Learn more about ballooning right here . . .We fly all year 'round!
YOUR BALLOON FLIGHT:
We schedule flights twice a day, weather permitting, seven days a week, all year ‘round. You can choose a sunrise flight at dawn or a sunset flight, about two hours before the sun goes down—the best times of day for ballooning, when the winds are usually calm. There’s no better way to start or end your day than at Cool Spring Balloonport!
For about an hour or so, we'll fly a distance of about two to 10 miles, depending on our wind speed and wind direction. Our altitude will vary from crop level and treetop height to several thousand feet. How high would you like to fly?
On a clear day you can see up to 50 miles —see the Brushy Mountains, Charlotte, Winston-Salem, Pilot Mountain, and watch the deer run and hear the creek gurgling beneath the branches!
Most any day can be an adventure!
Plan to dress comfortably for the weather and about three hours of outdoor activity. Dressing in layers is always a good idea in case the day warms up or the early evening cools down. The air temperature only cools about 3º per 1000 feet, so unless it's wintertime, heavy clothing is not usually necessary. We fly all year round.
What to Wear: Please wear tennis/sports shoes or other sturdy outdoor shoes. Long pants are good, too, since our landing sites are sometimes in a field or in tall grass.
In the morning, the grass is often damp with dew, so your shoes might get wet. Dresses, sandals, open-toed shoes or high heels are not recommended.
If your family and friends want to come and see you off, bring them along! With a little instruction, everyone can join the balloon crew -- help set up, launch, chase and pack up the balloon at the end of your flight. The more the merrier! Spectators can also come and just watch!
And bring your cameras! Balloon flying is the ultimate selfie moment!
HOW IT ALL WORKS:
You should expect to spend about 2-1/2 to 3 hours altogether as we get ready for your flight, then fly for about an hour, and then retrieve and pack up the equipment and drive back to Cool Spring Balloonport when the flight is done.
PREFLIGHT & INFLATION: When you arrive at the launch site, and we've all met each other, your FAA certified pilot and our crew will invite you to participate in the inflation. You'll get a preflight briefing so you'll know what to expect and how to help. There will be plenty of opportunities to take pictures and ask questions. Before you know it, your pilot will fill the balloon with hot air, and it will rise up and be ready for launch. Now you'll just need to climb in the basket and get ready to go!
LAUNCH: Taking off, along with landing the balloon, are the really exciting times, but takeoff is often so gentle that you might not even realize you’ve left the ground. Your adventure is about to begin!
FLIGHT: The true adventure of balloon flying is that even if you’ve flown before, each and every flight is different. Now is the time to relax and enjoy the view, maybe take some pictures, but don't get too focused in your camera! You'll get to see things that no one has ever seen before! Want to pick some leaves from the very tops of the trees?
LANDING: We are always unexpected guests of someone when we land. As your flight winds down, we'll find a safe place to set her down, perhaps in a farmer's field or someone's front yard. Once we've packed up the balloon, we'll drive back to the launch site in the chase vehicle and celebrate together with the traditional champagne or, if you prefer, a sparkling cider celebration with the toast of balloonists ~ Soft Landings!
WEATHER: Why can't we fly today? We need calm winds less than 6 mph and no precipitation, storms forming, or fog in the forecast during our flight time. If we need to, we can reschedule for another day.
Awesome morning flight in August with Erin and David. It was
wonderful to meet you guys...
It doesn't happen often that balloons land at Cool Spring International BalloonPort & Space Museum, but on Saturday morning Marc Klinger easily settled Oochie onto the narrow gravel road beside our house. His three passengers were very impressed with his superb piloting skills and the friendly landowners who arrived to welcome them. Great landing, Marc, come again anytime!