WHAT TO EXPECT DURING YOUR BALLOON RIDE IN APPLEDORE KENT
Upon arrival at the launch site the pilot and crew will greet you and the assembly of the balloon will commence. You are more than welcome to help with the preparation of the balloon and please feel free to ask your crew any questions you may have.
You will then have a safety briefing by your pilot after which the petrol fans we use to blow cold air into the balloon will be turned on. This gives the balloon its familiar shape. The pilot will then turn the propane burners on that warm up the air inside the balloon to stand the balloon into its upright position ready for the passengers to climb aboard. Passengers who would rather get into the basket when it is horizontal are welcome to do so.
When the pilot has completed his pre-flight checks the balloon gradually leaves the ground and the adventure begins. During your flight we may reach heights of up to 5500 feet to enjoy the view, or drop down to brush the treetops.
Once your pilot has chosen a suitable landing site he will brief you and ask you to take your landing positions. In light wind you will have an upright landing but if the wind speed is a bit higher the balloon is traveling at the same speed and the basket tends to drag along the ground before coming to rest on its side. This can be very exciting and often ends in a basket full of giggling passengers.
Our retrieve crew will follow the balloon throughout the flight and once we have landed we will pack the balloon away which you are welcome to get involved with. In true ballooning tradition the flight is celebrated with a glass of champagne and as a lasting reminder of your adventure you will be presented with the flight certificate signed by the pilot. Your crew will then drive you back to your vehicles at the launch site.