Experience your best Hot Air Balloon Ride right here! Find Hot Air Balloons Ride in USA, Australia, Canada and Europe
  Hot Air Balloon       Sections
 Hot Air Balloon Rides
 How a Hot Air Balloon Works
 Hot Air Balloon Terms
 Hot Air Ballooning FAQ's
 Facts about Hot Air Balloons
 Hot Air Balloon Jokes
 Contact Us
 HotAirBalloon.com's Sitemap

  Great Gift Idea
  GoECart Shopping
  GoECart Marketplace


Hot Air Balloon Safety
By: Hanna Nilson


Just because the hot air balloon is the oldest successful form of human flying technology, doesn't make it the safest!

Hot air ballooning can be a relaxing and enjoyable sport for professionals and amateurs alike. However, it is always important to keep safety in mind.

As hot air balloon festivals and activities become more popular, people are increasingly drawn to the benefits of a relatively smooth and comfortable flight experience. Indeed, the hot air balloon is quite safe and generally, much safer than some of the other means for aviation. Still, considering the proper precautions might save you the greater risk of being involved in an accident.

The National Transportation Safety Board reports that; of the 11 accidents involving hot air balloon fatalities (recorded between 1997 and 2007), four involved contact with power lines, three involved falling after hanging onto the outside of a rising balloon, three involved striking an object on landing and one involved an equipment failure.

Granted that the number of hot air balloon accidents is nowhere near the amount of general aviation accidents, when comparing the amount per hour, balloon accidents are reported to be four times more likely!

General Aviation

Year # of Accidents # of Fatalities Flight Hours Accidents per 100,000 Hours
1997 1,851 641 25,464,000 7.27
1996 1,909 632 24,881,000 7.67
Total 3,760 1,273 50,345,000 7.47


Year # of Accidents # of Fatalities Flight Hours Accidents per 100,000 Hours
1997 17 2 48,700 34.90
1996 22 2 68,000 32.37
Total 39 4 116,700 33.62

In order to ensure the most safe and pleasant ballooning experience, keep in mind that your security depends on the experience and professionalism of your well trained pilot. Therefore, it would be best to make sure that they are FAA certified. It is also good practice to have confidence in your pilot's insurance liability policy. Taking such precautions will help protect your rights in case of an accident.

Otherwise, the single most defining factor of your balloon flight is the weather. From take-off to landing; fog, rain, snow, wind, thermal winds etc. are all key elements to consider when attempting a successful hot air balloon practice. Before a safe balloon flight can begin, the pilot must always check the forecast and select a suitable departure and landing point. Furthermore, Good pilots always check their equipment before beginning a flight. They often carry backup tanks of fuel and other surplus equipment for safety.

Secondly, it is always important to be aware of your surrounding area. Please consider that the take-off point must be large enough to lay-out and inflate the envelope and clear of obstructions such as power lines and poles, trees, and buildings to allow lift-off under the predicted wind conditions.

The launch point must be situated in such a way that allows the predicted winds to carry your balloon in the direction of a suitable landing site.
Taking off from a location that is directly up wind from large bodies of water, metropolitan areas or a large uninterrupted forest is not safe! If you plan to sight-see over such locations, always keep track of you fuel supply.

Finally, it might be useful to know that most hot air balloon launches are made at dawn or at least two to three hours before sunset. It is best to launch and land during these times because it is usually cooler and less windy, making the balloon much easier to handle. Although this is an intentional safety practice, some of the benefits of such timing can include a once in a life time opportunity to catch a glimpse of the sun rising or setting while in flight.

Overall, safety first! Once you're sure that all the proper safety precautions have been taken, you're free to relax and enjoy the ride…Happy travels!




Hot Air Balloons USA | Hot Air Ballooning Facts | Hot Air Ballooning Terms | Find a Hot Air Balloons Ride | How Hot Air Balloon Works | Hot Air Balloon FAQs| Hot Air Balloons History
Copyright © 2009 HotAirBalloons.com ® . All Rights Reserved. Hot Air Balloon Rides in USA and Europe, FAQ's, Terms, Facts and much more only at HotAirBalloons.com