Massachusetts Ballooning Answers Hot Air Balloon Frequently
How long is the flight?
The flight lasts approximately 45 minutes to an hour, depending
on the wind speed and direction on the morning. But plan on
being with us for about 3-4 hours from start to finish.
How high do you go?
Your altitude will vary during your flight, but most flights
take place between 1,000 and 3,000 feet. The balloon may go
higher if the day’s winds allow your pilot to do so.
Winds permitting, some flights will also occur at lower altitudes
(treetop level) that provide a nice close up of the landscape
How far do you travel?
Because your balloon flight relies 100% on the wind, no two
flights are the same, but most flights travel approximately
How many people go into the basket?
It depends on the size of the balloon. Most of our areas have
several sizes of balloons, the largest capable of taking 16
persons plus the pilot. We are usually flying our larger balloons
on the weekends. But we have 12 person, 10 person, 8 person
and 4 person balloons as well. We bring out the best size
to comfortably lift the number of people who book on a given
What should we wear?
Wear casual clothing and comfortable shoes appropriate for
an outdoor adventure. Dress for the season and layer your
clothing so that you can adjust for the warming temperatures
as the morning progresses. The coolest you will be is on the
ground. Once in flight, the burners tend to keep the basket
nice and warm during the winter months. In the winter, appropriate
clothing includes hats, gloves, boots and sunglasses. Summer
attire includes long pants, sturdy shoes, sunscreen and sunglasses.
No shorts, open-toed shoes or sandals please.
What should we bring?
Bring your camera and plenty of film. Video cameras are also
Is it quiet in the balloon?
When the burner is off, it is extremely quiet. Quiet is one
of the most enjoyable aspects of ballooning.
Does it get cold up there?
Actually, at sunrise, it is not uncommon for it to be slightly
warmer in the air than on the ground due to a temperature
inversion at that time of day. The coolest part of the morning
is when we meet. It gets warmer from that point on, and quite
cozy when flying in the balloon. We therefore recommend that
you wear clothing in layers so you can adjust for the rising
temperatures as the day progresses.
Does the basket sway and move around
The baskets do not sway since it moves with the wind.
How do hot air balloons work?
Hot air balloons rise because the air inside the balloon is
warmer than the surrounding air, and the resulting pressure
differentials produce an upward lift.
How do you get the balloon inflated?
A fan is used to blow cool air into the balloon. Later the
burners are used to heat the air as the balloon lies on the
ground. Gradually the balloon will rise to an upright position.
How do you steer a balloon?
The only way to steer a balloon is by finding different wind
directions at different altitudes. Our pilots are specifically
trained for mountain flying and are extremely skilled at navigating
What about children?
Around the age of 6 years, children are tall enough to see
over the side of the basket and have the attention span to
enjoy an hour or more flight in an open basket. Sometimes
young children are sensitive to the sound of the burners,
but most quickly become interested in how the balloon works.
They enjoy looking for wildlife in the vineyards and generally
enjoy the inflation and pack up almost as much as the flight
itself. Very small children and infants should wait until
they are old enough to appreciate the ballooning experience.
What about special requests?
Since we are committed to offering personalized ballooning
adventures, our staff is available to assist you with special
requests to make your adventures with us even more special.
We regularly accommodate in-flight weddings and marriage proposals,
for example. Gift certificates for special occasions are available.
Call us at 1-800-318-7285 to arrange for
your special occasion, or purchase a Hot Air Balloon Ride