Riding hundreds of feet in the sky from a hot air balloon can be a thrilling and unforgettable experience. But also, you have to know that there are risks involved when you ride in a hot air balloon similar to other adventure sport. Let’s face the reality that there’ve been many cases when hot air balloons crashed and have lead to the untimely death of riders. With this being said, you should never ride the balloon and enjoy the sea of clouds if you haven’t studied the precautionary measures and guaranteed full protection yet.
Before you hitch a ride, there are few safety precautions and checks too that you must do.
Number 1. Safety equipment – it is a basic necessity for every balloon to provide safety equipment to its passengers. See to it that you have gathered information from dependable sources like expert websites and ballooning guides. As minimum, you must check if the balloon has onboard flint spark lighter, fire extinguisher and parachutes.
Flint spark lighter is utilized in the event that the flame abruptly goes off in midair. The pilot will be able to relight the flame and avoid crash. Fire extinguisher on the other hand is essential for some obvious reasons.
You must check for drop line as well. In some other countries, this is a mandatory requirement for it is very useful when the pilot can’t steer the balloon effective due to mild wind. Because the balloon has the risk of damage from ground obstruction, the ground crew uses the drop line dropped by pilot during landing in order to guide the hot air balloon away from obstructions in the ground.
Number 2. Maintenance – balloons that have not undergone proper maintenance is sure to be unsafe. It is critical to perform regular maintenance likewise in aircraft. A vulnerable part of any balloons is the fabric. Small rips or tears are enough to result to a disastrous flight and thus, any damage must be repaired immediately.
Number 3. Alertness – it is necessary that you’re always attentive and alert at the same time when you ride a hot air balloon. When you are flying, sensitivity to the object is very important, so never disregard that. Be one of the pilot’s lookout for any obstacles that the balloon may go through like electrical lines, masts and poles. Though it is rare, pilots sometimes become too occupied on one thing they do and forget about other obstacles. In this case, make it your personal responsibility to be alert.
Number 4. Listen to what you’re told – make sure that you follow the terms and conditions prior the flight.