Time of day
The time of day when we may fly can vary according to the season. Actually, the two hours after sunrise and the two hours before sunset are the best time for a hot air balloon ride. This is the time with the best light to take pictures and the moment where the atmosphere is (usually!) calm enough to enjoy a quiet flight. During the day the sun is warming the ground generating thermal convection which doesn’t allow a soft landing.
The whole preparation-flight-folding cycle lasts about 3 hours including one hour for preparation and inflation, a flight of approximately one hour (since the balloon moves with the wind the precise flight duration is determined by the landing opportunities), and finally an hour to fold and store the balloon on the trailer.
To celebrate the happy landing, pilot and passengers share a champagne toast. Then the chase team’s 4X4 vehicle drives you back to the site of the launch and to your car.
According to your desire and physical condition you may want to participate in the balloon’s preparation and pack up operation. But you may prefer to just watch and take pictures…
No specific clothing is required. There is no wind and it is not cold in a balloon. But casual, comfortable clothes are recommended, preferably in cotton (nylon is banned). For cold days, a pull over or a shawl can be left in the chase vehicle so that you don’t get cold after the landing during pack up operations. Please note that the fields where we land are not always smooth English lawns, running or hiking shoes are recommended. A cap may also prove very useful!
For obvious safety reasons, the pilot may be required to postpone the flight in case of bad weather. Ballooning is not possible with strong wind, rainy, foggy or stormy weather. The weather report will be checked the previous evening for morning flights and around noon for evening flights.
Depending on the weather report, the launch site may be located in Pézenas-Nizas, Poussan, or Balaruc le Vieux.