5 Ways to Make Hot Air Balloon Flights Safe
By Harold Gorton
An activity that roots all the way back to man's first dream of flight. An endeavour that despite its far beginnings still captivates a lot of enthusiasts in these modern times. Hot air balloon flights are still sought after. By those who want something different from any kind of aviation adventure. Something that everyone can enjoy with the smallest of preparation, zero skill level and less anxiety. It may be easy, simple and an activity within everyone's reach, still as with any outdoor activity there are risks involved. Avoidable ones, given the proper knowledge and safety briefing. Here are five ways to make this activity safe and successful.
1. Advanced research always pays off. Before you even start booking you balloon flight, it doesn't hurt to learn a bit about what they are and how they work. Do a bit of fact finding and read up on some comments of people who have enjoy balloon flights and seek a bit of expert advice from enthusiasts and operators as well. It also pays to do a bit of reference checking on the potential flight providers.
2. Hot air balloon rides are one of the very few activities that has little restrictions on who can ride. Almost anyone can enjoy a scenic hot air balloon flight, even people with physical disabilities. If you are undergoing medical treatment, make sure that you inform you pilot of it. Pregnant participants from six months on are not allowed to ride. Likewise, wheelchairs and oxygen tanks cannot be accommodated on board.
3. One of the prevalent injuries linked to hot air balloon flights is a broken ankle. Flat shoes or better yet running shoes are the most adequate footwear for this activity. Balance is important most especially when landing. You will be taught that the best position when landing is in a tucked position that will have you squat down leaning far back and holding onto a rope. It is advisable that you wear a long sleeved shirt during the flight. You may be positioned in the basket that is near the burner where the heat may be uncomfortable on exposed skin.
4. Never attempt to fly intoxicated or under any substance. This will alter your perception which can pose a very imminent risk to you and the people that you will be sharing the balloon ride with. This activity is full of that adventure high which is absolutely all natural.
5. It's a great idea to have kids enjoy a balloon ride, but one must have the good sense of realizing if they will really enjoy the flight or if it would be better to take them when they are at an age where they can truly appreciate it. Oftentimes, children younger than ten enjoy the first part which is inflation, and ground preparation. This is something new to them and they will be undoubtedly interested. Take off is a marvellous feat as well. But remember that flights usually take an hour or more and five minutes into the flight they may totally loose interest and ask for an early landing. It is a good idea to brief them of what the activity will entail from start to finish and then decide if they are truly up to it.
It's the most basic yet one activity that is full of amazing sights and discoveries. In any chosen endeavour potential risks should always be kept in mind and prepared for. Hot air balloon flights may be a slow paced and relaxed activity, but this characteristic doesn't spare it from possible risks. Being aware, prepared and in the know will be an important factor in eliminating these risks and making this feat as enjoyable as it can get.