American Escapes Aerosports
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FAQs

How long is the flight? 
We target 1-hour for the flight, but this can vary from 45 minutes to 1 1/2 hours dependent on weather and landing sites. The entire experience takes about 3 hours of your morning or late afternoon. In this, you get to participate in balloon assembly and pack-up.

What do I need to wear? 
  Wear comfortable clothes that can get dirty.  Be sure to wear sneakers or leather shoes (no sandals).  A baseball cap is helpful because there is no shade.  BRING A CAMERA with fresh batteries!  *The temperature is the same at altitude as on the ground.  

Can I bring others to watch? 
  Friends and family are welcome to observe and participate in the experience. 

What are the weather limitations? 
  Unfortunately, we can not fly in the rain, thunderstorms or high wind.  

What are the main parts of a hot air balloon?
   A hot air balloon has three main parts:  the envelope, the burner and the basket or gondola.  The basket is where passengers ride.  Usually made of wicker, baskets protect the occupants and are lightweight and flexible.  The burner is positioned above the passengers' heads and produces a huge flame to heat the air inside the envelope.  The envelope is the colorful fabric bag that holds the hot air.  When the inside air is heated, the balloon rises.  To descend, the pilot allows the air to cool and the balloon becomes heavier than air.  The pilot has complete control of the up-and-down movements by controlling the heat in the envelope.  

How long does it take to inflate and deflate the balloon? 
   A good ground crew can inflate and launch a balloon in 15 minutes or less.  It takes about the same amount of time to deflate and bag the balloon after the flight.  

How much does a balloon cost? 
   The most popular sport size balloons cost from $25,000 to $50,000 or more when brand new. Support equipment (radios, fan, extra tanks, ropes, repair kit, etc...)  will add from $2,000 to $5,000 more.  Used radios are also available.  

Are all hot air balloons alike? 
    All hot air balloons consist of a burner system, a basket and an envelope.  The differences are in shape and size of the envelope, deflation system, the basket shape and design and the configuration, design and number of burners.  

Do you need a license to fly a balloon? 
   Yes.  A Balloon Pilot Certificate is issued by the Federal Aviation Administration.  You must pass a written exam, receive a prescribed number of hours of instruction, make a solo flight, a flight to a specific altitude and pass a flight test with an FAA examiner.   
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