February 9, 2007, Newsletter Issue #51: Riding The Air In A Hot Air Balloon

Tip of the Week

Hot air ballooning is an adventure that rides with the wind, and to move the hot air balloon in a particular direction, the pilot ascends and descends to find the appropriate wind direction.

Pilots call the weather service to get a rough idea of which way the balloon will travel, and how they should maneuver once they´re in the air. Members of the hot air balloon crew follow the balloon by car to see where it lands to collect the passengers and equipment, usually about 15 miles from the launch site. The pilot discusses possible landing sites with the ground crew by radio link. They look for a wide open space with plenty of room to lay out the balloon.

As soon as the balloon is in the air, the pilot is constantly looking for suitable landing sites, in case there is an emergency.

Ballooning is a wonderful way to see the grandeur of a country's wilderness from the air without the noise pollution attributed to planes and helicoptors. Because ballooning is more stealthy, you will probably have the opportunity to see more wildlife and better appreciate nature at its most beautiful.

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