About  balloon rides
Hot Air balloons fly only during the early morning and late evening hours when the winds are light and the Earth is at it coolest temperatures. Mornings are generally the better time because the Earth has had all night to cool and let the winds dissipate.  We are currently only flying sunrise flights.  

Balloons drift on the winds. We control our direction by climbing or descending into different wind currents. Sometimes a change in altitude of only 20 feet will allow us to change direction.

We launch the balloon somewhere upwind of Janesville and fly across the city because there are more places to land within the city than there are outside of town. Yes, there are many fields outside of Janesville, but they contain crops and we do not want to land in anyone's crop. If the winds are light, the balloon does not need a lot of space to land. An area 100 feet by 100 feet is usually large enough. 

During a typical flight we will fly from a few inches above the surface to 1000 feet or more. Within that range of altitude the temperature does not vary much from the surface temperature. Since we drift on the wind currents, and are traveling at the same speed as the wind, there is no relative wind and no wind chill factor. If it's warm on the surface it will be warm in the balloon. 

We flight plan for an hour of flight time. The actual time aloft depends on how much fuel we are burning, what the surface winds are doing, and landing site availability. Safety is the number one consideration. If the pilot determines that weather conditions are becoming unsafe, the balloon will land as soon as practical.

As we look at the weather report, we are looking for surface wind speeds of 3 mph or less at the launch time and forecast to remain 6 mph or less throughout the flight period. The skies should be clear with no thunderstorms within 100 miles, and the upper winds should be below 15 mph. Balloon flights are supposed to be gentle, slow and relaxing, not a thrill ride.
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