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Team Building at its best!

Looking for something to challenge your staff and encourage “out of the Box” thinking while promoting teamwork?  Tired of all of the normal hum drum conference style workshops? 

Here is the team building experience you have been looking for.

Thompson Aire Inc is offering a new style of team building your staff will still be talking about a year from now!

Imagine driving your car with no brakes, no control over the speed of the car and a 30 second delay on the steering wheel.  That is what it takes to fly a balloon.  Now imagine trying to hit your driveway.  What a challenge!....  Read on.

HOT AIR BALLOON:   Flight planning team building.

Each balloon team will consist of a minimum of two (2) and maximum of four (4) persons.

Teams will try to plan a hot air balloon flight. From launch to landing.

Each team will be provided the latest weather information as well as identical area maps of launch and landing areas. 

Using the information provided each team will try to choose launch and landing sites for that morning’s flight. Teams will also try to make the flight last for one hour.  Hot air balloons fly only with the wind. 

The only control a pilot has is the ability to control altitude.  Using his altitude control a pilot can find wind layers going in slightly different direction and speed. By using these layers the team must navigate (three dimensionally) to the landing target they have chosen prior to launch. 

The team who lands at the target field and who has the closest flight time to one hour will be the winning team.

A pre flight briefing will be used to explain the 3 dimensional aspects of navigation by balloon.    The goal is to choose targets that are achievable using only the pilot’s ability to change the altitude of the balloon.  Each team will be provided a professional commercial hot air balloon pilot to operate the aircraft from launch to landing.  Each team will also try to estimate the flight time necessary to complete the flight. Since weather conditions will change during the flight each team must think on there feet and adjust the flight plan accordingly.  This is truly a great team challenge with outstanding out of the box thinking.

Learning goals and benefits.

  • Three Dimensional thinking, Teammates must go way out of their normal scope of thinking.
  • Must identify and use the skills of others in group to succeed.
  • Teaches, and uses, forward thinking and planning skills.
  • Shows team participants how to adapt to changing environment. (Weather)
  • Cooperation and communication, Dependant on someone with skills (the pilot) to fly the aircraft while communicating directions for execution.
  • Learning to comprehend and interpret targets & goals.
  • Listening and comprehension skills. 
  • Decision making within timeframe constraints.
  • Learn to accept outcome and recognize errors.
  • Team learns they can do things together that individually they would most likely fail.
  • Encourage desire to venture into unknown areas with confidence.
  • Huge increase in office moral!
  • Team work combined with a dash of Adventure!


Interested in learning more?  See program review next.


This is one program you will have little or no difficulty getting your staff to sign up for!

The Team Building Balloon Flight

The program will start of with TWO pre-flight briefings by the Thompson Aire pilots.  These are TOP COMPETITION PILOTS Ranked in the top 15 in the whole country!  Experts in flight planning to targets.

This first briefing will be about the flight program and balloon flight from a standard passenger’s point of view.  Instructions about the balloon flight and normal Pre-flight passenger information. 

There will be a short 5minute break before the team building briefing

Team building Briefing and the team challenge.

Each team will be given an area map.  The teams will be shown targets on the map that represent Launch and Landing sites.  Both teams will be given the local weather forecasts for the flight period.  Teams will also be supplied with map compass and plotting tools to plan their flight path and estimate distances.  Teams will be given 15 minutes to plan their flight.  One of the Thompson Aire pilots will be available for consult for the last 5 minutes of the planning period.  A team flight leader will be chosen at this time and be given a GPS.  At this time we will step outside and launch a small helium balloon to make one last weather observation.  A Thompson Aire Pilot will read the wind directions speeds and altitudes aloud for the team’s reference.  Teams will have 5 minutes to make their final launch site determination.

Once each the teams have selected the launch site we will load aboard our vehicles and head out to the launch site.  Once we arrive at the launch site the pilots will help each team assemble and inflate the balloons.  Each team must learn and perform tasks to prepare the aircraft for flight. The inflation process of the balloon will normally take 10 to 15 minutes.

Liftoff!  While in flight the pilot will only fly the balloon at the altitudes the team will request.  Teammates will quickly learn that wind directions change with altitude.  The team leader will be able to track the flight path and speed to their teammates who must figure out if they are on course for the chosen landing target.  Teammates will then request the proper change in altitude to manage flight path.  The process will repeat itself until the team either lands at their target landing site or the pilot is forced to terminate the flight as they feel needed.  Flight time will be approximately one hour.

Once back on earth each team will have to pack away their balloon and both teams will meet at the nearest point to landing to participate in the traditional Champagne Toast.  The pilots will explain how hot air ballooning began and how Champagne became part of the tradition.  After the toast each team will be given 5 minutes to review there flight path as well as over all performance. Each team will also be given 10 minutes present their views to the opposing team.  We will then load up in our vehicles and head back for breakfast.  The debate about the flight will continue all the way back to breakfast.  During breakfast each member of each team will be presented with their first flight certificate that will promote them to “Crewmember Extraordinaire”.  The Thompson Aire pilots will choose a TEAM CHAMPION at this time.  All team participants will receive a Thompson Aire T-Shirt!  The winning team will receive an 8 x 10 photograph of their balloon in a presentation folder that will also hold there flight certificate!

Each team will consist of a maximum of 4 adults.  You may enter as many teams as you wish on any day.  Flights are weather permitting.  Team building cost is $1400 per team.  The whole program will take about 4 hours.  The debate will go on for months.  The lessons will be priceless.

Reservations must be made at least 2 weeks in advance.  Reservations can only be made by telephone.  Team Building program is secured with a 50% non refundable deposit with remainder due after the flight.

Call 407-421-9322 for more information.

For a better understanding of balloon flight planning and the challenge of flying to targets here are two pages we suggest you read.  About the Aircraft  2006 National Hot Air Balloon Championships

The entire program should conclude around 10 am.

 Thompson Aire Inc 407-421-9322


Confused with all the info?   A great place to start is FAQ or the SITE MAP page

2006 Nationals   Cancellation Policy Pre-Flight Team Building
About the Aircraft Chase Package Launch N Land Pricing Testimonials
About the Flight Chief  Pilot Links Private Flights Tethered Exhibitions
Book a flight Contact US Main Page Proposals Thompson Aire Ads
Book a Private Flight FAQ Meeting Spot Shirts N Stuff The Balloonists Prayer
Book A Wedding Gift Certificate Policy Our Pilots Site Map Weather
Book a Proposal Gift Certificates Our Ground Team TA Video Weddings
Calendar Guest Book Photo Gallery TA Weather Why Choose TA?
Jeff Thompson has been awarded a Directors Award from the Balloon Federation of America for his work with the BFA Hall of Fame committee.  Inside the website Jeff created a storage and work area for all the files used in choosing Hall-of-Famers.  Please help support the site become a member.

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