Find your answers to the frequently asked questions. If you can’t find the answer you’re looking for here, please contact us and we’ll be glad to assist you.

Ballooning in general

Flight selection - Which flight option should I choose?

At Balloon Adventures you can choose either a private or a standard (public) flight.

Standard flights are open for anyone with a valid ticket who books a space in the basket in advance. You will fly with other passengers on board and it is the pilot who decides where the flight will take place according to the best weather forecast.

Private flights are scheduled for you only. It will be just you, your partner, family or friends on board of the balloon with you. And, of course, our pilot. Choose from a number of private flight options in the "Flights" section.


Flying area – Where do we fly? Where will we take off and where will we land?
We have our favourite flight areas in the vicinity of Prague. You can read more about them in "About - Where we fly?" section.

Landing spots always depend on the pilot´s decision during the flight. Our ground vehicles always follow the balloon to pick up the passengers and transport them back to Prague after the flight.


Fligth conditions – Is ballooning weather dependant?
Yes it is. We will only fly if it is safe to do so. Certain weather conditions such as rain or storms, strong winds or thick fog could make your balloon flight unpleasant or unsafe. For this reason we reserve the right to call off any flight, which could be affected by unacceptable weather. Our pilots check the weather 1 day prior each flight. We will keep you updated about the flight status.

Dress code – What should I wear for ballooning? Does it get cold in the balloon?
We always suggest outdoor clothing such as long pants, light jacket, hat and solid flat footwear (no sandals or high heels please). The temperature up high is about the same as it is on the ground.

Who can fly balloons – Are there any age limitations? What if I am pregnant? What health restrictions do apply?

Children need to be at least 7 years of age or older, accompanied by an adult, and at least 120 cm (3,9 ft) tall.

There is no upper age limit - as long as you are reasonably fit and healthy with no significant knee, hip or back problems, with no recent surgeries, broken bones or other existing conditions that may make a balloon landing uncomfortable for you, and you are not currently pregnant, then you should be fit to fly. You will be required to climb into the balloon basket using the foot holds cut into the side of the basket, stand for one hour and, in case of a bumpy landing, absorb a small impact which is similar to jumping off a low chair. You will also need to be able to hold on to the safety handles when the balloon is landing.

At the time of booking, whether online or over the phone, you will be asked to confirm that all members of your party are fit & well with:

  • No significant knee problems,
  • No significant hip problems,
  • No significant back or neck problems,
  • No recent surgeries or broken bones,
  • Are able to stand for one hour unassisted,
  • Do not weigh more than 140kg individually
  • Are not currently pregnant. Due to the active nature of balloon landings, ballooning is not suitable for pregnant ladies.
If you have any concerns about your condition to fly, please call us to discuss it before proceeding with your booking.

Season – Is there a high or low season for ballooning?
Generally, the season goes from April till the end of October. However, ballooning is also beautiful during the winter months in the white countryside.

Timing of balloon flights – Why do balloons fly early in the morning and late in the afternoon?
Balloon flights take place at sunrise and approximately 2 hours prior to sunset as this is when the weather conditions are generally at their most stable atmospheric conditions. These are the ideal conditions to ensure our flights are conducted in safe and enjoyable weather. Hot Air Balloons are not able to fly during the day due to thermal activity, which makes the air unstable.

Durance – How long does one flight takes?
The balloon ride itself is usually one hour in duration. Some flights can vary from 45 minutes to 1 1/2 hours depending on the amount of fuel on board, the passengers’ combined weight, the temperature of the air and when the pilot finds a suitable landing field. The total time you are with us is approximately 4 hours. This includes a flight briefing from your pilot, completing balloon and some paperwork, travelling to and from the launch and landing sites and the champagne celebration and/or breakfast afterwards. Balloons always carry sufficient fuel for at least 2 hours flight time plus good reserve capacity.

Distance – What distance shall we fly?
It depends on wind speed. Balloons travel with the wind and an hour flight takes you sometimes 5 km sometimes 15 km in distance. Sometime more, sometime less. We will fly in diferent altitudes. It is in pilot skills to find proper flight altitude to direct balloon in a right track. Our priority is always to show you wonderful landscape, to fly over the castles, lakes, forests and nice meadows.

Height – What will be the max altitude we will reach? What if I am afraid of heights?
Balloons are incredibly versatile so you might find yourself flying anywhere between tree top height and 2 or 3 thousand feet. Vertical control of a balloon can be very precise. It is not unusual for our pilots to be able to brush the bottom of the basket across the tops of grass or corn. A leaf picked from a treetop is a very worthwhile souvenir of the flight! To oversee all the area with panorama of surrounding border mountains if the visibility is perfect is exciting too, however earth bellow us is flat from the very high altitude and you cannot talk to the people in a villages from that height. So although the altitude world record in this size of balloon is 16 km (!) we will remain mostly just above the ground with some limitations of a general aviation law. This allow us to make some nice pictures of deers, rabbits, sometimes of a group of wild pigs or even fox is seen.

