This page lists Events that we have gone to and if you scroll down many other balloon related topics are talked about.
Jan. 30: 4th Annual Extreme Flight to Find a Cure, (Long Jump #8). The flight raised nearly $4,000 for cancer
research. The flight lasted 2 hours 24 minutes over 105 miles. The flight honored 79 names of loved ones
through Lifting UP a Loved One.
May 27-30: Tulsa International Balloon Festival, Tulsa, Ok.
July 8-10: Lake Red Rock Balloonfest, Pella, Ia.
July 15-17: Waterford Hot Air Balloon Festival, Waterford, Wi.
July 22-24: North Iowa Balloon Festival, Mason City, Ia.
July 29-Aug. 6: National Balloon Classic, Indianola Ia.
Aug. 12-13: Nebraska Wine & Balloon Festival, Omaha, Ne.
Aug. 26-28:Great Midwest Balloon Fest, Kansas City, Ks.
Sept. 9-11, Huff n Puff, Topeka, Ks.
Sept. 16-17, Great Forest Park Balloon Race, St. Louis, Mo.
Sept. 23-25: Quad Cities Balloon Festival, East Moline, IL.
Oct. 1-9: International Balloon Fiesta, Albuquerque, NM.
Oct. 14-16: Balloons over Mt Vernon, Mt. Vernon, IL.
Dec. 2-4: Bluffs and Valley Balloon Rally, Caledonia, MN.
Jan 10: 3rd Annual Extreme Flight to Find a Cure, (Long Jump #7), Raised over $7,300 for cancer research.
The flight lasted 6 hours and covered 413 miles at altitudes above 17,000 feet reaching a top speed of
83.5 mph. I flew 114 names through Lifting UP a Loved One.
April 25: Ode to Spring, Balloons Over Iowa
July 10-12 Lake Red Rock Balloonfest, Pella, Ia.
July 15-19 Balloon festival in Waukesha and Waterford, Wi.
Jul. 24-Aug. 1: National Balloon Classic, Indianola, Ia.
Aug 7-8: Nebraska Wine & Balloon Festival, Omaha, Ne.
Aug 28-30: Lincoln Balloon Festival, Lincoln, IL.
Sept. 11-13: Huff n Puff, Topeka, Ks.
Sept. 18-19: Great Forest Park Balloon Race, St. Louis, Mo.
Sept. 25-27: Quad Cities Balloon Festival, East Moline, IL.
Oct. 16-18: Balloons Over Mt. Vernon, Mt. Vernon, IL.
Oct. 23-25: Great Midwest Balloon Fest, Kansas City, Ks.
Dec. 4-6: Bluffs and Valley Balloon Rally, Caledonia, Mn.
Feb. 22: 2nd Annual Extreme Flight to Find a Cure, (Long Jump #6), Raised $6,000 for the American Cancer Society
The flight was 6 Hrs. with a top Speed 59 mph and top Altitude 11,146 feet.
April 27: Ode to Spring Balloons over Iowa
June 2-5: Iowa Royal Family Kid's Camp, One tether during the week.
July 11-13: Lake Red Rock Balloonfest, Pella, IA.
July 18-20: Waterford Hot Air Balloon Festival, Waterford, IA.
Jul 24; Tether Kelly, IA (Rain Date Aug. 7)
July 25-Aug. 2: National Balloon Classic, Indianola, IA
Aug. 8-10: Great Midwest Balloon Fest, Olathe, KS.
Aug. 15-17: Centralia Balloon Fest, Centralia, IL.
Aug. 22-24: Lincoln Art & Balloon Festival, Lincoln, IL.
Sept. 4; Tether Kelly, IA (Rain Date Sept. 18)
Sept. 5-7: Huff 'n Puff, Topeka, KS.
Sept. 19-20: Great Forest Park Balloon Race, Forest Park, MO.
Sept. 26-28: Quad Cities Balloon Festival, East Moline, IL.
Oct. 17-19: Balloons over Mt Vernon, Mt Vernon, IL.
Dec. 6-7; Caledonia Balloon Classic, Caledonia, MN.
