is a Balloon Tether?
|A Hot Air Balloon Tether is
where we bring one of our Hot Air Balloons to your location and inflate
and operate the balloon onsite using a series of ropes to hold
the balloon in place during the time the balloon is in
A Balloon Tether
is still classified as a flight operation and all of the local
and FAA regulations apply. A visit to the location may be
required by one of our pilots.
the space requirements for the Balloon?
Hot air balloons are
much bigger than people realize. Balloons come in
different sizes from a one man balloon to as large as an 18
passenger balloon. For the Tether operations we use a
balloon that carries a pilot plus 4 passengers. This size
seems to be the best size for this type of operation.
For this balloon we would need an area about the size of Half a
football field or 200 feet by 200 feet. This area must
be clear of any obstacles of any kind and must be able to be
driven on by our support vehicles.
the best times of day.
|Since a balloon is so large, any wind at all can make
handling the balloon almost impossible and potentially
WIND LIMITS below. There
are two times of day when the wind will most likely be at or below our
limits, These time would be the first few hours of daylight in the morning and
the last few hours of daylight before sunset.
people can ride?
|The number of passengers depends on many factors. The
wind is the most variable of these factors. Wind, Size of
the Balloon, Height of the ride, Size of the Area, Length of
Ride and size of the passengers are the major factors. On
the average we can take the balloon up to the top of the ropes
and back down in an average of 5 minutes. This would
ideally mean that we could make 20 such trips in on hour.
If we take 4 people on each trip, then you will average 80
passengers in one hour, in one balloon.
the costs of a Tethered Balloon operation?
|A Tethered Balloon operation costs as follows.
the first hour of operation and $1000 per hour after that.
A minimum two hour contract is required. Operations of
more than four hours will reduce the hourly rate to $800 per
hour. A 50% Non-refundable deposit, for the first hour, is
required to set up the operation and flight operations are
For Example, A minimum two hour tether will require a
$1000 (non-refundable) deposit and a $2000 payment at the end of
two hours. A four hour tether will require a $1000
(non-refundable) deposit and a $3200 payment at the end of four
it cost so much?
|A hot air balloon is designed to FLY! It is not
designed to be held in place. When you hold a hot air
balloon in place it will generate many great forces on the
structure of the balloon that will greatly stress the balloon.
One hour of tether time on a hot air balloon is generally
equivalent to 2.5 to 3 hours of normal wear on the aircraft as
if it were in normal flight operations. That same aircraft used
in normal flight operations will generate around $740 of
passenger revenue. Since the tether operations are 2.5 to
3 times as hard on the balloons we should be charging about
$1850 to $2220 per hour for a tether. The only reason we
can charge less is because of the deposit. We are both
taking a chance on the weather. If every time we
contracted to do a tether operation the weather was good then we
would have to charge more for the operation. But since the
weather does not always cooperate we can offset some of the
price with the non-refundable deposit. Let's make this
very clear!!! You may pay the deposit and the balloon may
not fly at all!
the weather is bad?
|We will still be on site! If the weather is bad then
of course we will not take any chances with peoples lives.
In fact in over 30 years of balloon flight operations we have
never had anyone hurt. We hate to
disappoint someone but we refuse to hurt anyone. Our
balloon pilots and support crews are true professionals.
If the day comes and we are not able to conduct a flight
operation our teams will be onsite with all the equipment for
the contracted time of the tether. We will display all of
the balloon equipment, answer questions, let people get into the
balloon basket and take photos and generate good will for your
event as well as take the time to inform and educate the public
about hot air balloons. The disappointment will soon fade
when you get the response from your guests about how informative
and professional our teams are! Understand this, We
can not guarantee the weather and will not take chances with the
safety of your guests or our equipment!
|Winds are the most crucial part of a tethered balloon
operation. The best way we have found over the years to explain
how a balloon will react in wind is this....
Take a kite out on a
day when the wind is blowing about 10 to 12 MPH. You can
very easily fly the kite. In fact the kite will produce enough
pulling force to lift the weight of the kite and string and still
produce an extra 3 to 4 pounds of pulling force on your arm.
A kite is one square yard of fabric. A Hot Air Balloon is
more than 1400 square yards of fabric and can cave in when blown
upon creating a concave depression in the side of the balloon
catching even more of the wind creating a sail effect. The
balloon in the same winds can create around 4 to 6 THOUSAND
pounds of pulling force. Enough force to drag a couple of
pickup trucks like a two year old child pulling a Tonka truck.
If the wind becomes gusty at any time these forces can be
greatly increased creating a serious and potentially life
threatening situation. On all of our tethered operations
the Pilot In Command has the final and undisputed authority.
The Pilots decision is FINAL!
|How do I
set up a Hot Air Balloon Tether?
|Call us. Tell us your location and times. We
will make arrangements for one of our Pilots to come and look at
your location. We will also look at the airspace
requirements in your area to see if we can legally operate in
your location. If our inspection and research shows that
you are a potential candidate for a tether operation we will
take a deposit payment in any form you wish.
else should I be concerned with?
Go on, plan the rest of your event and do not worry
about the balloon tether. We have all the required
insurances and will take care of any local permits needed.
We have done hundreds of operations all around the country and
provide a completely hassle free program for your event.
Keep in mind, and we can not say this enough.
The entire operation is dependant on the weather. When
mother nature is cooperative this will be the icing on the cake
for your event. This will be the thing that your guests
talk about the most.
We have a spotless safety record.
Our badge of honor is our 100% safety record and we will not
take chances, PERIOD. Your best bet for good weather is
early morning or late afternoon.
Call us at any time at
407-421-9322 to discuss your needs.