Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 26
  1. #1
    Proud luddite
    Reputation: azpeterb's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    6,264

    Flying in a hot air balloon: would you or wouldn't you?

    I've never been up in a hot air balloon but I have thought about it from time to time. This time of year in the Tucson area the morning air is cool enough for balloons to take folks up and I often see them as I drive in to work. Looks pretty neat, right?

    Well, this morning I'm leaving the neighborhood to get on the highway to go to work and up ahead I see a hot air balloon...except this one was WAY too low and WAY to close to a densely populated area. It must have been having technical problems because the pilot (is that what you call them?) was bringing that sucker down in the parking lot of an IHOP restaurant, in a very busy location (Cortaro Rd. amd Interstate 10, for those of you who know the Tucson area). It made me think that regardless of how majestic hot air balloons look, they are really at the mercy of air currents and could pretty easily be carried into dangerous situations....houses, busy streets, power lines, etc.

    So for those of you who have ever been on a hot air balloon ride, would you recommend it? Or does the risk outweigh the benefits? I know, I know...we take risks every day just setting foot outside the house....but that's not quite the same thing as standing in a basket attached to a balloon 1000 feet above the ground.

  2. #2
    corning my own beef
    Reputation: JustTooBig's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    5,594
    I have.

    It was a lot of fun.

    I would do it again.
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    People who say, "Laughter is the best medicine.." have never been on the receiving end of a morphine drip..

    ноожеяз ай вщоw?
    -VaughnA


    A fool and his money were damned lucky to have bumped into each other in the first place.

  3. #3
    Frog Whisperer
    Reputation: Touch0Gray's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Posts
    36,604
    I would
    Of course I'm sure...that doesn't mean I'm right......

  4. #4
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation: JCavilia's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Posts
    11,064
    I have not, but I would. That "pilot" (that's what you call them) was probably bring that balloon down because the winds had picked up in an unexpected way, so he quickly looked for a spot to bring it down safely, which he did (he landed in the parking lot, not on the roof or in the street, right?).

    They are at the mercy of the winds, but they can control altitude, and good pilots learn to read the wind shifts. They pick their time and place for launch carefully, too. Those launches you see are not early in the morning because it's cool, but because the winds are usually calmer then.

    I think serious accidents with the things are quite rare.
    Eppur si muove.

  5. #5
    Proud luddite
    Reputation: azpeterb's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    6,264
    Quote Originally Posted by JCavilia View Post
    I have not, but I would. That "pilot" (that's what you call them) was probably bring that balloon down because the winds had picked up in an unexpected way, so he quickly looked for a spot to bring it down safely, which he did (he landed in the parking lot, not on the roof or in the street, right?).

    They are at the mercy of the winds, but they can control altitude, and good pilots learn to read the wind shifts. They pick their time and place for launch carefully, too. Those launches you see are not early in the morning because it's cool, but because the winds are usually calmer then.

    I think serious accidents with the things are quite rare.
    That would make sense about a sudden shift in the winds. The last couple days have been extremely windy here, and April in general is a fairly windy time of year in Arizona. And the pilot did a great job landing the balloon from what I could tell, avoiding coming into contact with nearby houses, the IHOP and the busy street nearby. I wonder if it was such a good idea to try to fly on a day like this though, but I suppose the pilot must have thought it was safe enough to try.

    On a side note, a similar thing happened north of Tucson a few years ago and the hot air balloon made an unexpectedly close pass over an ostrich ranch. The ostriches went into a panic once they saw the massive balloon overhead and started a stampede, which ended up killing a number of them. And the rest of the ostriches suffered the unusual fate of giving up sex....permanently! Apparently when ostriches get really, really stressed they stop reproducing, forever. So the poor ostrich ranch owner had dead birds and permanently celibate birds, and that's not good for business. He sued the balloon pilot but lost the case in court. It's a rather strange story, but true nonetheless.

  6. #6
    Eddy 53:11
    Reputation: JetSpeed's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Posts
    2,435
    I would.

