Do you have a 100% safety record?
Safety is absolutely our first priority. Yes, Bella Balloons has a 100% safety record. Our highly qualified pilots possess FAA Commercial licenses and experience. We are members of the Balloon Federation of America and we welcome any questions regarding safety or any other aspect of ballooning.
How long has Bella Balloons been in business?
The business began full-time operations in 2007, and is staffed year-round with an office you can visit at 211 Walnut Street, Lebanon, Ohio.
Pilots and staff of Bella Balloons are highly educated, honest, ethical, successful people who live in the community. Pilots have thousands of hours of experience, from several years to well over 10 years with instructor ratings.
As a full time business, we are extremely concerned with your safety and satisfaction. The success of our business rests on your referrals and return visits.
What times do you fly?
Usually just after sunrise and 1-2 hours before sunset. These times provide winds that are the most calm and stable.
How high will we go?
We generally fly from treetop to 1,500 feet. Floating at 1,500 feet, guests usually view several counties and many cities. While flying at treetop-level, deer and other wildlife are often spotted in the woodland areas.
How do you navigate the balloon?
The balloon travels where the wind takes it, however, winds at varying altitudes may blow in different directions and at different speeds. The pilot climbs or descends to an altitude where the wind is blowing in the preferred direction.
How do we get back to the Launch Site?
The chase crew provides a courtesy shuttle back to the launch site. They follow the flight of the balloon, trying to stay parallel or ahead of the balloon. The crew attempts to be on hand at landing to make the recovery when the balloon touches down.
Is it colder up there?
There is technically a 3.5 degree Fahrenheit temperature (colder) change per 1000 feet, but usually there is a small temperature inversion (extra heat from the balloon), therefore if passengers are dressed comfortably for the temperature at ground level they will be comfortable during the flight. Passengers usually dress casually and layer clothing if the weather is chilly. We suggest that passengers wear hats, sun glasses, and sneakers or hiking boots. Opened toed shoes are discouraged.
How experienced are your pilots?
Our pilots collectively have thousands of hours of commercial flying experience. All Pilots are FAA certified, with a Commercial Rating for Lighter-Than-Air with airborne heater.
What conditions must be present to fly?
The decision to fly is made by the Pilot-in-Command. Generally, we will not launch with surface winds in excess of nine miles per hour, with ceilings below 3,500 feet, with precipitation or fronts approaching within 50 miles, with ground temperatures exceeding 94F, or with ground temperatures below 10F.
What if the weather is bad on the day of my flight?
If the weather does not cooperate, we will postpone the flight and reschedule at your next preferred time, based on aircraft availability.
How long is the flight?
Flights last approximately 45-60 minutes, however, please allow about three hours for pre-flight briefing, inflation, flight, landing, pack-up & return to the launch site.
How large are the balloons?
Our balloons range in size from 90,000 to 120,000 cubic feet in volume and stand about 70 feet tall, or between six and eight stories tall.
How does the ground crew know where the balloon will land?
The chase crew is in radio contact with the pilot at all times and follows the balloon while you are in flight. The chase crew is well briefed, and both the balloon and chase vehicle are equipped with GPS.
How many passengers can ride on your balloons?
We believe in providing an intimate flight experience. Our hot air balloons (various sizes) hold a minimum of 2, and no more than 6 passengers.
Are there any poor vantage points in the balloon?
The balloon is an open air basket. Everyone has a good view.
Can our friends and family follow the ground crew?
Yes, however, the chase vehicles make sudden stops and turnarounds. Those individuals choosing to follow chase vehicles do so on their own accord, and will be asked to remain at least 100 ft behind all chase vehicles at all times.
Where and when do we meet?
We meet approximately 15 minutes before sunrise, and 2 ½ hours before sunset. Meeting times, along with the weather, are always confirmed the day before and the day of the flight. Arriving on time is very important. Late arrival may jeopardize your flight
Are cameras and camcorders permitted?
Passengers are welcome to bring cameras and camcorders on the flight, however, we do not accept responsibility for personal belongings.
What are hot air balloons made of?
The envelope, or balloon, is made of a reinforced fabric called rip-stop nylon (some balloons are made of polyester). The material is very light weight and strong. The fabric is coated to prevent leaks. The baskets are made from rattan and each one is individually woven by hand.
Will we be the only passengers in the balloon basket?
Unless you charter the complete balloon with our Exclusive packages, you will be sharing the flight with other passengers. Visibility is excellent from all locations in the basket, so there will be no obstructed views from other passengers. Please note: Bella Balloons reserves the right to reschedule any reservation for a non-exclusive flight package in a balloon that is under capacity.
How fast does the balloon travel?
Since the balloon has no forward propulsion system, its speed is determined entirely by the speed of the wind.
What kind of fuel is used?
Hot Air Balloons use propane, kept in pressurized tanks in the basket. The tanks are connected to burners with aircraft certified flexible hoses. When the burner valves are opened, the propane is ignited by a pilot light in the burner. The flame may shoot out as much as ten or twenty feet, making a loud "whoosh". Generally, balloons carry 30-60 gallons of liquid propane.
What should we wear?
We suggest long pants year round, and sturdy, comfortable close-toed shoes. Hats are very important in the summer months due to the radiant heat from the burners during takeoff. We advise as to seasonal dress when reservations are made.
What about gratuities?
Our pilots & flight crew work very hard to make your experience as unique & enjoyable as possible. Though tipping is not required, it is very much appreciated.
Do I need reservations?
Can I fly if I'm pregnant?
Passengers cannot be pregnant, but congratulations on your new arrival!!! Also, please join us for a celebration flight 90 days post-delivery!!!
Can I fly if I need the assistance of a cane or walker?
For your safety, and the safety of other passengers/pilot, canes and walkers are prohibited in the basket. Ballooning involves moderate physical activity. Passengers need to be able to climb into and out of a 42 inch high basket without assistance, and be in good health.
What is the cancellation policy if I need to make changes?
Cancellation or reservation changes at least 48 hours prior to the meeting time are permitted. Cancellation between 24 and 48 hours prior to meeting time will result in a $100 rebooking fee. Failing to show up, arriving too late for the flight, or cancellation within 24 hours in advance of the meeting time will result in a full fare charge or loss of flight certificate.