Home Page

About Us

F A Q’s

Photo Gallery

Related Links

Calendar

Dry Wall Finisher





Scenic Wind Balloon Tours
Contact us: 402-981-2048  
                                    E-mail: info@scenicwindballoons.com


Q: How much does a flight cost?
A:
Flights are $245 per person. Cash or check at time of flight. Call for group rates.

Q: Do I need to put down a deposit when I book a ride?
A:
No, you can pay for your ride at the time of the flight by cash or personal check. Gift Certificates are available for purchase for flights with us, the recipient and pilot can coordinate the flight date.  Sorry no credit cards accepted.

Q: What should I wear?
A:
The temperature does not change much from the ground to the height of flight so we recommend that you wear comfortable clothes or layers of clothes suitable for the current weather. We do suggest that you wear sturdy closed toe shoes and longer pants for your safety upon the landing. Bringing a camera or video camera is also suggested. For those taller folks, with some sensitivity to heat near your head, we suggest that you wear a fitted cap of some sort as there is some radiant heat downward from the onboard propane powered burners.

Q: Where will we launch from?
A:
The launch site is determined by the forecast wind direction and where that will take us to. We would like to make your trip scenic yet not take us in a direction that would limit landing spots. We have several spots around town that we like to use. It does not need to be at an airport, a large open area free of obstruction will work.

Q: Where will we land?
A:
Mother Nature plays a big role in this, at take off the pilot only knows the direction that will being going he will be looking for landing spots from the air as the flight progresses. The “chase crew” has radio contact with the balloon and will try to be in the vicinity when the pilot finds the spot he wants to land at. They will then help with the pack up.

Q: What time of day can we fly?
A:
In the Omaha/Council Bluffs metro area the air is most stable at sunrise or about sunset. Meet times are generally 1/2 hour before sunrise and about 2 hours before sunset so we can enjoy the calmer winds for launch and landings.

Q: How long does the whole “tour” take?
A:
We like to figure that from unpacking the balloon, inflation, flight, pack up & return to launch site can take up to 3 hours, a lot depends on how far the wind takes the balloon. Ground transportation back sometimes is quite longer than the “how the crow flies” path the balloon took.

Q: If I book a flight what should I expect?
A:
Our pilot takes scheduling according to dates you’d like, a day or so before the flight he will contact you with whether the weather looks good or not and an expected meet time. Prior to the flight the launch site will be set and confirmed with the passengers. At the launch site the crew will unpack the balloon from the trailer, using an 8HP fan pack the horizontal envelope with cold air, then the pilot will turn on the burners and begin heating the air, as the envelope rises the basket becomes vertical. The passengers get in and with the pilot begin their ascent to an awesome experience.

 
Springfield sunrise

 

        
Spring sandbar playing by Jester UnWindz & Propane Addiction  Summer along the Elkhorn R.  Summer in Nebraska Fall colors near Linder Lakes

 Winter near Elkhorn River

Q: Can I go for a flight in any season? A: Yes, we can fly year round but generally March through October.  Each season having its unique qualities and can all be quite scenic. Please call for November through February flight availability.

Q: It's a beautiful day...why did the pilot call and say it's not flyable? A: Hot Air balloons are dependent on the wind speed for flight. Generally pilots do not like to launch in ground winds or gusts greater than 10 MPH some pilots even have a lower speed they feel comfortable with.  Forecasted ground speeds at expected time of landing also play in a pilots decision to fly or not on a particular day.  Upper winds speeds also have to be considered and at what level the higher wind speeds begin. For example: if the 100 ft winds are greater than 12 mph and the balloon stands at 80 ft high, that doesn't leave much room to before more dangerous winds could occur.

Q: Is it safe? A: Hot air ballooning is the safest form of aviation. The pilot is an FAA licensed Commercial pilot and well as the aircraft being, FAA registered and annually inspected by a certified inspection station. The inspector does a series of test to make sure that it is kept to strict standards of airworthiness.

Q: How many people can go for a ride? A: Our largest system is rated for 7 passengers plus pilot but a lot depends on the outside air temperature. The air in the top of the balloon has to heated to a temperature hot enough to make the balloon rise, so in warmer we may only carry 4 passengers, as less weight can be carried in the basket.

Q: Why can the pilot not tell me where we are launching from when I call for a reservation? A: Different layers of air have different speeds and directions.  The pilot will determine the expected  launch site based on the forecasted direction of the wind within a few hours of the flight time.  It is generally not a good idea to float over the main areas of Omaha or Council Bluffs as landing spots are limited and being in the flight path of the Eppley or Offutt's air traffic is not something that we would like to do on a regular basis.  If you would like to fly over a certain area please discuss this when you make your reservation.  We use several spots around the area to launch, all make for nice scenic flights.

Q: What is the balloon made of ? A: The envelope itself is made of rip-stop nylon or a coated polyester similar to parachute material. The basket is made of wicker, with wood flooring, metal tubing underneath to which the “uprights” connect to the burner and a number of cables running the height of the envelope. The envelope has a parachute top which is used for altitude control, inflation and deflation. The double burners onboard are fueled by propane and are capable of putting out 25 million BTU’s of heat an hour, each.. The pilot also has onboard an altimeter, variometer, pyrometer as well as a GPS and 2 way radio.

 Q: What happens if a bird flies into the balloon? A: Balloons are large enough that most birds avoid them. The envelope fabric is tight and tough enough that a bird would most likely just bounce right off.  The balloon manufacturer has performed many tests for its durability. It is possible to fly a balloon with a  large hole in the fabric as long as it's below the center point or equator of the balloon.

 Q: "I don't like heights" so how could I experience flight? A: Most people's dislike for heights is more of a fear of falling or "the sudden stop at bottom", in a balloon the feeling is very different from climbing a ladder as you are standing on a solid surface of the gondola floor with it's sides  waist high. So while you drift with the wind you can look around you and don't really have the shaking or rocking  feeling of a ladder or a Ferris-wheel. 

Q: Do passengers ever get motion sickness? A: As the balloon is moving with the speed of the wind there is very little feeling of motion in the balloon. There is no sensation of movement  or speed like a roller coaster as the only "motor" is the onboard heater controlled by the pilot to change in altitude.

Contact us: phone: 402-981-2048
E-mail: info@scenicwindballoons.com