The Joy and Challenges of Ballooning
At Az Air Ventures, we love sharing the joy and majesty of hot air ballooning with our community and the communities in seven other states where we travel to different events. Many people don't realize there are only about 3,000 hot air balloons in the United States and only about 10,000 world wide. Having an opportunity to make people happy by sharing our passion for ballooning is what makes us do this. Only about 1% of the world's population will ever have an opportunity to go on a balloon ride so we love sharing this gift with as many people as possible.

Ballooning is a challenging and sometimes misunderstood sport where skilled pilots navigate the winds. There is no steering these seven-story high aircraft, so pilots must use their skill and the winds at different heights to navigate to where they need to be. Safety is our number one priority, so we plan our flights using as much weather data as we can get for Safford, AZ or wherever we are flying. We report our planned flight to the flight services, make a flight plan based on the predicted winds, and make adjustments based on what the winds are really doing prior to launch. Once we launch, if the winds at one height are blowing us in the direction that would not be safe for landing, we have to go up or down to find a different layer of wind. As pilots, we are constantly making adjustments during any flight. 

Hot air balloons are licensed federal aircraft and follow all FAA regulation just like all other aircraft. There are annual required inspections by FAA certified inspectors, pilots are all licensed and certified through the FAA regulations, and the FAA sets the flight regulations by which we fly LTA aircraft (lighter-than-air).

Understanding how hot air balloons work can help shed some light on why we may be flying higher or lower during different stages of the flight. If we are flying below 500 ft, we are most likely lining up for landing or working our way up after take off. To help explain some of the science, art, skill, and regulations behind flying a hot air balloon, we are sharing a link to an article that explains in detail the FAA regulations by which we fly, the science behind safely navigating and landing these majestic aircraft, and some of the flight methods we use when ascending and descending during take off and landing.

We invite everyone to read this article, but also to call us with questions about flying LTA (lighter-than-air) aircraft or flying in general. Our pilots have hundreds of hours of not only LTA experience, but also fixed-wing flight experience flying small planes for over 45 years. We love educating others and sharing our passion for flight. We also invite you to visit our YouTube channel where we post videos of many of our flights. We share what we do publicly to help educate and spread the joy of ballooning as we do it safely, legally, and lovingly. We also invite you to come out and see us anytime we launch or land.

Every Moment Captured on an Inspiring Video

For  every flight we do, our goal is to take the passenger through every aspect of the ballooning experience.  It's not just about the flying.  The teamwork involved is amazing.  Our dedicated crew will explain to the passenger every detail possible so they understand what is going on and become aware of the safety around the balloon and the chase.

From the moment we first meet our passengers, to the final process of the balloon being packed up and the celebration beginning, we capture the moment of your flight with a video memory you can share with family and friends.  Our video technology is top notch including using both a goPro and 360 camera from the air, as well as photos and video from the ground.

Let us share our love of flying by being your next adventure with AZ Air Ventures.