Hot Air Balloons and Balloon Rides
The 2013 Balloonmeister —
Paul Sena of Worthington Ballooning
Hot Air Balloon rides originate at the Greenfield Community College grounds. Flights last anywhere from 45 minutes to over an hour. Of course, the length of the flight is largely dependent upon the winds and weather conditions of the day.
Schedule for 2013:
6:00 pm – Balloon launch and riders
9:00 pm – Balloon Illumination
6:00 am – Balloon launch (free admission to watch)
6:00 pm – Evening hot air balloon launch
Balloons are visible on site only during above windows. The balloons, due to winds, can only inflate and fly during early morning or evening hours. They do not fly during the day.
Passengers must be over the age of 10 and in good health. If you are pregnant, recently released from the hospital, have current broken bones or casts you will not be able to qualify to purchase a ride. Passengers under the age of 18 must have parental permission or the parent must fly with them. Riders are accepted at the discretion of the ride operator. All passengers will be required to sign a release form provided at the Festival balloon tent.
Balloon Ride Tickets
Prices for 2013 balloon rides are:
$250.00 (includes a one-day festival ticket)
At the Festival — $250.00 (no festival ticket included)
Cash and credit cards (VISA or MasterCard) are accepted.
To make flight reservations, you can contact us by telephone at (413) 773-5463 or via email. Don’t forget to leave your daytime telephone number so we can contact you.
The History of Ballooning
Ballooning is the oldest form of Flight and began about the time of the American Revolution near the end of the eighteenth century, coinciding with the demise of the French monarchy.
A pair of brothers called Montgolfier began running a number of tests to minimize the dangers of combustion and to develop a balloon fabric which could produce the results they were seeking. June 5 that year, the Montgolfier project became airborne. Benjamin Franklin, then ambassador to France, reported that the balloon weighted almost 1,600 pounds, had a lift of nearly 600 pounds, and rose to a height of 6,000 feet over the Village of Annonay, south of Lyons.
Shortly thereafter, the aristocratic French court party of Charlier attempted to rival this success. Their balloon rose to some 3,000 feet, disappeared into a low cloud cover and landed some fifteen miles away. Thinking it was a monster from outer space, a group of farmers attacked it with their pitch forks, then tied the deflated envelope to a horse who galloped about until they were convinced it was dead.
Hot air balloon ascensions today bear little resemblance to yesteryear. However, the thrill of this sport has generated great interest in many parts of the world. Propane gas is heated by a burner and gradually fills the balloon before ascent. The pilot uses this burner to control altitude after being airborne.
Weather conditions are very important to the success of balloon launches, winds being a significant factor. For this reason, balloon events such as the Green River Festival will begin very early in the morning, shortly after daybreak. Another launch is usually held late in the afternoon when the winds have died down for the day.
Each pilot has a chase crew which follows the flight path of the balloon as best the can on the ground, often limited by bridges and unfamiliar roads. The traditional toast of champagne is a friendly greeting to the property owners who share in the excitement of seeing the balloon landing in nearby yards or fields.