    Would NOT ride in an ultralight OR a reciprocating helicopter.
    Live vicariously through yourself.

  7. #7
    Matnlely Dregaend
    Reputation: DrSmile's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    3,464
    The lesson I learned from the recent Egypt balloon accident... be the first one to jump out, not the last!

    Footage of Egyptian hot air balloon crash ? video | World news | guardian.co.uk
    "I haven't @#&$ed like that since I was an altar boy." Hank Moody
    “Bicycling has done more to emancipate women than anything else in the world.” Susan B. Anthony 1896
    "Brifter" is the coolest cycling word

  8. #8
    Eddy 53:11
    Reputation: JetSpeed's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Posts
    2,435
    It's fine.
    Live vicariously through yourself.

  9. #9
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation: Uprwstsdr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Posts
    2,278
    I actually produce the NJ Festival of Ballooning, one of the largest balloon festivals in North America (The 31st Annual QuickChek New Jersey Festival of Ballooning: Home). Despite the obvious prejudice it is a safe activity.

  10. #10
    hfc
    hfc is online now
    Doesn't like subtitles
    Reputation: hfc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Posts
    1,801
    My wife surprised me with a balloon ride (not Kode) for my 40th a few years back. I have developed a fear of heights over the years, so I avoided looking over the edges of the basket. It was enjoyable, although the the wind, instead of wafting us toward the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains, blew us along the Hwy 29 strip mall area. Still nice. Not sure if I would do it again. Maybe in Africa, wildlife viewing or something more exotic.

  11. #11
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation: mpre53's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Posts
    1,989
    I'd do it. It's safer than riding on Cape Cod during tourist season, after all. Safer than riding Cape MUP's, even.

  12. #12
    waterproof*
    Reputation: Creakyknees's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Posts
    40,591
    this thread needs more awesome 80's pop.

    * posted by Creakybot 2013 all rights reserved.
    * not actually waterproof.

  13. #13
    Mehpic
    Reputation: 2cflyr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Posts
    7,867
    Quote Originally Posted by hfc View Post
    My wife surprised me with a balloon ride (not Kode) for my 40th a few years back.
    you owe me a new keyboard.
    catzilla: I wish we were all a little more invincible.

    The NEGU Foundation: Caring for Courageous Kids http://www.thenegufoundation.org/

  14. #14
    Ricardo Cabeza
    Reputation: Andy69's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    14,583
    not just no, but HELL NO
    Whenever the legislators endeavour to take away and destroy the property of the people, or to reduce them to slavery under arbitrary power, they put themselves into a state of war with the people who are thereupon absolved from any further obedience, and are left to the common refuge which God hath provided for all men against force and violence - John Locke

    SuperAndy's Garage

  15. #15
    Fecal indicator
    Reputation: Oxtox's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    6,105
    as long as someone else paid, I'd do it.

    seems like too passive of an activity for me.
    eff all y'all...

  16. #16
    Get me to In&Out
    Reputation: spookyload's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    5,541
    I'd do it, what could go wrong? Name:  smokey.JPG
Views: 133
Size:  49.4 KB
    Cyclists really need to learn a little Rule #5.

  17. #17
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    93
    I took a balloon ride a few years ago. Truthfully it was not too exciting and I probably won't do it again. The only thing that made it worth while was the crash landing due to high winds. We went down in a big field, bounced two times and came to rest just a few feet from a wall separating the field from homes. One more bounce we would have ended up in somebody's pool. I really enjoyed that part of the experience.

  18. #18
    Fred the Clydesdale
    Reputation: rider9's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Posts
    1,765
    I have attended several balloon festivals. The sport has its risks, but generally, if the pilot is safety conscious and knows what he/she is doing, then it is relatively low risk.

    I would go if I got the opportunity.
    Member of Team Collin, a group of ordinary moreons going to extraordinary levels of awesome in the fight against cancer.

    Love conquers all. God is love. Jesus is love personified. Figure it out.

