A friend and I are considering a hot air balloon safari business. We have secured clearance as the only operator in a unique location.
Thing is i know NOTHING about balloons.
Looking for some guidance:
1. WTB used good condition balloons.
2. Any other information will be highly appreciated!
I spent 10 years crewing commercial hot air balloons, mostly 330's, 360's with a 12 passenger basket and a 425 with a 20 passenger basket.
I have some contacts, and I have a retired commercial Balloon pilot friend in Malawi who should be able to consult to you. Another of my contacts has the biggest commercial operation in Sri Lanka
To operate a large 16 passenger or more balloon you will need:
2 x fans
6 x propane tanks
trailer(for balloon rig)
tow vehicle (all terrain) front and rear winches are a bonus.
mini bus (all terrain will help)
I have operated Lindstrand and Cameron Balloons mainly, But the 425 I remember was an UltraMagic, and had a lighter material.
How about insurance?? Make sure you get a quote first before buying it.
I had two guys that bought a Maule (high performance airplane) on floats (amphibs, which is funnier). Neither of them had a float rating or any float time. They bought the plane then shopped insurance. They were told to go find an instructor, with Maule time, and float time, and get 30 hours each of dual instruction (after getting their float rating) and then they would give them a policy in their names. They had to get a policy with my name as the covered party and were not allowed to fly it alone.
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