Jan. 1: Tim's Long Jump (Long Jump #4); 31 Miles, 2 Hrs, Top Speed-62.2, Top Altitude-17,500
Jan. 26: 1st Annual Extreme Flight to Find a Cure, (Long Jump #5), Raised $8,900 for the American Cancer Society
The flight was 4 Hrs 8 Min., Top Speed 51 mph, Top Altitude 17,596 Ft.
Feb. 14: KXNO radio 1460am Valentine's Day Wedding Flight. Des Moines, IA. (to windy)
Feb. 16-17: BOI Ground School, Carlisle, IA. (Tim Teaching Commercial Classes)
March 30: Easter Egg Drop from the Balloon, Capital City Baptist Chuch. Des Moines, IA (Rained Out).
June 3-6: Iowa Royal Family Kid's Camp, One tether during the week (Too Windy)
July 12-14: Lake Red Rock Balloonfest, Pella, IA.
July 19-21: Waterford Hot Air Balloon Festival, Waterford, Wi.
July 26-Aug. 3: National Balloon Classic, Indianola, IA.
Aug. 9-10: Great Midwest Balloon Fest, Olathe, KS.
Aug. 16-19: Centralia IL. Balloon Fest
Aug. 23-25: Lincoln Art & Balloon Festival, Lincoln, IL.
Sept. 6-8: Huff 'n Puff, Topeka, KS.
Sept. 20-21: Great Forest Park Balloon Race, Forest Park, MO.
Sept. 27-29: Quad Cities Balloon Festival, East Moline, IL.
Oct. 26: Standup Ankeny Baptist Church, Ankeny, IA.
Oct. 18-20: Balloon over Mt Vernon, Mt Vernon, IL.
Dec. 6-8: Bluffs & Valley Balloon Rally, Calendonia, MN.
Feb. 25: Tim's Long Jump (Long Jump #3); 238 Miles, 4 Hrs 3 Min, Top Speed-70, Top Altitude-13,200 Ft
June 2: Pleasant Hill, IA; Tether
June 5: Royal Family Kids Camp, Tether
July 13-15: Pella, IA; Lake Red Rock Balloon Fest
July 20-22: Waterford, WI; Waterford Balloon Rally
July 27-Aug 4: Indianola, IA; National Balloon Classic
Aug. 11: Altantic, IA; Tether
Aug. 17-19: Centrailia, IL; Centralia Balloon Fest
Aug. 24-26: Lincoln, IL; Arts & Balloon Festival
Aug. 31 Sept 3: Colorado Springs, CO; Colorado Balloon Classic
Sept. 7-9: Topeka, KS; Huff N Puff
Sept. 15: Atlantic, IA; Fly Iowa, Tether
Sept. 28-30: East Moline, IL; Quad Cities Balloon Festival
Oct. 19-21: Wakefield, NE; Wakefield Balloon Fest
Oct. 17: Ankeny Baptist Church, Standup
Dec. 7-9: Caledonia, MN; Bluff & Valley Balloon Rally
Jan. 29: Tim's Long Jump (Long Jump #2); 117 Miles, 3 Hrs 30 Min, Top Speed-75.2, Top Altitude-13,352 Ft.
Feb. 4-6: Hudson, WI; Hudson Hot Air Affair
June 10-12: Sioux Falls, SD; Great Plains Balloon Rally
June 17-19: Galena, IL; Great Galena Balloon Race
July 2-4: Quasicentenial Manilla, IA; (2 Tethers)
July 15-17: Waterford, WI; Waterford Balloon Rally
July 29- aug 6: Indianola, IA; National Balloon Classic
Aug. 26-28: Lincoln, IL; Arts & Balloon Festival
Sept. 2-5: Colorado Springs, CO; Colorado Balloon Classic
Sept. 9-11: Topeka, KS; Huff N Puff
Sept. 23-25: East Moline, IL; Quad Cities Balloon Festival
Dec. 2-4: Caledonia, MN; Bluff & Valley Balloon Rally
Feb. 5-7: Hudson, WI; Hudson Hot Air Affair
June 7: Royal Family Kids Camp; Tether
June 11-13: Sioux Falls, SD; Great Plains Balloon Rally
June 18-20: Galena, IL; Great Galena Balloon Race
July 16-18: Ft. Madison, IA; Balloons Over The Mississippi
July 30-aug 7: Indianola, IA; National Balloon Classic
Aug. 14-22: International Festival De Montgolfieres Saint-Jean-Sur-Richelieu, Quebec, Canada
Aug. 27-29: Lncoln, IL; Arts & Balloon Festival
Sept. 2-6: Colorado Springs; Colorado Balloon Classic
Sept. 10-12: Topeka, KS; Huff N Puff
Oct. 15: Evelyn Davis Park Des Moines, IA; Standup
Dec. 3-5: Caledonia, MN; Bluff & Valley Hot Air Balloon Rally
Dec. 18: Tim's Long Jump Flight (Long Jump #1), 110 Miles, 3 hrs. 13 min., Top Speed-43, Top Altitude-10,900 Ft.
