Terminology for Passengers and Crew
Our balloon is a Cameron Z-90 which is 90,000 cu ft. It towers 68 feet above the ground and has a width of 58 feet. Besides Cameron, balloon major brands include: Aerostar, Balloon Works, FireFly, Kubicek, Lindstrand, Thunder and Colt, etc.
Bag: A heavy canvas container that holds the envelope.
Basket or Gondola: The wicker carriage that holds people, fuel tanks, and other flight equipment.
Burner: Apparatus that changes liquid propane to vapor and supplies ignition for flame.
Chase Crew: People who assist the pilot in launch, flight, chase, landing, deflation and pack up.
Chase Vehicle: Vehicle used by chase crew to carry balloon to launch site and to retrieve it at landing site.
Cold Inflation: The process of filling the envelope with cold air.
Crown: Top of the envelope.
Crown Line: Rope attached to the top of the balloon used to control envelop during inflation and deflation.
Drop Line: A rope connected to the basket that is dropped to a crew person on the ground that can pull the balloon to a suitable place to deflate.
Envelope: The fabric part of the balloon.
Equator: Middle section of the envelope.
Fuel Tanks: Containers where propane is stored for use during inflation and flight.
Hot Inflation: Also called “going hot”. Using the burners to heat the cold air inside the envelope until the envelope stands vertically.
Inflator Fan: A fan used to blow cold air into the envelope.
Landowner: A person who owns the property on which you are trespassing. You should get permission whenever possible. Do not drive through crops or try to go through locked gates. Do not cut fences. Stay on the edge of a field to cause the least amount of impact.
Load Tapes: Vertical and horizontal straps that run between fabric panels and to which the fabric is attached. Load tapes are the only part of the envelope that should be pulled.
Mouth or Throat: The opening at the bottom of the envelope closest to the basket.
Red Line or Vent Line: Rope attached to the top cap or valve. Used to let out hot air during landing and deflation.
Radio: Used to communicate instructions from pilot to crew.
Skirt: Fabric connected to the throat to aid with cold inflation. Some balloons have a partial skirt called a scoop.
Suspension Lines: Cables or ropes that connect the envelope to the basket.
Tie Off: The rope that anchors the basket to the chase vehicle to keep the balloon from dragging on a windy inflation.
Top Cap or Valve: A parachute in the top of the balloon used to let out hot air to maneuver to different levels and to deflate the balloon.
Weight Off: Hands only holding the basket at launch so pilot can judge buoyancy before takeoff or to control direction away from objects.
Weight On: Crew members lean on the basket with lots of weight to keep the basket on the ground. Usually said just after going hot.