Saturday, June 28, 2014

A Day in the Life of Hot Air Balloon Crew

4:30 AM.  Alarm sounding, softly, louder and louder.  Roll out of bed, still dark out.  Use a flashlight to find clothes set out night before, get dressed, brush teeth, put on shoes, pour coffee in mug and head out.

before dawn

Lancaster Balloonport

Load up the truck with the basket (burners already assembled on basket), envelope (balloon) and fans.  Pull out to the grassy yard and start setting up.  Basket is dropped off, burners checked and in working order and then the envelope is laid out.


burner check

envelope laid out

The envelope is pulled out from the sides and the skirt is held back and the mouth opened ready to receive air from the fans.

fans on and air is a-blowin'

full of cold air (outside looking in)

At this point I am holding the mouth of the envelope open to receive the air, so snapping pictures is very difficult (but I did manage to capture some photos).  After the balloon is inflated with cool air, the burners are turned on and the flames heat the air to lift the balloon upright.  The balloon is filled with just enough heat to remain upright until the pilot can get permission for lift off.  6 AM, sunrise, ready for take off.

radio to the tower to get permission for lift off

up, up, up and away!

At this point the crew buttons up the building, putting away the fans and we pile into the truck and get to chasing!!  We keep in contact with the balloon by radio and stay on roads close by.  Today we took off at the Lancaster Airport and landing was just outside Manheim off 772.  Flights are generally an hour give or take depending on finding a suitable landing spot.  The crews job is to follow closely and be waiting at the landing spot the pilot has picked out.  Today's landing was in the parking lot of an elementary school.  Landings have been in the middle of roads, farmer fields, backyards, parks, anywhere away from power lines.

one more shot before tear down
releasing the hot air

The basket is tipped back on its side, the hot air released from the deflation port at the top of the envelope and as the balloon slowly empties the crew packs the envelope into a neat rope like package ready to be stuffed back in the envelope bag for storage until the next flight.  The basket is loaded back onto the truck and off we go back to our starting point.  7:30 AM arrival.

And then we do it all again tomorrow.  Crew is important in the whole process, we put the balloon together, help inflate it and assist the pilot as he or she needs us.  Needless to say, my hands were full today and it was GREAT getting back out there, I can't wait to do it all again tomorrow!

If you or somebody you know is interested in a hot air balloon ride you may contact the Lancaster Balloonport here and read more about the pilots, history, etc.

No comments:

Post a Comment

365 days of drawing Addyson Aegirine Aldies Review Alice all purpose cleaner Alta View Wellness Center Angel Numbers Angie Yingst Animal Symbolism Apartment life Are You Experienced art Art reading Aura Photo Aura Photography Backcombing Bacon recipe Bacon wrapped chicken Balloonport Beach Life Beach Life Series Because I hate Abbreviations Best Bone-in Chicken recipes Beverly Stephan Bissell Proheat Carpet Cleaner Blessingway Bone-in Chicken Borax recipes Brussel Sprouts Camp Innabah Candy Drawer Carnies Carnival Series Carpet shampooer Catering Chakra Photo Chakra Photography chicken recipe christmas cookie recipe Christmas craze Christmas Shoe box clairvoyant Cleaning Recipes Collective Consciousness colored pencil Conner Cookie recipe Coupons crafts with toilet paper roll Cremation Ashes cremation glass memorial bead Crew Crystal grids Crystal Healing Crystal Therapy Crystal uses Crystals and Minerals Darn it. Dear Departed Drawings Departed Dinner Recipe DIY Down to Earth Wear drawing drawing of a bulb syringe drawing of a snot sucker Drawing of a zombie drawing of an astronaut Drawing of feet drawing of genesee beer drawing of ghastly beer Drawing of Jimi Hendrix Dread bead Dreadie decorations Dreadies Dreadlock Methods Dreadlocks Dreads Dream Catcher Dustin Middaugh Eggleston Hall Engroff Epicurean Delight Evolution of a Drawing Video Family Family Vacation Feeding your family on a budget Feel the wind on your face Fels naptha recipes floor cleaner Food Coma Friend Frugal Shopping Gardening Glass Blowing glass dread bead grandma's cookie recipe Grandpa graphite drawings Hair Handmade Hape twist and turnables Hardiness zones map Harpers Ferry Healer Healing Herman Heroin Robbed Me HK Pinwheel Packs Holiday shopping holiday shuffle home home for the holidays home school Homemade Carpet Cleaner Solution Homemade frenzy Homemade powdered laundry detergent Homeschool Preschool hot air balloon chase crew Hot Air Ballooning Houd House Faery Thefts Humanitarianism Hyperrealism Insecurities Jack Daniels Distillery Tour Joel kids crafts Kings Fresh Meats Review Kole Kombucha Lancaster balloonport last minute Christmas shopping LeDrew crew Leigh Leigh D Baxter Life Life Purpose lithium quartz Little light Living with Strangers Lost shiny trinkets Love Lucia Married life Maryland Meditation Mineral Uses Monster Paintball MOPS Mothers of Preschoolers Moving Moving to a new house Mr. Kromer MUM Expo My Crystals and Minerals Mystic Native American Rituals Natural Healer Neil New house New Moon Circle new year resolution new years resolution Nines Numerology Obsessive Compulsive Disorder OCD Ocean Beach Spirit Cleansing Ceremony Ocean City Ocean City Maryland On the Road Again One Love Operation Christmas Child Pacific Northwest Glassblowing Packing Packing up your house for a move paint Parenthood Pencil Drawings Pennsylvania Dutch Pot Pie Pennsylvania Dutch Sand tarts photo realism Planting zones map Poppa. portrait drawing Portrait of Cosmo Portrait of Dustin Middaugh Portrait of Houd Portrait of Leigh D Baxter Prettying up Dreadies Reithoffer Show Renting Rides Roasted Parmesan Brussel Sprout Recipe Samaritans Purse Sevens Sideshows Smaller Dreads spiritual awakening spiritual experience Stick a screw driver in my eye Still Life with Circles Still Playing School Still. Summer fun Super washing soda recipes Survivor Mama Susquehanna Valley Balloon Company Sweet Pea Project Sweet Pea Sisters and Brothers Picnic Tarot Card Reading Tea tree essential oil Tennessee The Beach The Moon + Stone Healing The Pier The Walking Dead Things to do in Nashville Thinner Dreadlocks tissue paper hearts To Linger on Hot Coals Traveling Twist and Rip Twizzlers U-Haul uses for vinegar Valentines day craft Violet Wax Hands wax museums Wedding West Virginia WV year in review Your Inner Light