The most popular use of a hot air balloon is obviously for commercial leisure flights where members of the public book flights and go up in the balloon for an experience of a lasting memory.
When Do You Fly?
Flights typically depart shortly after sunrise as this is when the air is cool and winds are calm. Hot Air Balloon Flights are very weather permitting and require good visibility and low wind speeds. Our take off points are Kandalama and Sigiriya depending on the wind direction
Pre-planning is the key !
Since flights average about an hour or so and the whole excursion is upto about 3 ½ hours from the time of pick up to the time you are dropped back at your hotel, pre-planning pays off. There are no bathrooms aboard the balloon.
What is the Hot Air Balloon Made Of ?
The main components of a hot air balloon are the envelope (balloon), fuel system, and gondola (basket). Most envelopes are made from ripstop nylon which is similar to the material for parachutes. One difference is that the ripstop is coated inside to contain the hot air. It is open at the bottom to receive the heating flame and have a deflation port, a large opening at the top that allows the hot air to escape during landing. The fuel system is composed of the heater, which burns propane to heat the air in the envelope, fuel tanks, which are carried in the basket; and hoses, which connect the two. The basket is constructed of wickerwork rattan and is connected to the envelope by cables. The flexibility has great absorption level and is comfortable for the guests during landing.
Instruments used in a hot air balloon
The altimeter measures height above sea level, the pyrometer measures the temperature at the top of the balloon’s envelope and of course the compass tells which direction you are heading.
In order to fly paying passengers a pilot must have a Commercial Licence and validated in the country he flies by the Civil Aviation Authority of the respective country.
A balloon used for carrying passengers must have a standard-type certification. Every balloon must be inspected annually by an authorized Inspector. Balloons that carry passengers for hire have even more rigorous maintenance requirements.
Take Off Commercial / Instructor rated – Pilots
Certified and Registered Balloons
Certified annual maintenance Inspections
Full commercial liability insurance.
Insurance – Our Insurers:
Sri Lanka Insurance Corporation.
No.21 Vauxhall Street
The passenger capacity varies from the sizes of balloons, which is based more on weight and temperature than the number of passengers. Our balloons can carry from 8 – 16 passengers per flight.
What to dress
Dress casually and comfortably for the weather, it is a little warmer while the sun is out. We also recommend closed toe shoes to opened toe or high heeled shoes as we want to protect your feet just as much as the rest of you. A hat or cap to protect you from the heat of the burners.
Can I take my children
We encourage families to participate in Hot Air Ballooning, however there are issues to consider before deciding to take your children. The sides of the basket are approximately 4’ high, therefore, children who are not as tall will not enjoy the beautiful views and may get irritated. Adults are not permitted to hold or carry children during a flight.
A child under the age of 16 must be accompanied by a responsible adult.
Another fact to consider is, the burners directly above. We’ve found that very young children, are often frightened by the noise of the burner. Because of these reasons and past experience, children under the age of 7 are not permitted to take the flight.
Can anyone fly
Pregnant mothers and guests taking medications must consult their physician before flying in a Hot Air Balloon.
You are most welcomed to bring in your still or video cameras aboard to take as much memorable pictures and videos to last a lifetime of your memorable sky safari over beautiful Sri Lanka !!
How High Does The Balloon Fly?
We normally reach between 500 and 2,500 feet high – and where allowed.
Do we fly on the same direction twice?
Where the hot air balloon flies is always in the direction of the wind and no two flights are the same.
Afraid of heights (acrophobia)?
Many people who have a fear of heights or were just anxious about flying have realize it is not what they were expecting, there is no rocking or turbulence like on a plane. Why don’t you give it a try and have a new experience.
Where do we land?
Wish I had an answer for you on that one, but I don’t! This is really a part of the excitement and adventure of ballooning! We might land in a large field or even someone’s front yard !
The direction of the Hot Air Balloon cannot be controlled by steering as it travels only with the wind and at the speed of the wind. There are usually different wind directions at different altitudes, and by seeking out different wind currents a pilot can maneuver his balloon in several directions.
For safety reasons, balloonists generally prefer for the winds to be less than 10 mph and the clouds to be at least 2000′ above the ground.
How far will we fly?
Well, that depends on the winds. Since we fly with the winds, if the wind is 2 mph, we will fly about 2 miles. If the wind is 8 mph, we will fly closer to 8 miles. You get the picture.
After the landing?
We go nowhere until our crew shows up to get us. Balloon chasing is a fun challenge and hopefully the chase will be there waiting for us, or will arrive shortly after we land to take you back to your place of pick up and to pack up the balloon. Your vehicle could also join in the fun with our chase team, if you wish!
After each flight we commemorate the adventure with a Champagne Celebration.