Speed – How fast will we fly?
Balloon movement depends on the wind speed. The best conditions are slow winds on the ground for smooth take of and landing and speed of about 15-25 km per hour in the altitude to see a good portion of the nature around. Higher wind in the altitude is not our restriction and our pilots flew sometimes even over 100 km per hour to fly over the Alp mountains.But it was in the altitude of over 5,000 meters. If the low wind speed is too fast, we will cancel the flight, your safety is our highest priority.

Stearing – How pilot stears balloon?
The air does not move in all the vertical from the ground to the stratosphere in the same direction. In a different altitude there are usually different wind stream directions. Sometimes even oposite! Pilot meteorological pre-flight preparation and skills during the flight allows him/her to find a proper altitude and stear balloon in direction he wants. A lots of modern instruments help him. Also small helium balloons so called pieballs we release before the flight to measure the wind direction and speed before the flight.

Basket occupation – How many persons will be in my balloon?
Balloon Adventures flies open space or partitioned baskets of all different sizes ranging from 2 – 12 passengers. Sheduled flights are flown in bigger baskets while private flights are flown in smaller sizes. These basket layouts provide plenty of personal space as they are purpose designed to accommodate large and small group sizes in perfect comfort, whilst also allowing all passengers to stand against the side of the basket, ensuring everyone gets a great view. There are all windows places in balloon baskets, no aisle places 🙂

Entering the basket – How should I enter the basket? Does it have a door?
Balloon Adventures offers best available comfort incl doors in medium sized balloons. So you will enter easy way to the basket. Footsteps in the wall of the basket allows entering like by the stairs for you, real sportsman. Ground crew and pilot are always for your disposal during that moment.

Insurance – Will I be insured?
Yes, the cost of your balloon flight includes insurance and we will not ask you to pay an extra purpose insurance levy on the day of your flight. We carry up to 8,450,000 CZK of public liability insurance and 36,700 CZK for liability of carried baggages per one passenger.

Safety features – Is ballooning safe at all?
The Civil Aviation Authority controls our company with the same strict regulation like Czech Airlines or any other big flight operator. We are at least annually under the audit of them. Balloon Adventures is a company with excellent safety background. Both low aged balloon systems and experienced and qualified staff are a guarrantee for you, that you will be in good hands regarding to decission about the flight and flight performace as well. In adition, safety belts for each and every passenger is available in a basket. We put an extreme attention to safety briefings before the flight. Pilots have thousands hours of experience, weather forcasts is checked carefully many times before each flight. We will not fly if the conditions are not suitable.

Weight – Does it matter, what is my weight?
Yes! A weight calculation needs to be performed for your flight as all balloons have a maximum lift capacity. By providing your accurate weight you are ensuring that your balloon is weight loaded correctly.

Images, photo&video shooting – What is the best entertainment in a balloon? Do I need binoculars?
Taking pictures from the flight is the most exciting and popular activity during all our balloon adventure. Yes please, take your cell phones, cameras, video recorder, do not forget selfie stickers! You will be able to share those „quarries“ on social network immediatelly, there is a free internet wifi conection on board. By binocular you will be able to see all the wild animals on the ground in the vicinity.

Pilots and ground crew – Can everyone fly balloon? Who are our crew? Are they all licenced? How could the ground crew find balloon after the landing?
Same as balloon, by Civil Aviation Authority registered and periodically tested aircraft in its airworthiness, pilots are licenced and periodically tested too in theory and practice. Our pilots are highest qualified, with instructors and examinators ratings. They fly actively balloon competition with result nobody in this country can beat – 7 titles of the Czech Championship.

Transportation - How do we get to the ballooning site and than back to the hotel?
Balloon Adventures provide full luxury service, our ground crew member will pick you up in the hotel, bring you to the flight and after the event will brign you back to your hotel.



Pricing

Buying the ticket – How can I book, how can I buy?
There is an online booking system, just click on Book now. Once your reservation is accepted, you will be asked to pay by offered several means of payment, by credit or debit card, by Alipay or you can pay by bank wire. You are welcome to call us, we will help you to arrange your booking. Also, call us for information about private flights details.

Gift vouchers – Do you provide gift vouchers? How to receive it?
Yes, we do send gift vouchers! Click on the "book now" button, fill out the form and let us know further details. Please include any extra information we might need. Once it is proceeded we will get in touch with you and send you your voucher within 24 hours. There are our contact details on the voucher so that the owner of the voucher can arrange the flight with us.

