“To Fly or Not to Fly"
That is the question!
OK, so Sara’s birthday is the 11th…let’s do a balloon ride!” “Great idea! It’s on her bucket list!”
So the reservation is made.
As instructed, these wonderful passengers call to confirm their flight the day before it’s scheduled. That conversation goes something like this:
“Hello, Balloons Aloft. This is Johanna.”
“Hi, this is Sara’s sister, calling to confirm our flight for tomorrow.”
“Great! Thanks for calling! Let me check the weather while I have you on the line.”
“OK, looking at the weather for tomorrow, it looks like there is a good probability that we’ll be able to fly.”
“It seems that the wind is forecast to drop by flight time, but we will keep an eye on it. We’ll call you tomorrow afternoon.”
"Can’t we just fly??"
"Well, in a word-maybe."
Weather is the prime reason balloon flights are canceled. And the weather we look at is the weather at the launch site, not the weather from where our passengers are coming.
The reason we watch the weather so closely is balloons can only fly safely when the wind is calm enough, there is no precipitation, and there are no thunderstorms. Clouds generally don’t matter, and temperature generally doesn’t matter (unless it’s drastically hot or cold).
The problem with these criteria is sometimes the pilot has to be something of a clairvoyant. Winds and weather are changeable. The best forecast can be thrown to the winds (sorry, I had to do that) at a moment’s notice. Winds have been known not to drop and thunderstorms/rain have been known to pop up.
We’re pretty good at figuring all this out, but ultimately it’s up to the pilot to decide whether to fly or not. And please know-he/she wants to fly as much as you do! Safety is the deciding factor.
So, when you hear your flight will be or might be canceled because of weather-be thankful, in your disappointment, that your pilot is watching out for you while deciding “to Fly or Not to Fly.”