Hot air balloons can be a great experience.
Many people worry about hot air balloons because you are essentially flying around in a basket with a parachute attached.
Of course, this can be a little nerve-wracking for some, but it’s important to know how dangerous this is as well.
Before you head out for your next hot air balloon ride, it’s good to know how safe hot air balloons are.
How Safe Are Hot Air Balloons?
Hot air balloons are one of the safest ways to travel in the air.
In fact, hot air balloons are safer than airplanes and helicopters.
This is surprising to some people, but there are many reasons behind this fact.
From the year 2000 to 2016, there were 21 fatalities from hot air balloon crashes and accidents.
Although any loss of life is tragic, this is a much lower number than you will see in other types of air travel or recreational air activities.
If you are nervous about flying in a hot air balloon, here are a few things to consider when deciding to take a flight.
Why Are Hot Air Balloons Safe?
These are the main reasons taking a hot air balloon ride has gotten safer.
Hot Air Balloon pilots are required to be licensed.
The training process these pilots must go through is much more extensive than you may think.
For many people who want to become hot air balloon pilots, they can plan on this taking several years to complete.
From the time you decide to become a hot air balloon pilot, you will have to spend many hours of accompanied flights with an instructor.
Only after these hours are completed and tests are passed can a hot air balloon pilot start to take passengers out with them.
The pilot’s license will have to be clearly displayed so people know who is flying them and their qualifications.
There will also be periodic testing from most companies to make sure the hot air balloon pilot is still a safe pilot, and they follow all safety protocols.
You can usually tell by the company how safe they are when it comes to their pilots and the training.
If a hot air balloon company seems really laid back and not aware when it comes to safety, you may want to question whether or not the flight is worth it.
The weather is another major reason hot air balloon flights are so safe.
When you fly on an airplane or in a helicopter, you will generally fly in pretty terrible weather conditions.
Those conditions can sometimes not be avoided.
Another factor that planes and helicopters deal often must deal with is the wind.
Hot air balloon pilots will generally only take off a little after sunrise or a little before sunset.
These are the times of the day when the wind is at its lowest point.
It is very rare to find a hot air balloon pilot who will fly in the middle of the day.
The only time you may see this is if the weather is supposed to be perfectly clear that day.
Hot air balloon pilots pay very close attention to the weather conditions, and if they are dangerous in any way, your flight will get canceled.
In fact, if your hot air balloon flight gets canceled, you should not be all that disappointed.
The reason behind this usually deals directly with your safety.
Hot air balloon pilots today are equipped with much more information than those who flew ten or twenty years ago.
With the help of the internet and the popularity of this sport, there is quite a bit of information out there about flying a hot air balloon.
Pilots can use this information to make sure they keep their passengers safe on the next flight.
It is a good idea for hot air balloon pilots to read up on hot air balloon accidents and mishaps.
They are sometimes caused by pilot error, and understanding what could have been done differently could significantly help to prevent another accident.
This information is essential, and it is not something hot air balloon pilots always had access to.
Most hot air balloon companies will require their pilots to do some continuing education where they will share this type of information and explain the importance.
The more you know about how to fly a hot air balloon, the safer you can keep the passengers.
Modern technology makes it much easier for pilots to get the statistic and the information they need to have a safe flight.
The biggest advancement in technology has been in regard to the weather.
Hot air balloon pilots can follow weather patterns and storms and use radar to predict what their flight is going to be like.
They will even have information about the hot air balloon to alert them to potential hazards in the air.
This type of technology has made a hot air balloon ride a much safer and more manageable experience.
This technology will only continue to improve and make these flights safer for all involved.
Most hot air balloon pilots are very careful about how they conduct a flight.
After all, they are putting themselves at risk each time they head up on a hot air balloon as well.
They are not going to take risks that will injure themselves, their livelihood, and you.
Are Hot Air Balloons Safer than Airplanes?
