Flights typically depart shortly after sunrise, when the earth is still cool and winds are calm. Sunrise schedules vary throughout the year, but usually between 6:30 and 7:30 a.m. Hot Air Balloon Flights are very weather-permitting and require good visibility and low wind speeds.
How big is your Hot Air Balloon?
Our Hot Air Balloon, Aerial One, has 105,000 cubic feet of volume and can accomodate 2-4 passengers, plus the pilot. The size of the balloon is equivalent to the air space of seven 2,000 square feet houses with 7 1/2 feet ceilings.
What is the Hot Air Balloon made of?
The main components of a hot air balloon are the envelope (balloon), fuel system, and gondola (basket). The envelope is constructed of polyester, which is lightweight, yet strong and heat resistant, withstanding temperatures of up to 300 degrees. The envelope is open at the bottom, in order to receive the heating flame; it has a deflation port, a large opening at the top, that allows the hot air to escape during landing.
The fuel system consists of the heater, which burns propane to heat the air in the envelope; fuel tanks, which are carried in the basket; and hoses, which connect the two.
The basket is constructed of wickerwork rattan and is connected to the envelope by cables to a rigid superstructure. Wicker is used not only for its romantic appeal, but also because of the flexibility of the material itself and the great absorption level.
How high can we go?
Our flights over Tampa and the suburbs start at elevations of about 30 feet above sea level. We are able to obtain elevations up to 3,000 feet when conditions permit, offering spectacular views of all of the city and surrounding area. If you have a fear of heights, you need not be concerned. You will not experience any vertigo, because you are moving with the wind currents. There is no rocking or swaying or feeling of movement. You need not worry about needing dramamine because of air/movement sickness.
Where do we land?
The direction of the Hot Air Balloon cannot be controlled by steering. Balloons travel only with the wind and at the speed of the wind. There are usually different wind directions at different altitudes. By seeking out different wind currents, a pilot can maneuver his balloon in several directions. Regardless of your landing site, we will always have a chase crew there to pick you up and return you to your car.
Is Hot Air Ballooning safe?
Absolutely. In order to fly paying passengers in the United States, a pilot must have a Commercial Lighter-Than-Air, Free Balloon certificate, issued by the Federal Aviation Administration. A balloon used for carrying passengers must have a standard certification, also from the FAA. Every balloon must be inspected annually by an FAA-approved facility or inspector, and balloons that carry passengers for hire have even more rigorous maintenance requirements. Aerial Adventures of Tampa has the following:
* FAA Commercial / Instructor-rated Pilots
* FAA Certified and Registered balloons
* FAA Certified annual maintenance inspections
* Perfect Safety Record
* Full commercial liability insurance for balloons and vehicles
What should I wear?
Dress comfortably, in order to get into the 4' basket and stand for about an hour. We recommend that you wear closed-toe footwear. Bring your camera for the breath-taking scenery and your sunglasses to protect against the sun. Taller guests should bring a hat for protection from the burners directly above.
Can I take my children?
We encourage families to participate in Hot Air Ballooning.
There are a few issues to consider before deciding to take your children. The sides of the basket are approximately 4’ high; therefore, children who have yet to reach this height will not be participating in the beautiful views and may become discouraged.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regulations do not permit parents to hold or carry their child during flight. Another consideration, the burners directly overhead will be burning flames up to 10’-15’ at any given time. The burner noise tends to frighten younger children. Because of these reasons and our previous experience, pre-schoolers get discouraged. Please contact one of our sales representatives should you have further questions regarding this matter.
Can anyone fly?
We ask pregnant mothers and guests taking medications to consult with their physician before flying in a Hot Air Balloon.