July 17-19: Ft. Madison, IA; Balloons Over The Mississippi
July 31-Aug. 8: Indianola, IA; National Balloon Classic
Aug. 9-16: International Festival De Montgolfieres Saint-Jean-Sur-Richelieu, Quebec, Canada
Aug. 29: Huxley, IA; Prairiefest;Tether
Sept. 5-7: Colorado Springs, CO; Colorado Balloon Classic
Dec. 4-6: Caledonia, MN;
Bluff & Valley Hot Air Balloon Rally
June 9: Royal Family Kids Camp; Tether
June 12: Altoona Methodist Church Vacation Bible School Standup
June 21: Simpson College Alumni Weekend Standup
June 28: Farmington, IA; Tether (Too Windy)
July 25-Aug. 2: Indianola, IA; National Balloon Classic
Sept. 14: Runnells Chuch; Standup (Too Windy)
Sept. 20: Boy Scout Jamboree Standup
Oct.11: Lukemia-Light the Night, Candlestick
Oct.18: Hike-A-Bike-A-Trike-A-Thon, Missionary Fundraiser
Nov.1: Taste of Ankeny, Glow
Dec. 5-7: Caledonia, MN; Bluff & Valley Hot Air Balloon Rally
Some call them Chase Crew, I call them the Ground Team. Chase Crew can imply crew that only reacts and does not anticipate. Ground Team gives an indication that they are thinking as the pilot thinks. Either way, the people that help the pilot are integral to the success of the flight. Without the team the pilot doesn't fly. The team should be cross trained in all aspects of crewing, the more they know the better they will be. A well trained team is capable of working with little or no instruction. But if you have never crew, don't be intimidated. Virtually anyone can learn to crew. Many times I will have new crew and they perform wonderfully. Of course the proper instruction by the pilot is very importation.
The pilot is responsible for the operation of the aircraft, but the pilot is also responsible for the actions of the ground team. Their actions represent the pilot and ballooning in general. If you are ground team, remember that you are a very important public relation element of ballooning. Even if you are just a beginner team member, you will be viewed as a knowledgeable member of the ballooning community. Crewing does not come without the occasional sore muscles or mosquito bites. The memories out weigh the bites. A pilot should appreciate the crew.
Almost any weekend you can find a festivals somewhere in the world anytime in the year. There even are a few that last an entire week. The Festival, Rally, Race, Fest are just a few names that a town will call their special event. Balloon flights and glows are scheduled for evenings, morning times provide flights. In between the event may have many other activities to keep the general public entertained. Thousands of spectators come to see the beautifully colored balloons. You might find any where from 10 to 800 balloons at a festival. Typically festivals are thought to be in the summer months, but some towns prefer winter festivals and even in the northern states. It is cold but you just dress for it. At many events, balloon competition takes place. It is not to see who has the prettiest balloon. There would be a tie because every pilot believes they have the prettiest. No it is competition for the pilots to fly their balloon to designated target and drop baggies on the target. It takes skill to not only reach the target and score, but to fly to the next and maybe the 3rd and 4th targets. Yes many times pilots have multiple target. Over the course of an event scores are added and a champion is crowned. Price money is awarded to several pilots.
