Helpful Planning Information For Your Event


There are some things that just come up over and over again as promotions get planned. If you’ve never used the Balloon Team before, this page will be helpful… 

          The Gr-r-reat Tony Balloons are all licensed aircraft. That’s right, licensed. Just like any airplane, sailplane, corporate jet or helicopter, the Gr-r-reat Tony Balloon is licensed and registered by the Federal Aviation Administration. We are bound by all the same rules of the FAA in the conduct of our flight operations. 

          No, we can’t steer the balloons. You can’t steer a hot air balloon, when it takes off we never know exactly where we will land. That’s part of the challenge and adventure in flying a lighter than air craft. 

          A balloon flight usually lasts around an hour. When we refer to a flight, we are speaking about an operation that lifts off the ground at point “A”, then rides the wind to a different location or point “B”. This type of operation is often called a “Free Flight”. 

          A tethered balloon operation can last up to two hours, depending on several factors, including, wind speed, outside temperature and the number and weight of the passengers carried on board. When we refer to a tethered operation, we are speaking about an inflated balloon, tied to the ground, that goes up and down in a specific, fixed location.  

          For some strange reason kite flying groups and clubs work over time to get hot air balloons to participate in their events. I can't figure it.

For kite flying, wind is good. In fact YOU have to have it.  For ballooning, wind is bad, not just a little either, its very bad. For the Kite thing to be successful they MUST have wind. When you book us in to an event like that there is NO way we'll end up meeting our obligations to you. To further ad insult to injury these events usually take place in the early spring, the windiest time of the year in the middle of the day. We're just not going to take your money. We'd really appreciate it if you would please, just say no. 

          Can anyone fly in the balloon? Yes, during flight operations we often carry passengers aloft with us. We strongly suggest that you utilize passenger operations when attending community festivals or balloon rally’s. Our balloons can comfortably carry a pilot and two (2) passengers on each flight. 

          How is the balloon charged for?  The services of the Balloon Team are billed at a fixed, all inclusive “per day” rate. There is a three (3) day minimum for operations within 1,000 one way miles and a four (4) day minimum when traveling farther than 1,000 miles to the promotional location. Please call 208-375-0512 for a quote.  

          What planning needs to be done for a tethered operation?  Always get the permission of the land owner (we’re happy to help with that). Make sure that you have enough room for the balloon, remember … the balloon is seven (7) stories tall and requires a minimum area of 150’ X 150’ in order to operate. 

Honestly, you wouldn’t think we’d need to mention that the 150’ squared area should be an empty, cleared area… but we do.  You can’t have trees or power lines in the middle of the area either.  Most times we can live with trees around the area but a well placed power line, on the down wind side (in the direction the wind is blowing) would be very unsafe for us to operate near.

          I usually see balloons flying in the morning.  It’s a geographic thing actually. In most places, balloons do fly in the morning rather than the afternoon. Its all about the stability of the atmosphere. We look for calm winds (below 6 mph) for our flights. Those conditions usually exist shortly after sunrise, and in some cases, just before sunset. It just kind of depends on where you live.

          Who helps put up and take down the balloon?  Why, the ground crew of course. At balloon rallys and festivals, volunteers are usually provided. We’ll always ask if you have folks that want to come out and play. Its often hard work, but it is a very popular family activity to be on a Balloon Crew, you’ll have people that will want to come out and play (help). It amazes even us sometimes, but we’ll get calls and e-mail from people asking where we’ll be with balloons so they can come and help. We couldn’t do it without them.

          Are the Kellogg Hot Air Balloons Insured?  Certainly they are. You can contact Ms. Maggie Mosher in Battle Creek for additional information at 616-961-2766.

           How about a ballooning “fun fact”?  Did you know that most balloons are made out of rip stop nylon.  An average balloon contains about 1,500 yards of fabric and 5 miles of thread and every stitch is sewn by human hands.  Once a balloon gets dirty, its dirty forever, no one has come up with a safe way to clean the fabric without damaging it in the process… that’s why we like grass so much.  A good seamstress can sew a “Tony” balloon together in about two working days.  Imagine that!

Now you’ve got the basics too…

This website and all original contents are Copyright 2007 by Scott L Spencer
and may not be used or reproduced without the permission of
Scott L Spencer and, or The Kellogg Company.
Tony The Tiger is a Registered Trade Mark of the Kellogg Company.