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Hot Air Balloon FAQ

When do hot air balloons fly?  Hot air balloons generally fly during the morning and late afternoon.  Balloons operate rely on air currents for speed and direction and require stable (calm to 7 knots in a predictable direction) to maintain safe operations. The Phoenix area usually has 300 days of good weather for flying.

Where do hot air balloons fly?  Hot air balloons can fly practically anywhere. Balloons are registered aircraft and are under the authority of the FAA, who also owns the airspace above buildings and events.  

How tall and wide are hot air balloons?  Standard shape balloons are approximately 85 feet tall and 65 feet wide.

What are hot air balloons made from?  The fabric part of the balloon, called the envelope, is constructed of coated rip-stop nylon, similar to the material that parachutes are made from.  The basket is constructed of primarily of wicker. Wicker is light, strong, and resilient to incidental damage.

What type of fuel is used?  Liquid propane is used to heat the inside of the balloon. 

How long have balloons been around?  Hot air balloons are the oldest type of flying, having been invented in France in 1782.  Not until the late 1960ís did the new era of ballooning arise with the new materials and designs.

Are balloons regulated?  Hot air balloons are regulated by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), just like airplanes. Like other aircraft, balloons require yearly safety inspections by an FAA authorized repair station. 

Are balloon pilots regulated?  Balloon pilots are licensed and regulated by the FAA.

What is a balloon glow?  Heating the air inside the balloon with propane-fueled fire causes the balloon to glow brightly. During a daytime flight, this effect is usually not seen, but during evening glows, the effect is stunning.

What is a balloon tether?  A tether is when the balloon does not fly freely, but is tied to the ground with a number of 100 to 150-foot ropes. While being tied off, the balloon can take passengers up into the air without flying away from the designated spot.


AeroInk Incorporated P.O. Box 28362   Tempe, AZ 85285 480-736-1445