About the flight...

Most hot-air balloon flights are about an hour in duration. Our fuel will last considerably longer, but we don't want to land on fumes! Flights will terminate sooner if weather conditions deteriorate, if landing sites become scarce or if other safety factors are involved. We typically fly high enough to get a look at the scenery, but we won't be climbing through clouds or breaking any altitude records. Over an open field, we may skim low enough to brush the tassels of corn or wheat without damaging the farmer's crop.

Where we launch...

Balloons must avoid the Rochester Airport, Lake Ontario and the City of Rochester, so most flights are in the country. We often fly from the northern tip of Conesus Lake (a half-hour drive from Marketplace Mall in Henrietta), Mercy Flight Central on Brickhouse Road in Canandaigua or at the Amazing Maize Maze in Ganada. If you have at least two passengers, we may come to your location, as long as it is not near the Rochester airport. If it is large enough and clear of trees and power lines, we can inflate the balloon right from your yard! You'll really impress the neighbors! A grassy area is preferred, as opposed to gravel, dirt or concrete. Permission should be obtained in advance if a park or school field is to be used.

Where we land...

Because we are at the mercy of the wind, a balloon cannot go right or left unless a wind is blowing that way. While we have a general idea which direction we will fly, we never know exactly where - or even what town - we will be landing in. When choosing a landing spot, the pilot looks for a place that is safe, won't damage the landing area or balloon and will be accessible for packing up. A school field, large yard or a cut hay field is preferred. Our chase vehicle will (hopefully!) be following the balloon on the ground and meet us when we land. They will attempt to find the landowner. Because balloons attract a lot of attention, it is important not to drive on private property unless permission is obtained. You can understand how a farmer would feel if well-meaning people tried to get a closer look at the balloon while trampling his livelihood. After the balloon is packed up, you will be driven back to the launch site unless you have people who have also followed in a separate vehicle.

What to bring...

Dress comfortably, in casual clothes in case they get dirty. Jeans and sneakers are good, although field may be wet with dew in the mornings. It's not much cooler in the balloon - in fact, without the wind chill, plus the flame above you, it may be warmer. A light jacket or sweater may be carried on board. If you are taking an evening flight, it will get colder as the sun sets. Photographic equipment, including still and video cameras, may be brought on board at your own risk. Cell phones can also be brought aloft but cell calls not allowed once off the ground per FCC regulations. We are not responsible for items, including jewelry, dropped overboard or damaged during the flight or landing.

Who can fly?...

Anyone who is in good health may fly. However, children under the age of 10 may be scared of the flame above them and may not be able to see over the sides of the basket. While most balloon landings are gentle, the possibility always exists that a windy landing may occur. It this happens, the basket will tip on its side and the passengers will end up in a horizontal position until they slide to a stop - it's actually quite fun if you're prepared! The flight is not recommended for persons in frail health, or persons who have had recent knee, back or heart surgery. If your health is in question, consult you doctor before scheduling your ride. We reserve the right to decline to accept any passenger whose health or physical infirmity is in question. Persons who appear intoxicated as well as pregnant women will not be allowed aloft.