rules to play hot air ballooning

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Rules to play Hot Air Ballooning

11. Hazards
The dangers of the sport include excessive (vertical or horizontal) speed during landing, mid air collisions that may collapse the balloon, and colliding with high voltage power lines. It is the last of these, contact with power lines, that poses the greatest danger. One of the most common causes of serious ballooning accidents in the US is power line strikes. One reason for the high frequency of such incidents is the fact that pilots often attempt to land their balloons on or near roads in order to reduce the amount of off road driving necessary to recover the balloon. However, in most rural areas where balloons fly, roads usually have power lines running along them.

Of the 11 accidents involving fatalities recorded by the NTSB between 1997 and 2007, 4 involved contact with power lines, 3 involved falling after hanging onto the outside of a rising balloon, 3 involved striking an object on landing (boulder, wall, or tree), and 1 involved an equipment failure (an eyebolt).

12. Night flight
In the United States, the FAA requires balloons to fly under visual flight rules. If equipped with lights that make it visible to other aircraft, balloons can fly in the dark. However, such flights are usually limited to either dawn patrol flights that begin before sunrise with landings made after there is sufficient light to see any obstacles or to race/record flights that typically go throughout the night and the landing again made during daylight hours.
13. Winter flight
The ability to fly hot air balloons in the winter is limited mostly by the ability of the participants to withstand the cold. The balloons themselves fly well in cold air. Because the temperature difference between inside and outside the balloon, not the absolute inside temperature, determines the lift it develops, a much lower internal temperature is sufficient to fly in cold weather.However, if the liquid propane in the fuel tanks is too cold (0
14. Tethering
Sometimes, especially at balloon festivals or other special events, balloons are flown while tied to the ground with ropes (tethers). This enables quick rides to many passengers, instead of long rides drifting with the wind away from the event with one load of passengers. Tethering techniques depend on the balloon manufacturers instructions and wind conditions. Tethers can be attached to the basket, burner support, or the top of the envelope. A night glow is a tethered flight in darkness to enhance visual effects. While typical day flights use the main valve, using an efficient blue flame, at night tethered pilots use the liquid valve whisper burner (cow burner, as it does not startle livestock), creating a spectacular bright orange flame.
15. Winds aloft
The winds on the surface are just one of our concerns. We have to think three dimensionally and consider what the wind is doing at altitude as well. This is perhaps the most confusing aspect for our passengers. There is not even a hint of a breeze on the ground and your flight has just been cancelled due to wind, how come? We look at winds at the surface (the wind you can feel) and the winds at 1 to 9,000 feet. We are not going to 9,000 feet, but it tells us if we might encounter issues such as wind shear, turbulence, or strong surface winds later on. Even if there are no winds to speak of at the surface, the winds aloft may drive our decision not to fly. Winds aloft of 18 20 knots or 20 miles per hour can be sufficient to reschedule a flight.
16. Poor visibility
How far can we see? Our aircraft are designated by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) as Visual Flight Rules (VFR) certified. That means we must have a certain amount of visibility to fly legally. The visibility must be 1 to 3 miles, depending on where we are flying. If we dont have it, we cant fly.
17. Rain and storms
The decision not to fly in rain or storms seems a simple one of course we dont! What isnt so simple is why your flight may be cancelled when no storm or rain actually happens in the area. We must often make our decision based on a forecast. Despite the many advances in weather prediction, forecasting remains an imprecise science. We often refer to forecasts as horoscopes with numbers. Our idea of long range forecasting is 4 hours and we dont place a great deal of faith in them! Forecasts for our flying area are limited to Baltimore Washington International Airport (BWI) and Harrisburg International (MDT). We are practically equal distance between the two and what happens in our flying area may be very different from the forecast both good and bad.

Storms can be significant events to any type of aircraft, but a balloon is perhaps the most weather sensitive aircraft there is. An airplane can turn and run from a storm whereas a balloon is drawn into a storm. The winds will accelerate and head toward a building storm and flow out of a decaying storm. These gust fronts can occur 75 to 100 miles away from the actual storm and create winds that are dangerous to a balloon. Once again, its the wind! If storms are forecast or there are storms within 100 miles we will reschedule flights.

18. Balloon basics
The decision not to fly in rain or storms seems a simple one of course we dont! What isnt so simple is why your flight may be cancelled when no storm or rain actually happens in the area. We must often make our decision based on a forecast. Despite the many advances in weather prediction, forecasting remains an imprecise science. We often refer to forecasts as horoscopes with numbers. Our idea of long range forecasting is 4 hours and we dont place a great deal of faith in them! Forecasts for our flying area are limited to Baltimore Washington International Airport (BWI) and Harrisburg International (MDT). We are practically equal distance between the two and what happens in our flying area may be very different from the forecast both good and bad.

Storms can be significant events to any type of aircraft, but a balloon is perhaps the most weather sensitive aircraft there is. An airplane can turn and run from a storm whereas a balloon is drawn into a storm. The winds will accelerate and head toward a building storm and flow out of a decaying storm. These gust fronts can occur 75 to 100 miles away from the actual storm and create winds that are dangerous to a balloon. Once again, its the wind! If storms are forecast or there are storms within 100 miles we will reschedule flights.

19. Balloon fiesta
The Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta is a world renowned attraction and destination for kids of all ages. For more than three decades, the first week in October brings the smell of roasting chiles and the beautiful, magical moving picture show of hot air balloons sailing silently through the crisp fall air.

Guests from all over the world come to Albuquerque to celebrate ballooning. Literally hundreds of balloons will be taking flight from the Balloon Fiesta Park this year. From its modest beginnings in 1972 with 13 balloons launching from a shopping mall parking lot, the Balloon Fiesta has grown to multiple events launching year round at the custom designed, 365 acre Balloon Fiesta Park. Our signature event remains Balloon Fiesta which, with 700 balloons, is the largest ballooning event on earth, the most photographed event on earth, and the largest annual international event held in the United States.

Imagine 54 football fields, all put together. Thats the size of Balloon Fiesta Parks 78 acre launch field! And at this Parks playing field, there are no losing teams and no viewing stands. Guests walk the field and are part of the action.

Hundreds of thousands of smiling, upturned faces, awestruck by the spectacular beauty of hot air balloons filling the big blue New Mexico sky. What you cant hear until you walk our field at nightfall is the thrilling roar of hundreds of burners simultaneously igniting, turning the Park into a huge lighted Christmas tree of colorful balloons. What you cant feel until you join us is the massive joy everywhere around you.

20. Temperature
Since hot air balloons fly by changing the temperature inside the balloon with heat, it stands to reason that outside air temperature is going to affect balloon flights, and it does! When the air in the balloon is heated, it becomes hotter and thus less dense than the surrounding outside air. This hotter air is lighter and the balloon will float upward. The more heat, the higher up you go. A balloon will fly when its temperature is around 140 degrees above the outside air temperature (generally). So, the colder it is outside, the less heat it takes to fly and conversely, the hotter it is outside, the more heat it will take to fly.


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