Safety and Technical Details
If you are interested in safety and the credentials of the company with whom you choose to fly then you have come to the right place. Global Ballooning Australia is regarded as Australia’s most credentialed ballooning company.
With a fleet of over 25 balloons and 9 commercial pilots, Global Ballooning Australia is one of Australia’s largest ballooning operations. Our attention to detail is reflected in our everyday approach to the business of ballooning and I am sure if you wish to conduct further research throughout Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA), or the ballooning industry you will find the name Global Ballooning Australia is held in the highest regard. Please take the time to review and enjoy our website – what you will see is evidence of a long detailed and safe history in ballooning around Australia and the world.
Global Ballooning Australia Pty Ltd is a registered ‘Charter Airline and flying training facility’ authorised by the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA), operating under Air Operator Certificate number 1-UNSBH-02. All of our pilots hold commercial pilot licences (CPL –B) issued by the authority (CASA) and are governed by the same regulations pertaining to any small passenger airline.
Global Ballooning Australia operates one of Australia's few CASA certified commercial balloon flying training facilities. Nearly all balloon pilots flying over Melbourne have come through our flying school or training facilities, as have many pilots flying balloons around Australia. We also have our own CASA approved maintenance workshop allowing us the facility to conduct regular checks on all our aircraft. The good news for you is we are constantly under CASA review through their periodic audit program which maintains the highest standards of procedures.
Our impeccable safety record is due to our commitment to operate Australia's best maintained fleet of balloons. Our Maintenance Manager, Barry Ward has attended maintenance courses at the two leading balloon manufacturers Cameron Balloons in Bristol, England and Kavanagh Balloons in Sydney.
Our Director, Kiff Saunders is a delegate of CASA and is responsible for the issuing of commercial balloon pilot licenses in Australia. He is highly regarded within the industry and holds the highest possible qualifications in ballooning. He has also been inducted into the Australian Ballooning Federation Hall of Fame.
Global Ballooning Australia maintains close links with international and national ballooning affiliated governing bodies. We are constantly discussing and updating our practices to reflect the best outcome for safe operations.
This all means that our passengers can rest assured they are enjoying their ballooning experience with one of the safest and most professional companies in the country.
Testimony to our incredible safety record is that after 25+ years of ballooning in Australia and over 110,000 passengers having enjoyed our balloon flights we have never made a claim on our insurance (OK there may have been a few bumpy landings over this time but no injury of significance). Now that is pretty impressive for an adventure based company.
In Australia, hot air balloons generally fly when the air is cool and the wind is light - early in the morning. As hot air balloons only move with the wind, our flights are scheduled to operate in the calmest period around sunrise. The reason being is that a balloon is really just a giant bag of material held upright by the inflation of hot air. Standing between 20 and 30 metres high, a balloon can become extremely unruly if the wind is blowing over about 15km/hr. In such conditions the fabric envelope can act like a giant spinnaker or sail in catching the breeze, causing ground management difficulties.
Promotional balloons flights may be conducted outside of the above optimal conditions, but do require skilful piloting. These "promo" balloons often sustain significantly greater wear and tear of equipment. This is due to increased UV exposure from higher flying hours plus more fast, drag landings over a period of time.
Hot air balloons come in different sizes - from small promotional balloons that carry one or two people to the large passenger balloons that can carry up to 24 passengers. The difference is based on the volume of the balloon envelope. The envelope is made from silicon coated rip stop nylon similar to parachute or spinnaker fabric.
The lift-generating heat is caused by burning LPG throught the hand-made, stainless steel, balloon burners. On average - a one hour flight in a passenger balloon might burn between 150- 180 litres of LPG.
Hot air balloons can be used for free flight or tethered operations.
Free Flight is when a balloon takes off and flies from point A to point B on the wind. This is the major skill in ballooning. Pilots must be able to read the prevalent wind conditions in order to choose a suitable launch site, judge the flight path and most importantly, elect an area in which to execute a safe landing. Good balloon pilots must possess an intrinsic understanding of meteorology.
Tethered ballooning is when the balloon is tied to attachment points on the ground and goes up and down like a YoYo. Tethers are used at events where static display is required and the balloon doesn't need to fly off.