At the Meeting Site
On the day of your flight, you will be meeting the crew and pilot at North Salem Village, located at 15 Ermer Road Salem, NH. Here, our pilot will give you a safety briefing and collect waivers. We will also take another look at the winds using a helium balloon (aka pibal) to determine which take-off location will be ideal for your flight. After determining the location, we will bring you in our 15-passenger van to the launch site.
At the Field
You may help as much or as little as you’d like setting up and taking down the balloon. When we arrive at the field our crew will unload the basket and envelope (aka balloon) from the trailer. We will then set up the basket and the pilot will test the burners. This is a great photo opportunity. Our burner’s flame reaches 25 feet in the air! After the test burn, our crew will lay the basket on its side and attach the envelope. They will then lay the balloon out on the ground and remove the straps. The pilot will then instruct two crew members to hold open the mouth of the balloon while our high powered fans fill the balloon with cold air. We call this cold inflation. At the same time, one of our crew members will be at the top of the balloon inserting the deflation port. This is another great photo opportunity. Feel free to come to the top of the balloon while our crew member is there and stick your camera or head in for peek. When the balloon is cold inflated the pilot will add heat to the balloon using the burner and the balloon will stand up. At this time we ask that you come to the basket and put your weight on the basket to hold it down. Amazingly this only takes about 15 minutes. The pilot, with assistance from the crew, will load you into the basket by height. From there you will be sent into the scenic skies of Southern New Hampshire!
The flight is projected to be an hour long, but may vary depending on the wind and landing locations ahead. The balloon will be moving with the wind, so when in flight you will not feel any motion at all. Take pictures and capture the beauty of southern New Hampshire, from views most others don’t see. Our chase-crew will follow the balloon throughout the flight.
Upon landing, the pilot will instruct you to bend your knees. The pilot may drop lines to the crew to help guide the balloon to a good landing area. When you have landed, please remain inside the basket, until the pilot instructs you to get out. By staying in the basket, the balloon is about to cool down. When instructed to get out of the basket, we ask that you again put your arm over the side, to hold the basket down, just as you did when the balloon was stoop upright before takeoff. When everyone is out of the basket, the balloon will be laid down on its side. The crew will then use a tool called the squeezer, to push all of the air out of the balloon. As the air is squeezed out, the straps will then be put back on the balloon. After the balloon is deflated, the pilot and crew will pick up the balloon and straps and place them back into the cart or bag. After the crew will upright the basket and disassemble the burners. When the basket is disassembled, the basket will be placed on a cart. Both carts will then be loaded into our trailer. After we are all packed up we will load back into our van and return to your cars at 15 Ermer Road Salem, NH, where we will have a champagne toast and exchange stories.