Preparing The Balloon For Flight

The crew opened the trailer and pulled out the basket we would ride in. The basket could hold 10 passengers. With just Dennis and I as passengers, we wouldn't be crowded.
The van and trailer with the balloon was ready to go.

Two other people were scheduled for this flight, but they didn't show up and this meant that Dennis and I were going to have 'a private flight'.

We climbed into the van, and were transported to the site the pilot had choose to launch from.

Setting up the balloon took about 1/2 hour.

The burner was mounted on the basket.
The balloon was unfurled and then they tipped the basked on its side to allow connecting the basket to the balloon.
Here is what was inside the basket. Propane tanks to supply the fuel. And compartments for the passengers.
The balloon was spread out on the ground in preparation for filling.

The activity was stiring lots of bugs and I was attempting to sheild myself from the many bugs. I recommend you take bug repellent with you to keep the little beasts at bay.

To start the inflation of the balloon, a pair of fans were set up and then Dennis and I found ourselves holding the mouth of the balloon open while the fans started filling the large space.
It didn't take long before the balloon started to take shape.

The pilot went inside the balloon and checked ropes and other conditions about the balloon. You can see that the balloon is large compared to the size of a man.

Dennis then stepped inside the balloon and took a picture of the view towards the basket.
The pilot check the burners to make sure everything was set up correctly.
The pilot had Dennis and I get into the basket while it was still on its side. This made it easy to get ready and we were told our weight would help to tip the basket to its flight ready position.

The pilot then started to heat the air in the balloon. It didn't take long before the balloon was up off the ground and the balloon had tipped the basket into the ready for flight position.

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