  19. #19
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation: MrMook's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    366
    Say this out loud into the mirror: "I'm afraid of a hot air balloon"

    Then re-read Rule #5.

  20. #20
    Master debator.
    Reputation: nOOky's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    7,074
    I have no desire to go for a balloon ride, even if someone else paid for it. I'd rather bungee jump or skydive. I would guess that riding my bike in the city is statistically more dangerous than any of these.
    "I felt bad because I couldn't wheelie; until I met a man with no bicycle"

  21. #21
    hold my beer n watch this
    Reputation: FlynG's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    1,755

    Flying in a hot air balloon: would you or wouldn't you?

    Flying in a hot air balloon:  would you or wouldn't you?-imageuploadedbytapatalk1365782846.900370.jpg
    I have run a tethered one up and down before. Interesting but not exciting.
    So no matter who you are, what you look like, or how far you think you are from your goal — kit up and get started. Your friends are out there, waiting for you.

  22. #22
    Cowboy up
    Reputation: Art853's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Posts
    3,751
    I went for a ride in New Mexico and enjoyed it. It was cool when we skimmed over the tops of the bushes the lizards and things would scatter around. It would be better to be in Africa and see the giraffes and wildebeests running. But then the tigers would get you when you land, not so fun.

    Colorado had gusty winds and one balloon was pushed into power lines, severing the basket and killing everyone. It seems that some places may be safer than others. Whatever you do, don't drive a car to go on the balloon ride. Too risky.

  23. #23
    Go Blue
    Reputation: MarkS's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Posts
    9,945
    In 2006, I flew from Portland to the Pacific Coast and back in a two-seater "experimental aircraft" that had been built and piloted by a lawyer with whom I was working on a case. The thing basically was a go-kart with wings. I was scared, but was too afraid to lose face to say "no" when I actually saw the thing after I had already accepted the invitation to fly. I would definitely feel safer in a balloon than the thing in which I flew (and piloted briefly from the rear seat).
    I try to be perfectly civil, until someone really pisses me off.

  24. #24
    Matnlely Dregaend
    Reputation: DrSmile's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    3,464
    I found these statistics from the Federal Aviation Administration:

    Odds of being involved in an accident -

    Balloon - 12 accidents per 100,000 flying hours
    General Aviation - 6 accidents per 100,000 flying hours
    Skydiving - 0.3 injuries per 100,000 jumps
    "I haven't @#&$ed like that since I was an altar boy." Hank Moody
    “Bicycling has done more to emancipate women than anything else in the world.” Susan B. Anthony 1896
    "Brifter" is the coolest cycling word

  25. #25
    Banned forever.....or not
    Reputation: MR_GRUMPY's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Posts
    22,465
    Hot air balloon.....No

    Zeppelin.............Yes.
    .
    .
    If your opinion differs from mine, ..........Too bad.
    .
    How would you like it if Hitler killed you
    Dogbert.

    I>U

    Buying parts to hang on your bike is always easier than getting fit.

    If you feel wimpy and weak, get out and train more, ya wee lassie!

    If Jesus had a gun, he'd be alive today!

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. oil - trial balloon
    By bricoleur in forum Politics Only
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 08-17-2012, 01:20 PM
  2. It's Balloon Fiesta time moreons
    By terry b in forum The Lounge
    Replies: 25
    Last Post: 10-03-2011, 08:16 AM
  3. Balloon Boy parents going to jail
    By snapdragen in forum The Lounge
    Replies: 25
    Last Post: 12-24-2009, 07:06 AM
  4. Balloon tyres for commuting
    By Armchair Spaceman in forum Commuting, Touring and Ride Reports
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 05-05-2008, 06:01 AM
  5. Warning!!! Trial balloon!!!
    By Live Steam in forum Politics Only
    Replies: 48
    Last Post: 06-10-2005, 01:39 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

Sea Otter Classic

Hot Deals

Contest


Latest RoadBike Articles


Latest Videos

RoadbikeReview on Facebook