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Table of Contents

  1. How do I book a flight?
  2. Where and when can I go for a flight?
  3. Why doesn't a balloon fly in the middle of the day?
  4. Who is my pilot?
  5. What are the weather limitations?
  6. Will it be cold up there?
  7. How high will I fly?
  8. Where will I land?

How do I book a flight?

Contact our office at 403-302-7167. Once you have paid your deposit, pick your date and time (am or pm) and hope for good weather. We'll do the rest.

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Where and when can I go for a flight?

Flights can be booked twice a day (am and pm), 7 days a week, 364 days a year. There are however, weather, geographical, and passenger space limitations. Please contact us to find out when you can take your flight in your area.

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Why doesn't a balloon fly in the middle of the day?

During the warmer months, the sun does some peculiar things to the air just above ground. One of these things is a phenomena called a "thermal". What happens is the sun heats the earth and little pockets of warm air start to form. Kind of like a pot of almost boiling water, when enough energy is added, these little pockets of warm air pop and start to rise. If you've ever seen a dust devil in a parking lot, you've seen a thermal. This process starts about 3-4 hours after sunrise and continues until 2-3 hours before sunset. Now if you think about it, you're actually riding a little pocket of air when you ride a balloon, and if your little pocket of air gets caught up in the earth's little pocket of air, you go rising and spinning with it. Better just to avoid the whole issue.

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Who is my pilot?

Gary Fehr is the owner and Chief Pilot of Air-ristocrat Balloon Rides and Promotions. Mr. Fehr is a Certified Flight Instructor - Balloons with over 600 safe, incident free flights to his credit from across Western Canada, and is the only balloon pilot to have flown over Churchill Manitoba. Believe us, that's more impressive if you've been to Churchill.

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What are the weather limitations?

Tornadoes, thunderstorms..... very bad. Strong winds or even the potential for bad weather will keep a safe balloon pilot on the ground. Wind speed is generally limited to 15 Kph during early summer. Later in the year when the crops start to come off the fields and more landing spots open up, safe and enjoyable flights can be had with higher winds 

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Will it be cold up there?

Surprisingly, the answer is no. Although the temperature does drop with height, the drop is only a little more than 1 degree Celsius for every 1000 feet. Also, there's no shade from the sun, and since you will be traveling at the same speed as the wind, there's no breeze. Add in a huge honkin' heater a couple feet above your head...... and you start to see why winter flights would be more enjoyable than you might have thought.

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How High will I fly?

While you're over any built up area, you will be at least 500 feet above any structure unless the balloon is on approach for landing. On a typical flight, your altitude will vary any where from 3000 feet above ground down to rabbit level as your pilot searches for the best wind currents to give you a safe and enjoyable experience.

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Where will I land?

The simple answer is on the ground. Hot air balloons rely completely on the wind for propulsion and, since the wind speed and direction change at different altitudes and throughout the time of your flight, there really is no other honest answer except       that you'll be told when you get there.

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Copyright 2004 Air-ristocrat Balloon Rides and Promotions
Last modified: July 28, 2004