Hot air balloons are safer than airplanes.
For starters, the hot air balloon is a much simpler machine, and that means it has fewer moving parts or potential broken parts than an airplane.
The hot air balloons are also going to fly at a lower height, which is going to add to the safety as well.
The lower flights are going to give accidents a bit less of a chance of being fatal than something that could happen on an airplane.
There are also considerably fewer airplane flights in a year than there are hot air balloon flights, so that certainly plays into the statistics as well.
Hot air balloons tend to result in a few deaths per year at the very most.
Unfortunately, there have been some larger scale accidents where upwards of fifteen or more people have died.
Most of these have to do with pilot error or issues that occur which are out of the control or the hands of the pilot.
Hot air balloons do not travel at the same speeds airplanes do either.
They generally keep a rather slow and steady speed.
Although there are issues which can come up with a hot air balloon, generally speaking, they are safer than airplanes.
Has Anyone Died from a Hot Air Balloon Flight?
Yes, there have, unfortunately, been several deaths from hot air balloon flights.
Not all of these have occurred in America.
In the United States, the restrictions for hot air balloon flights are rather strict.
You will have to pass a large amount of training and paperwork to be able to fly passengers.
In other countries, this is not the case.
In 2016, there was a large hot air balloon accident where 16 people died.
This was a very tragic accident, and unfortunately, it was determined that this accident was caused by pilot error.
The pilot happened to get the hot air balloon tangled in a power line, and it resulted in the deaths of everyone on the hot air balloon flight.
This was a very rare incident and very tragic at the same time.
If you are worried about flying in a hot air balloon because you think they are too dangerous, don’t be.
Hot air balloons are not overly dangerous, and you are not taking any more risk than you would be flying in an airplane or driving in a car.
Which Is More Dangerous, Skydiving or Hot Air Balloons?
When you look at activities to do in the sky, another one that comes to mind is skydiving.
Skydiving has proven to be more fatal than hot air ballooning.
However, in a given year, there seem to be more accidents related to hot air balloons than to sky diving.
There are factors you have to consider when you skydive, like the height and the speed which are much different than a hot air balloon ride.
You also have the backup of a parachute when skydiving, and with a hot air balloon ride, if you were to fall out, you would be entirely on your own.
Overall, skydiving seems to be a bit more dangerous than hot air balloon rides, but they are both still relatively safe.
If you want to go skydiving or for a hot air balloon ride, you will be taking some risk, but neither of these activities is reckless in any way.
Do You Wear a Parachute in a Hot Air Balloon?
For most hot air balloon rides, you do not wear a parachute.
If there were an issue with the fuel on the hot air balloon, you could fall from the sky.
However, when you are falling, the balloon will work as a parachute to make sure you land relatively safely.
This is not an issue you will see happen all that often, and therefore, people do not normally wear a parachute when they go on a hot air balloon ride.
In fact, there could be a larger issue with a person accidentally launching their parachute when they are in the hot air balloon.
For this reason, it is really not necessary to have a parachute on while you are on a hot air balloon ride.
When Is the Best Time of Year to Go on a Hot Air Balloon Ride?
Most hot air balloon rides are going to take place in the spring and summer months.
This is when the weather seems to be best to take a flight.
You will see clearer skies and less wind, and therefore, you should have an easier time getting in a successful flight.
There are some flights that are going to take place in the fall as a way to see the fall leaves, but during the winter, you will not see too many hot air balloon flights.
Hopefully, after reading this, you feel a little better about the safety of a hot air balloon.
This is not something you will need to worry about for the most part.
A hot air balloon ride is a safe and enjoyable experience.
Do a little research into the hot air balloon company you choose to make sure you are comfortable.
If you feel good about it, you should go through your experience with no worries in mind.
A hot air balloon ride is a rare treat, and if you decide to do it, you should enjoy the time.NEXT: Why Is Minecraft So Expensive? (Top 5 Reasons)