Between the time when you first arrive and the ballons
take flight is about 45 minutes to an hour. There is so much going
on during that time period that the time just flies.
During the balloon inflation process described on the
previous page, the owner/operators loft several test hellium balloons
to check local wind speed and conditions, as well as making several calls
into Fairbanks International Airport getting the latest weather.
No to flights are exactly the same and even though
the balloons all take off from the same spot it is no abnormal that during
flight that they end up miles apart from one another.
Steering is acomplished by moving the ballon
through various layers of wind Generally within one hundred feet
of the ground the wind will be blowing in one direction. While
at the same time up in lower cloud levels the wind will be blowing
at a completely different direction. So by raising and lowering
the balloon through these various winds a pilot can navigate the
balloon toward the targeted site for landing.
And should the wind radically shift during
flight each ballonist is equiped with a cell phone that they can
notify any heading changes to their ground crew well in adance
Mostly its just lazily drifting across the sky stopping to
photograph the Moose, Bear, Fox and whatever else may show up
that night. Some Balloonists land to let you pick fresh berries
along the way. On clear nights you can get wonderful shots of
Mount Mckinley and Tanana River and the dazzling surrounding
countryside. And on all nights you can get photos of Fairbanks
spectacular sunsets. Which unlike other places in the world in
Fairbanks sunsets last for hours. During which the sk go through
the most profound color changes yellows, gold, reds, pink, purple,
Just another Fairbanks sunset
Balloon flight time is normally
an hour. However if during the flight the paticipants express
the desire to stay aloft longer the pilots will usually willing
to continue the flight -- provided of course that they are in
alignment with an alternate landing site.
This will now conclude your virtual ballon tour.
Before disembarking please watch your step. And Thank you again for riding
with Alaskan Dreams.
Click on the balloon to
return to Alaskan Dreams main page