opening of the hot air balloon. Once the air inside the balloon begins to get warm, the balloon will rise. The pilot controls the balloon’s altitude by releasing hot air from a vent at the top of the balloon, releasing the warmer air causes the balloon to descend. Piloting a balloon takes skill, but the controls are actually very simple. To lift the balloon, the pilot moves a control that opens up the propane valve. This lever works just like the knobs on a gas grill or stove: As you turn it, the flow of gas increases, so the flame grows in size. The pilot can increase the vertical speed by blasting a larger flame to heat the air more rapidly.
Normally on any given day the prevailing wind directions differ at different heights. So lets say at 1000 feet off the ground if the wind direction is a Northerly and at 200 feet off the ground the wind direction is an Easterly this would mean that by simply adjusting the balloons height it can use the winds to steer. Changing a balloons height is very simple and a good balloon pilot will be able to chart a course before they take off and choose exactly where they wish to land. Statistically flight is the safest form of travel and statistically Hot Air Ballooning is the safest form of flight. So it is actually safer to be in the Hot Air Balloon than in the retrieve vehicle on the ground following. In all aviation endeavours safety is the number one priority and Hot Air Ballooning is no exception.
Before a safe hot air balloon flight can begin, the pilot must check the weather and select a suitable take-off point. The current and forecast weather must have sufficient visibility for the pilot to see and avoid obstructions (little or no fog or low clouds) and sufficiently slow winds to allow take off and landing (less than 5 or 10 mph depending on skill and experience of pilot, passengers, and ground crew).
The take-off point must be large enough to lay out and inflate the envelope and clear of obstructions such as power lines and poles, trees, and buildings to allow lift-off under the predicted wind conditions. Finally, the take-off point must be situated such that the predicted winds will move the balloon in the direction of suitable landing sites. Taking off from a location that is directly up wind of a hazard, such as a large body of water, a large metropolitan area, or a large uninterrupted forest, without sufficient fuel to pass over the hazard is not safe.
Watch the video here to learn more about hot air balloon rides.
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