A hot air balloon is actually one of the safest modes of travel known to man.
According to statistics, riding in a hot air balloon is actually safer than riding in a car. The pilot is specially trained according to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regulations, much like an airplane pilot, to assess danger and control the craft. People often express surprise to learn just how safe a hot air balloon is because many people are afraid of heights. But flying in a balloon does not deliver an unstable or strange sensation like standing on a tall building and looking down, or looking down over an overpass. It doesn’t even feel like the stomach-lurching movement of an elevator. It is as though everything else is slowly moving and you are standing still, taking in breath-taking views.
People wonder if they will experience fear or nausea. In our experience, no one ever has. The flight is completely calm, yet exhilarating. The training the pilot receives comes from another experienced pilot, plus the written exams required by FAA. A pilot also has to take an FAA examiner for a flight test. Licensing is a process that requires multiple hours of flight time without passengers to assess weather and landing conditions. Pilots learn everything from set-up to take-off, flying to landing, and chase activities. Pilots and their crew regularly attend safety seminars to keep current with FAA regulations.
Radio control or cell phone communication takes place with the chase crew below. Crew members are sure not to violate the rules of the road in keeping up with the balloon. The chase crew attempts to get permission to land in a specified location where crops or private property will not sustain damage. Good will with landowners is as important in the ballooning experience as anything else.
The crew takes special direction from the pilot in all of their actions. Essentially, there are no worries, although mistakes can happen and weather can change on the dime. Accidents are rare with reputable and safe pilots at hand. New Horizon Balloon Team never flies in rain, thunderstorms, or generally when winds are over eight miles an hour. Also, flights only take place during sunrise and just before sunset, due to thermals or uneven heating during the day. Hot air ballooning is an adventure no one wants to miss!