Where Do We Fly?

Balloons Aloft is based at and launches from Sky Manor Airport in Pittstown, Hunterdon County, NJ.

Where is Hunterdon County you ask? You’ll find Hunterdon County in west-central NJ, just minutes from the Delaware River that forms the border between Pennsylvania and New Jersey. We’re between Philadelphia and New York City-a little over an hour from each. Very convenient for a sunrise or sunset flight!

Where is Hunterdon County you ask? You’ll find Hunterdon County in west-central NJ, just minutes from the Delaware River that forms the border between Pennsylvania and New Jersey. We’re between Philadelphia and New York City-a little over an hour from each. Very convenient for a sunrise or sunset flight!

The direction the balloon takes has everything to do with the direction of the wind. For instance, if the wind is coming from the East, the balloon will head toward the west; in our case, that is toward the Delaware River. Since that wind direction occurs more often on our morning flights-you guessed it: the chances of going over the river are better in the morning. So think of this before you request the pilot to “steer us over my house please”! Of course, as I write this a thought comes to mind. Several years ago I had a long conversation with a prospective passenger as she was reserving a flight. During our conversation, the woman requested that the pilot plan to land on her lawn because the kids would love to see it. I chuckled and explained the aero dynamics of balloon movement and wind direction-that we have no control, etc. As luck would have it, we did head in the general direction of her neighborhood. It was a bit of a “squirrelly” flight, pilot-speak for variable, changeable wind. Toward the end of the flight as the pilot was looking for and planning a landing site, the passenger’s street came into view. Well, that was uncanny! But of course, just as quickly, the balloon veered away from the street. As the balloon descended, it took a different course, dashing hopes of landing near her house. Some descents take longer than others. This was a meandering, ‘walk-in-the-park’ kind of descent. As the pilot was committing to land on a lawn (in the passenger’s neighborhood!), the wind took a 90 degree turn, and as though it was being pulled…landed on the passenger’s front lawn! To this day I’m sure our wonderful passenger is convinced her prayers guided that balloon. Maybe they did.

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