It is really hard to inform that we cancel the flight and to see the passengers are disappoint even they know balloon can fly depend on the weather condition. There is still somethings human can not control.
Here is the some ideas why we have to cancel the flight.
Why would a flight be cancelled?
The weather is our friend because it is what makes every flight unique but, unfortunately, we cannot control it (no matter how hard we try!). This means sometimes pilots will cancel flights because the weather conditions are not safe to fly in.Our pilots are all highly experienced and they decide whether it is flyable. We are not allowed to question a pilot’s judgment as this could be seen as pressuring them to fly which could compromise safety.
Our pilots put your safety first at all time. When cancelling a flight, either on the flight line beforehand or occasionally on site, the pilot will usually try to offer some explanation as to why. Our pilots make their decision to fly based on the most relevant and up to date forecast available. Sometimes the actual conditions may be different to what was forecasted. There are also different forecasts and they can be interpreted in different ways. So, like all weather people, we do occasionally make mistakes but unfortunately we can only go by what the forecaster says and some forecasters are better than others. We can tell you some of the general reasons why a pilot may cancel a flight:
The weather looked nice and sunny so why was it cancelled?
- The wind at ground or gradient level (2,000ft) or the gust speed might have been too strong and outside operational limits.
- Heavy Rain may have been forecasted in the area. We cannot fly in rain because it means there will be poor visibility and it also makes the balloon heavier to fly. Getting a balloon envelope wet can lead to some damage.
- Thunderstorms or CB (Cumuli Nimbus) clouds may have been forecasted. These are dangerous and we would not fly in their vicinity.
- The visibility early in the morning during our flight period could have been poorer than later in the day.
- There may have been a wind direction which would have taken the balloon towards something unsuitable, like a large town.
I saw another balloon flying in the area so why was my flight cancelled?
- Our pilot’s decision whether to fly is not related to what other balloonists decide. Our pilots consider all the weather factors and make their own decision, always putting your safety first.
- The other balloon could have had better shelter at take-off from the wind on that particular wind direction.
- It might be a private balloon and they can legally fly in much poorer visibility than balloons on public transport licenses like ours. Private balloons are also generally a lot smaller and therefore easier to inflate and land.
What happens if my flight is cancelled?
In the event of our cancellation of the flight due to bad weather conditions, a full refund will be made of any monies taken.
What if I want to cancel or change my flight?
We will accept cancellations in writing up to 48 hours before the flight date with no charge; however, last-minute cancellations or no-shows will be charged in full.