A balloon pilot does need a license to fly a balloon. The FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) administers regulations for aircrafts and pilots. A pilot must abide by these regulations to fly any type of aircraft. Aircrafts are divided into categories, Fixed Wing, Rotary, Lighter Than Air, Powered Lift, Glider Powered Parachute. Fixed wing is all planes, Rotary is helicopters, Lighter Than Air is airships and balloons. Under each category of aircraft is different class of aircraft. In fixed wing category you can have, single engine land, multi engine land, single engine sea just to name a few. In Lighter Than Air category, you have airship class (ie. blimps) and balloon class. The balloon class has 3 main types of balloons, hot air, gas and roziere. Gas balloons can use many types of gas for lift and will fly long distances. Roziere balloons use a combination of gas and hot air and are most commonly used for distance record flights. Hot Air balloons use only hot air to achieve lift. You can be a student pilot at age 14 and become a pilot at age 16. First you become a student pilot. During the training you must complete 10 instructional flights including 2 solo flights, ground school, written FAA private pilots test. Once all of the training is successfully completed, you are ready for your check ride given to you by a designated flight examiner. This flight exam consists of a oral and practical exam. At this point you will have obtained your LTA Private Pilot Certificate for hot air balloons only. The next level is a commercial pilot. After receiving your private license, you must continue to fly 35 more hours as the PIC (Pilot In Command) before beginning your commercial license training. Commercial training consists of 10 instructional training, ground school, FAA written commercial pilots test. Once this is completed you are ready for your commercial check ride which consists of an oral and practical exam. The distinction between private and commercial license is this. A private pilot can not be used for hire but can fly unpaid passengers. A commercial can fly for hire. That means as a commercial you can fly paid passengers, and be compensated for your work as a hot air balloon pilot. You also are now a flight instructor and can train pilots working on both private and commercial certificates. A medical exam is not required to have a hot air balloon pilot certificate. Every 2 years you will be required to fly a biannual flight review which can be given by any commercial pilot.
Flight Operations: From Launch to Landing
All pilots should have multiple check lists for flight operations. These lists should include the following; pre-flight, inflation, pre-launch, in-flight, navigation and performance maneuvers, approach and landing, recovery and pack-up, refueling, emergency.
Pre-flight, weather briefings, launch site selection, crew & passenger briefing, payload planning, fuel planning, landing site expectations.
Inflation, layout and assembly, aircraft inspection, proper inflation procedures.
Pre-launch, temperature check, equipment and maps on board, fuel check, passengers on board, obstacle check.
In-flight, #1 priority is to fly the aircraft, fuel management, obstacle avoidance,
landing site evaluation.
Navigation & Performance Maneuvers, know your flight objectives, understand winds and where they will take you, use this to your advantage, ascents, descents, contour flying.
Approach & Landing, inform crew you are landing, landing site, approaches (gradual glide path or steep glide path), passenger briefing, landing abort plan, secure equipment, normal landing, drop line landing, high wind landing.
Recovery & Pack-up, shut off fuel, laying down the envelope, deflation & disassembly, cleaning up your landing site, thank the land owner. Maintaining good landowner relations are very important. Remember that you are trespassing, so if a pilot does not respect the landowners property, it look very badly on the pilot and ballooning in general.
Refueling, always use safety procedures, respect propane.
Emergency, a pilot should practice emergency procedures on the ground, always review how you as a pilot will deal with a emergency.
Planning for a flight starts with good weather information. A pilot who is improperly briefed on the weather can have a disastrous flight. Weather information can be gathered from many sources such as, web sites, national weather service, flight service, local TV, and using your gut feeling is also important.
