Here you find some (hopefully) usefull information about ballooning in Switzerland
General information about ballooning How many balloons are there in Switzerland ?
How much costs a balloon ? Can I become a balloon pilot ?
What should passengers know ? Why does a balloon "fahren" ?
How big are balloons in Switzerland ? Who can become a passenger in a balloon ?


Ballooning ....

.... a sport that very much depends on the weather. Specially here in Switzerland, where the weather sometimes changes quickly. Never the less there are many pilots and passengers who enjoy floting in a balloon across this beautifull country.

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How many balloons are there ?

In Switzerland you find allmost 500 balloons and just as many pilots. The number of gas balloons is slowly decreasing and is now at about 50 units. The number of hot air balloons is still slightly increasing and is about 550 balloons.



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How big are balloons ?

The smallest hot air balloon has a volume of about 900 m3. This balloons is just large enough to carry the pilot with one gasbottle and a small burner mounted on top. This bottle is carried like a backpack and there is no basked supporting the pilot.

The largest hot air balloon in Switzerland can lift the pilot and 21 passengers. It has a volume of 10'500 m3. But this size is rather seldom. Usual the balloons have a size between 3000 und 4000 m3 and carry 3 - 5 passengers.



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How much costs a hot air balloon ?

The purchase cost of a hot air balloon is one of the reasons, why so many balloons carry the message of a sponsor on there envelope. Another costly factor is the insurance and the maintenance of the system. The average cost of a complete new hot air balloon in an everage size of 3000 m3 is allmost Fr. 100'000.- . On top of this there are the annual fees of a few hundred and the annual insurance of a few thousand Swiss Franks. But not enough. The lifetime of an envelope is only about 500 hours. Alltrough the balloon looks still good after this time the strenght of the fabric has lost about half since new. It holds 24 kg per cm2 when new. As soon as it falls below 12 kg per cm2 the BAZL ( Bundesamt für zivile Luftfahrt ) will not accept the balloon as airworthy and it must be replaced. This is the time when a pilot must ask himself to have the old envelope partly replaced for about Fr. 15'000.- and then still has an old balloon or to spend Fr. 30 - 50'000.- on a new envelope.


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Can I become a balloon pilot ?
If you ar of good health, physicaly fit and willing to attend school again then you have taken the first step. If your bank account has a positiv saldo of Fr. 15'000.- then you have taken the second step. All you have to do now is find a teacher. There the SBAV ( Swiss Balloon Federation ) can help find you one in your region. Whrite to:
SBAV
Postfach 16
CH 4124 Schönenbuch/Basel
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Who can become a passenger in a balloon ?

Everyone aged between about 8 and 100 years, that feels physikal fit and is not nervous to climb into a sort of oversized laundry basked. If you have a physikal handicap please ask your doctor and inform your pilot.


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What should passengers look out for ?

On the following pages you have the opportunity to choose and select. Please make use of this and be not afraid to ask additional questions. In any case the price of the flight should not be the first criterion. Allso consider the following:
  • How many passengers are in the basked ?
  • How long is the flight time ?
  • How much time will I have to calculate for the whole "adventure" ?
  • Will I have a choise or will the pilot give me the flying date ?
  • What experience has "my" pilot ?
  • Is it a company or a pilot who is only flying occasionally, I am booking with ?

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Why does a balloon "fahren" ?

This question will be answered at your first flight .. pardon Fahrt !

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