Hot Air Balloon Flights Rides in Maryland
12465 Barnard Way, West Friendship, Maryland 21794 Howard County
(Directions) - - 410-804-8999

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How Hot Air Balloons Work

Friendship Hot Air Balloon Company
Frequently Asked Questions---FAQ

    General Questions & Answers
    Who can fly a balloon?
    The Federal Aviation Administration issues a Balloon Pilot Certificate to candidates who pass an FAA written examination, obtain a prescribed number of hours in a balloon, make a solo flight to altitude, pass a flight test, and submit a medical statement.

    How many people does it take to inflate a balloon?
    A minimum of three but preferably four. If the wind is over 8 knots, six to 10 people may be needed.

    How do you steer a balloon?
    The balloon goes wherever the wind takes it. However, pilots can seek higher or lower altitudes to find wind currents of various direction. We refer to it as the truest form of sailing.

    How safe is a balloon?
    Hot air ballooning is considered one of the safest forms of flying. The major risks are tangling with powerlines and treetops and hard landings. Serious accidents are rare. It is a sport that demands skill.

    Is it cold in a balloon?
    At high altitude, it is colder than at ground level, generally 3.5 degrees colder for each 1,000 feet of altitude.

    What are the best conditions for flight in a balloon?
    A balloon flies better in cooler weather since the hot air gets a better "lift." Balloonists usually fly just after dawn or before dusk, because there is less wind at these times.

    How large are hot air balloons?
    Most balloons are larger than your house. They hold from 19,000 to 240,000 cubic feet of air and loom from 50 to 90 feet.

    How does a hot air balloon differ from a gas balloon?
    A hot air balloon gets its lift from heating the air with propane fuel. A gas balloon gets its lift from lighter than air gases, usually heliun or hydrogen.

    What kinds of fabric are used?
    Rip-stop nylon, dacron, taffeta and nylon are the most common.

    What are the baskets that hang from balloons made of?
    Because weight is critical in balloon flying, the baskets are made of light materials such as wicker, fiberglass or aluminum.

    Do balloons wear out?
    If well taken care of, a balloon envelope should last approximately 500 flying hours.

    What instruments do balloons use?
    An altimeter to indicate altitude, a variometer showing its rate of climb or decent, a compass to show directions, and a temperature gage to show how hot the fabric is at the top of the balloon. Each propane tank has a fuel gauge, and the burner has a fuel pressure gauge.

Friendship Hot Air Balloon Co
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Flight Costs:

Regular Flight:

>> $300.00
-- booking one person.
>> $290.00 each
-- booking two persons.
>> $270.00 each
-- booking three persons.
>> $250.00 each
-- booking four persons.

Flights are scheduled for 45-60 minutes - seven days a week at sunrise and 2 hours before sunset.

Romantic Flight for Two:
>> $799.00 exclusive per couple for a 45-60+ minute flight for you and that someone special alone with the pilot. Our sweetheart flights are scheduled Monday-Thursday only. If special request for weekend- call us... Are wedding proposal plans in the works? Or, do you want to treat your spouse/sweetheart to a unique experience of a hot air balloon flight?

Special Discounts:
>> Repeat flyers of Friendship Hot Air Balloon will receive a 10% discount on their next regular balloon ride purchase.
>> Family member discounts apply on the regular 45-60 minute flights when you book 4 passengers on the same flight.
>> NSA(DOD) employees and first responders receive a 10% discount on regular flights.

Payment Policy:
>> Preferred form of payment is by check or cash. If you wish to use Paypal or credit card, a 3% service charge will apply in addition to the flight fee. If you pay deposit or full amount ahead of time and then cancel your request for personal reasons, a 10% handling fee will apply on your payment. If we are unable to fly due to the weather, a full refund of your payment will be made.

We carry up to 4 passengers.
For safety reasons:
>>> maximum weight per passenger is 280 pounds.
>>> the heat of the day and total weight of passengers determine how many persons can fly each flight. We can carry up to a maximum weight of 750 pounds combined for all four passengers on a cool day. The warmer the day, the less weight we can carry.

Passenger Information:
Our Commitment letter
Insurance Release Form

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