Once you have decided to fly, the crew needs to be lined up and a capable driver is very valuable. When deciding on passengers, the payload needs to be calculated based on the aircraft limitations and the outside or ambient temperature. The flight path must be determined. Because balloons flow with the winds, a pilot does not want to fly into an area that could be troublesome. Knowing your air space is vitally important. Are your radios and GPS's charged and operational. Do you have a sectional map as well as a local map of the area you are flying in. Cameras are a must have so photos during the flight can be taken of the incredible views you will experience. Aero medical factors are also important. How are you as a pilot physically and emotionally. Are you able to fly. Wear the proper clothing
Winds of 5-10 mph are ideal for takeoff and landing. Once in the air the balloon can travel at much faster speeds. I personally have flown at 75 mph. Inflation is very critical not to burn or melt the envelope. Balloons can only be flown in VFR (Visual Fight Rules). These are conditions where you can see at least 10 miles. It is important to look at weather 200 miles away. That weather may impact you here. We can only fly when the sun is up, from sunup to sundown. Typically balloon flights take place at sunup and sundown because the winds are usually the calmest.
In the year 400 BC in China, a kite was invented.
3 AD; the Kongming Lantern was used in. It was a type of signaling balloon used for military use.
1485; Leonard da Vinci designed but never flew the Orithipter, the modern day helicopter.
The first aircraft was a balloon. On September 19, 1783 in France, a man named Roziere launched a balloon using hot air from a fire on the ground. The passengers were a sheep, duck, and a roster. The flight lasted 15 minutes, reached a height of 6,000ft and covered a distance of 1 mile. On November 21 of that same year, two brothers named Montgolfier launched the first human flight.
1784 was the year the first woman flew, Elizabeth Thrible.
1785; flight across the English Channel and the same year was the first aviation fatality.
1793; Jan. 7 was the first flight in America. George Washington watched the launch.
1794; balloons were started to be used for military recon in France.
1798; Jeanne Labrosse was the first woman to solo in a balloon.
1809; Marie Blanchard was the first woman to lose her life in a balloon, She was watching fireworks in her hydrogen balloon.
During the 1800's, spectators were charged to watch balloon launches. It was a big event and today it still is a big event each time a balloon fly's.
John Wise was a pioneer during the 1800's. He flew hundreds of flights including long distances. He was last seen over Lake Michigan that launched from St. Louis.
The balloon corp. was established during the civil war. Both the north and the south had their own. It was used for recon and would take a crew of 30. Military balloons were used into WW1.
July 4,1845; the first unmanned balloon flew in Iowa.
1856; the first manned balloon flew in Iowa.
1880; E. Lillian Todd was the first American Woman to solo in a hot air balloon.
August 1932; Auguste Picard reached a height of 52,498 ft. in a pressurized capsule.
1935; Captain Albert Stevens and Orvil Anderson ascended to 72,295 ft and carried live radio broadcasts and the concept of manned flight in space.
How Do You Fly
A balloon flies because the air inside the envelope is hotter than the air outside. The burners heat the air inside to ascend and if you want to descend, the pilot will let the air inside the envelope cool or open the top vent to let some air out.
Records can be set for distance, duration, altitude, or other types. They can be personal or for an organization. On November 26, 2005, Indian Vijaypat Singhania set an altitude record of 69,852 feet.
The Envelope (the brightly colored part made of either nylon or polyester and holds air). It is constructed from long sections called gores which extend from the base all the way up to the top and are made of many panels. The material is the same as used in parachutes, is very tightly woven and coated to keep it non-porous. The bottom part of the envelope is referred to as either the skirt (material that extends completely around), or a scoop (it only goes half way around).
The basket or gondola, is the part of the balloon that carries the passengers, pilot, and propane tanks. Baskets can carry anywhere from 1-30 passengers. Wicker is widely used because of it's flexibility and usually have a wooden floor.
The burner is the engine of the aircraft. Smaller balloons have one and the larger they are the more burners needed. Some have as many as 4. Propane is the fuel used in the United States although a propane butane mixture can be used although it is less efficient.
The required instruments area Pyrometer-temperature gauge, altimeter-tells your height in the air, variometer-tells your speed of ascent or descent.
These are balloon manufacturers: Avian Ballooning Corp (USA), Ballonau WArner (Germany), Cameron Balloons (UK & USA), Firefly Balloons (USA), Head Balloons (USA),
Kavanagh Balloons (Australia), Kubicek Balloons (Czech), Lindstrand Balloons (UK & USA),
National Balloons (USA), Ultramagic Balloons (Spain), among a few others. Each company may have regional dealers.