Picture of bright green balloon with a blue zig zag

Hot Air Balloon Rides

"Greenie with the dark blue stripe"

The Balloon wore out last year and we no longer offer flights

Picture of balloon basket with pilot, mother and family friend

Hot Air Balloon Safety

Emerald Shazam has been flying balloons in the Pittsburgh area for over twenty five years .  "Greenie with the Dark Blue Stripe" (our balloon) passes a rigorous inspection once a year by a FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) certified inspector and is carefully checked over by the pilot before each flight.

Your pilot is FAA certified and has been flying hot air balloons for over twenty years.  He is also a certified airplane pilot and has been flying airplanes since 1976.

The balloon travels with the wind so safe ballooning requires the right wind conditions.   We do not want to much wind (over about 8 mph) as this makes the landings too exciting.  If you are flying along at 20 mph and you touch down you are now bouncing along the ground at 20 mph.  However we do need a little wind so that we travel some distance to make an interesting flight.

During flight, passengers are encouraged to call to the pilot's attention obstructions in the path of flight he may not be aware of, such as towers, power lines, or fences.  

Landings are the most critical phase of the flight. If higher winds exists, the balloon will tip and drag or may even bounce and bump along. It is of paramount importance that you stay in the basket. In order to prepare yourself for the landing, face the direction of travel and hold very tightly to the superstructure or hand-holds inside the basket, bend your knees slightly, and don't let go until the balloon comes to a complete stop. Keep your hands and arms inside the basket and try to keep your weight off other passengers. Do not exit the basket until authorized by your pilot as he may need your weight to keep the balloon on the ground.  

Feel free to ask questions at any time if you don't understand. It's for your safety and is your personal responsibility. If the pilot is busy at that time he will say one moment and then get back to your question shortly.

Ballooning activities involve the possibility of physical risks greater than those encountered in daily life, and our pilots exercise all due precautions to provide a safe flight. By taking part in balloon activities, passengers acknowledge and assume the risks inherent in such activities. We have no limitations other than children must be tall enough to see over the edge of the basket in a standing position, about 4 feet high, and that an individual's health will allow for the more rigorous activity of ballooning.  You will be standing in the balloon for about an hour and you may have to hike across fields when we land.

The Balloon wore out last year and we no longer offer flights  

Follow the links below to get most of your questions answered.

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