- All flights are at sunrise
- Ride duration: approximately forty-five minutes to one hour or more
- All passengers under18 years old must have written parental consent to ride
- Most of our baskets are 48 inches tall and we require passengers to be at least six years old
- All passengers need to be physically fit enough to fly or have permission from their physician
- Our insurance prevents us from taking pregnant passengers
Your pilot is licensed by the Federal Aviation Association as a commercial “lighter than air” pilot with many years of experience. We are also fully insured by a very reputable insurance company that specifically insures balloonists. Your safety is very important to us.
Yes, a waiver is required by our insurance company and will be provided usually during the ride to our launch site. If the passenger is a minor, he will need to have a parent or guardian sign for him/her.
We make every effort to make the flight last if possible. The flight duration varies with the ever-changing winds. If the winds are light and the direction is favorable, we can expect to get a flight that lasts between 45 min and an hour. We usually cover about 2 to 8 miles.
Absolutely, we encourage all of our passengers to call within two to three days before the flight to get a general sense of what the weather is going to be like on the day of their flight. On The night before the flight, we will make contact once again to confirm that the weather is acceptable, and the flight is going to operate.
We can never give you a 100% guarantee that we are good to go until we are in real-time at the launch site. A flight will likely be canceled when any of the following basic weather forecasts are applicable:
1. Surface wind speed is greater than 6 MPH or winds aloft are too fast
2. Visibility is less than 10 miles
During the summer months dress for the warm weather to include sunglasses and sunscreen. People with thinning hair should wear a hat to protect their heads. Shorts are OK, but please do not wear flip flops, sandals, or high heels as we occasionally land in fields with high grass where they would not be suitable. We recommend you wear waterproof shoes such as hiking boots. During the cooler part of our season, a warm winter jacket, layers of clothing, a hat, and gloves are recommended.
The meeting time is between 6:00-7:30 AM depending on the length of daylight hours. Please note your meeting time on the flight confirmation email and visit our meeting location page for information on how to find our meeting place. Try to be on time because the earlier we can launch means the longer we can fly. If you have a cell phone, please make sure that we have that number. It makes it much easier for us to communicate on the day of the flight especially if there are problems finding the meeting place. (Please make sure to check the meeting location page)
Balloonists all over the world like to fly early when the winds are calm, and the temperatures are cool. Weather plays a crucial role in the conduct of ballooning. We only offer morning flights in Asheville due to the afternoon temperatures, solar thermals, and predominant wind conditions.
The French tradition of a champagne toast after a hot air balloon ride dates back to the 1780s when hot air balloons first took flight. Champagne was used to appease farmers as an apology or peace offering for disturbing the property and grazing animals in the pasture.
We require a minimum of 3 passengers in a public basket and a minimum of 2 passengers in a private flight. The maximum number of passengers is six in one gondola. We have multiple balloons and pilots. Please provide us with your body weight which we use for flight planning purposes.
At our meeting place, you will leave your car in the parking lot and get in the chase vehicle to ride to a launch site. From there we will make our flight while the chase vehicle follows us. After landing and our Champagne ceremony, we will return you to your car.
YES! Please feel free to bring your camera along for the flight. We recommend you exchange email addresses after the flight to trade pictures. If there is more than one balloon flying on that day, we can trade pictures with the passengers from the other balloon(s) to get a different perspective. Also, we offer professional photography services. You can add photography services to your reservations at check out.
All flights are weather-dependent and may have to be rescheduled. If you can’t reschedule you will receive a refund. Gift certificates are non-refundable and must be rescheduled. We offer one year from the date of cancellation on all gift certificates.
We fly in the Hominy Valley area adjacent to the Pisgah National Forest and the Blue Ridge Parkway in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Western North Carolina and we meet our passengers just 10 minutes from downtown Asheville, NC.
We have multiple launch sites, and we choose a site depending on the wind direction on the day of the flight. We Launch a “Pie-ball”, which is nothing but a balloonist’s term for a pilot balloon. It is a small black helium balloon, used to determine the wind direction more precisely. After testing the wind, we proceed “upwind” to one of the launch sites that will give us the longest possible flight.
- American Express
The author, origins, and exact text are uncertain. The Balloonist’s Prayer is commonly recited after the flight.
The Winds have Welcomed you with softness.
The Sun has blessed you with its warm hands.
You have flown so high and so well
that God has joined you in your laughter
and set you gently back again
into the loving arms of Mother Earth.