Cancellation – What happens if I do not fly?
If you cannot fly for any reason, contact us as soon as possible, we will help you to reshedule your flight or if it is not too much late we will refund your ticket.

If your balloon flight is cancelled by us due to unsuitable weather conditions then we will first try to reschedule you flight, however we understand that this is not always possible. Should this occur a full refund will be given.


Technical

Principle of flying - How do hot air balloons fly?
In a hot air balloon a gas burner is used to heat the air inside of envelope to a temperature of about 100 deg C. Since hot air is lighter than the cool air around the balloon, the whole balloon rises.

Balloon system - What are the main parts of balloon? How big it is? Who makes hot air balloons? How much does balloon system cost?
Balloon system consists of main parts which are envelope (textile huge bag abouve you inflated first by cold air and than heated), basket to carry people on the board and the fuel system – burner and cylinders with propan gas.
The volume of our balloon for 6 passengers and a pilot is 4.500 m3, ie 150.000 cu ft. It is a huge volume we need to carry us up to the sky, we will have the weight over 1 ton in total. Just for imagination, if you make a wall of a blocks, each of 1 m3, there will be 100 blocks in a row and 45 blocks in vertical - the wall will be 100 m long and 45 meters high, same as a Statue of Libery in NY.
The total height of our balloon will be about 26 m from the floor to the top of deflation system.
Balloons are made in balloon factories certified by national aviation authority. There are just several of them in entire world manufacturing all the system incl baskets and burners. One is in England, one in Spain, one in Czech Republic, one in Germany. There are some smaller working mostly on envelopes only in USA, Russia, China. There are about 11.000 active balloons and 16.000 licenced pilots in the world. Most of tehm work commercially, just some for sport and leisure porposes.
Balloon system cost about 60,000 USD. You need a good car as well, usually for the same price as balloon itself.

Main parts of balloon system - What is the envelope made of? Why basket is woven of cane? Is the burner noisy? Is there a radiation heat down from the burner?
Balloon comes together with an envelope, basket and burner.
Envelope is made of very special balloon ripstop nylon or poylester very similar fabric to winter ski jacket material. It is coated twice not to be porous. You cannot tear it easily, it last very high temperature, over 100 deg C. Basket is traditional style, woven of rattan cane with wooden floor and soft leather padding on the top. Sometimes baskets have a door for easy access. Burners are of steinless steel tubes, the very sofisticated product, heart of all balloon. It is very very powerful to heat all that volume and keep it for all the time on so high temperature. It cannot be noisy, with too much high consupmtion, with bad looking condensation and with hot radiation down to the heads of crew. And it needs to be very reliable. Although all the systems in the burner are doubled, it needs to work fluently and for ages. It is the same as engines of an aircraft.
Ask any question about manufacturing, our pilots were working in the balloon factory, they will be able to reply all your secret questions 🙂

Balloon operation - How balloon is inflated?
Balloon is transported on the trailer. When on the meadow for take off, envelope is removed from the bad and laid out in a long line down the wind. The burner is attached to the basket on uprights and than all the bottom end to the envelope cables by strong locked certified carabiners. Now the inflator fan comes to inflate laying envelope by cold air. After about 15 minutes envelope is inflated enough you to be able to enter that big hall. Pilot heats by a burner and the envelope rises above the basket. With further heating, there is sufficient lift for balloon to fly.

Fuel for the burner - What kind of fuel does the burner use?
Ground staff refuel before each flight all cylinders by pure propan or a mixture of propan and butan. Thank we put a nitrogen in it, so that all the fuel is under a good presure to climb up to the burner easily. There is a pemanently burning small flame, pilot flame. Opening the main valve by the pilot, stream of liquid propan spring to the central of the coil and is extinguished by the pilot flame. The power is enormous. Each of the two independent fuel systems is checked by instruments showing presure and quantity on each of the unit.

Instruments – What kind of instruments does the pilot need?
There are a number of instruments obligatory on the board of each aircraft, balloons not excepted.
  • Altimeter shows an altitude above either ground or sea level.
  • Variometer shows the speed of climbing or descending.
  • Thermomether indicates both - the ambient and envelope temperature. Pilots always keep an eye on this display not to overheat the fabric what can effect life of the structure.
  • Presure gauges on the fuel you will find on the body of the burner.
  • Fuel tanks are equipped with a capacity gauge, showing last 30% of the fuel in it.
  • There are also manually operated valves in the envelope, 2 thicker ropes open and close deflation system on the top of the envelope. 2 thicker ropes operates rotation valves, yes, we can turn our balloons to the direction you will need to take your snaps!
  • Optionally each pilot has an instrument, usually laptop or iPad to help him with navigation.
  • VHF radios to be in connection with the ground crew and with the air traffic control.