If you are an adventure-seeker always looking for the next thrilling experience, why not try skydiving from a hot air balloon? Not for the faint of heart, this jump is sure to get your blood pumping! Even if you are an experienced skydiver, there are a few things to keep in mind when you are planning to make a jump from a hot air balloon.
What Drop Zone?
Until like traditional skydiving from an airplane, jumping from a hot air balloon is a bit trickier as far as landing is concerned. When you jump from a plane, you will land in a designated drop zone. However, when you skydive from a hot air balloon, there’s really no telling where you will touch down. There is a high probability that you will land in an undesirable or “bad” spot. For this reason, it is recommended that skydivers hold a B license or above take this jump. New license holders are encouraged to get a bit more experience before attempting this jump. It is also recommended that you be very familiar and comfortable with piloting the canopy. This is not the time to test out high-performance wings or new gear.
Pick Your Pilot
Another thing to consider when skydiving from a hot air balloon is the pilot. Remember that a hot air balloon is an actual aircraft. Each one has a license plate, and every balloon pilot must have a valid license. When you are looking to skydive from one of these gas giants, you should do your research first. Look around for reputable hot air balloon companies with pilots who have experience dropping skydivers. You don’t want to go with someone who has never given this a shot before. This type of flight is very different from their typical day-to-day cruises through the skies. The balloon pilot needs to know how to calculate various factors including proper altitude, wind conditions, and landing variations.
Preparing for the Jump
Once you have chosen a hot air balloon company and pilot, the next step is to select the type of canopy you will use. Choose one that you are comfortable with and can maneuver in tight landing spaces.
Hot air balloons usually takeoff early in the mornings due to easier weather conditions. You should keep this in mind and arrive early to do a proper gear check without feeling rushed. Be sure that you have plenty of time to suit up.
Before taking off, take a moment to practice jumping from the basket while it is still on the ground. This will help make you more comfortable with your jump from the air. How will you jump? Which side will you jump from? These are important questions to answer before you take to the skies. Make sure that the pilot knows your exit plans beforehand as well. Space inside the hot air balloon basket is limited. So be sure that you check your gear before hopping on board.
Enjoy the Jump!
Once you lift off, everything will start to feel real. The excitement will start to build as you climb higher and higher. When you reach your pre-determined altitude to jump, the pilot will give you the “green light”. Do a quick safety check to ensure that none of your gear is caught on any of the balloon’s components and jump! Enjoy the ride down.