Frequently Asked Questions

Q. How does a hot air balloon work?

A. A hot air balloon consists of three main parts; the envelope which holds the hot air, the burner which heats the air in the envelope, and the basket which carries the passengers and fuel. First the envelope is filled with air. This air is the same as the air around the envelope, so the pilot uses the burner to heat the air inside the envelope. Once the air in the envelope is heated the molecules inside the envelope begin moving much faster than the molecules on the outside. This increases the air pressure inside the envelope and causes the balloon to rise. For a much more detailed explanation of how hot air balloons work click here.

Q. How do you steer a hot air balloon?

A. Air currents move in different directions at different altitudes. Before your flight the pilot will get detailed weather information which will let him know the altitudes and directions of these currents. He may also launch a small helium balloon from the launch site to test the air currents at that particular location. The pilot will use all of this information during your flight to navigate the balloon and provide you with the best flight possible. It will also allow him to choose the most favorable landing site.

Q. How do you get back to the launch site?

A. Some of the crew that helped to put up the balloon will follow along on the ground. This is called a balloon chase. The balloon and chase crew are in radio communication with one another at all times.

Q. How long is a balloon flight?

A. The average balloon flight is two to ten miles, depending on the winds, and flight time is thirty minutes to an hour. The overall balloon experience will last from two to four hours.

Q. How should I dress?

A. Balloons are flown in all seasons, so dress the way you would for a short hike in the season you are flying. If it is cool, dress warm if it is hot dress cool. Sensable shoes are a must. Please no sandals or flip-flops. The temperature during the flight will be very close to the temperature on the ground. A hat and sunglasses are also good to bring along.

Q. Can I bring a camera?

A. Absolutely. Cameras and video cameras are encouraged. A balloon flight is one of the greatest adventures you will ever have, and you will want to capture it on film. For safety reasons we ask that any cameras you bring be equipped with a neck strap. It is also a good idea to bring a small camera case. All devices must be stowed away before landing.

Q. What about cell phones?

A. All cell phones must be turned off before launch.

Q. Is it OK for me to fly if I am pregnant?

A. Pregnant women are not permitted to fly at any time.

Q. What about refunds or cancellations?

A. Cancelled Flights
Please note that all flights are subject to weather conditions and may be cancelled at the pilots discretion. In the event that we are weathered out on your flight day, you may reschedule the flight up until but not past the expiration date on your voucher or flight certificate without additional fees. All flight certificates and vouchers are non-refundable.


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Valley Ballooning | Mailing Address: 16350 Old Valley Pike, Edinburg, Virginia 22824 | (540)975-0192