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Sun Apr 24, 2022, 10:17 AM

Rant over balloons

These hot air balloonists think they're cute. All they do is invade your privacy. They are dangerous with open air flames that fly low over your roof and crash into power lines.

Something is wrong with them today. They are flying incredibly low all around my place. Two of them flew over my roof so low that I could hear the whoosh of their burners. I watched another one, I kid you not, fly around the far side of someone's home, so low I cringed thinking it was going to hit the house. Then, it swept through the trees on the other side. I don't know how they made it through all that.

There is only one way these things fly. Open burners. In a state where open air campfires are forbidden, where chimneys have been shut down by law, where the chance of wildfires and forest fires are a high priority to avoid during the summer months, these things fly nap of the earth because, you know, they're balloonists, and they have their rights...they launch from private properties without the owners permission, and they scare the crap out of the livestock.

I had a third one flying so low in the front I could hear it's burners. Now I am watching one flying so low it looks like it is landing in my back field. I hate these things. If they hit your roof, they could set your house on fire. They are not cute. They are not festive. They are dangerous.

We aren't talking one or two. We are talking about multiple balloons worthy of an airport. What is wrong with them today? Every one of them took off practically dragging on the ground. Very dangerous.

rant/.

42 replies, 1621 views

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Arrow 42 replies Author Time Post
Reply Rant over balloons (Original post)
EndlessWire Apr 2022 OP
CurtEastPoint Apr 2022 #1
Ocelot II Apr 2022 #2
dixiechiken1 Apr 2022 #5
Ocelot II Apr 2022 #8
dixiechiken1 Apr 2022 #10
Ocelot II Apr 2022 #12
dixiechiken1 Apr 2022 #14
XanaDUer2 Apr 2022 #13
EndlessWire Apr 2022 #24
XanaDUer2 Apr 2022 #33
GoCubsGo Apr 2022 #30
XanaDUer2 Apr 2022 #40
GoCubsGo Apr 2022 #41
Laffy Kat Apr 2022 #3
tapper Apr 2022 #20
ProfessorGAC Apr 2022 #35
brooklynite Apr 2022 #4
CANADIANBEAVER69 Apr 2022 #23
EndlessWire Apr 2022 #31
MineralMan Apr 2022 #6
Ocelot II Apr 2022 #17
MineralMan Apr 2022 #18
EndlessWire Apr 2022 #25
XanaDUer2 Apr 2022 #27
EndlessWire Apr 2022 #34
XanaDUer2 Apr 2022 #37
MineralMan Apr 2022 #32
marybourg Apr 2022 #7
XanaDUer2 Apr 2022 #9
Ocelot II Apr 2022 #11
EndlessWire Apr 2022 #28
Ocelot II Apr 2022 #29
EndlessWire Apr 2022 #36
Ocelot II Apr 2022 #42
Achilleaze Apr 2022 #15
Celerity Apr 2022 #16
Iggo Apr 2022 #19
Liberal In Texas Apr 2022 #21
ProfessorGAC Apr 2022 #39
2naSalit Apr 2022 #22
CentralMass Apr 2022 #26
Emile Apr 2022 #38

Response to EndlessWire (Original post)

Sun Apr 24, 2022, 10:21 AM

1. where is this?

another example of IT'S ALL ABOUT MEEEEEEEEEE AND WHAT I WANT AND F EVERYONE ELSE!

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Response to EndlessWire (Original post)

Sun Apr 24, 2022, 10:29 AM

2. Oh, FFS.

Of all the problems this world has right now, hot air balloons are pretty close to the bottom of the list.

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Response to Ocelot II (Reply #2)

Sun Apr 24, 2022, 10:53 AM

5. Not high on my list either...

But I'm sure I'd feel differently if it were my house in danger of being crashed into and/or set on fire. It's all in the perspective, no?

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Response to dixiechiken1 (Reply #5)

Sun Apr 24, 2022, 11:22 AM

8. Balloons, like all other aircraft, are under strict FAA regulation, and

you have to have a particular kind of pilots' license to fly one. Serious accidents with hot air balloons are extremely rare (about 20 a year), fatalities even rarer. The balloon's fabric doesn't catch fire, it melts (not like the Hindenburg, which was made of highly flammable fabric), so if the balloon does crash it's not likely to start a fire on the ground, and in any event in an emergency landing the pilot shuts off the fuel valve. Worrying about hot air balloons crashing on you is about like worrying about being trampled by a unicorn.

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Response to Ocelot II (Reply #8)

Sun Apr 24, 2022, 11:41 AM

10. Rare, yes. But not impossible.

But that fact would be small comfort if one of those rare 20 instances involved my home or property or, god forbid, my family. Fortunately, I don't have any hot air balloons flying close to my home that this is a concern for me, ever. Sounds like that isn't the case right now for the OP. All I'm saying is a little empathy costs nothing.

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Response to dixiechiken1 (Reply #10)

Sun Apr 24, 2022, 11:45 AM

12. Do you worry about airplanes crashing on your house?

I live near a major airport, and planes fly over my house all the time. It can be noisy, but I never worry about them crashing on me. Should I?

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Response to Ocelot II (Reply #12)

Sun Apr 24, 2022, 11:50 AM

14. It's not my place to tell you what - or what not - to worry about.

And I certainly don't feel it's my place to dismiss out of hand whatever it is that worries you.

Have a great (and hopefully, worry-free) day!

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Response to dixiechiken1 (Reply #10)

Sun Apr 24, 2022, 11:45 AM

13. This nt

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Response to Ocelot II (Reply #8)

Sun Apr 24, 2022, 01:47 PM

24. Hmm. I had one crash in my front yard, just beyond my gate.

I doubt the "pilot" anticipated crashing into tall trees with power lines to become entangled in and dumping all his passengers to the ground. Cops warned me not to touch my chainlink fence for fear of getting electrocuted.

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Response to EndlessWire (Reply #24)

Sun Apr 24, 2022, 02:02 PM

33. There you go

You've had a scary, negative experience once.

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Response to Ocelot II (Reply #2)

Sun Apr 24, 2022, 02:02 PM

30. Well, balloons ARE a problem, but not that kind of balloons.

The small party balloons ARE a menace--when they're filled with helium, and set loose into the environment. Not only are they litter, but they can be deadly to wildlife and domestic animals that confuse them for food, or get tangled up in their ribbons/strings. The Mylar ones are the worst, since they take forever to decompose. I used to do fieldwork in remote areas, and was packing those fucking things out of my field sites every damn day.

My plea to everyone who reads this: If you want to honor someone, skip the damn "balloon launches, " and find a safer, more environmentally-friendly way to do it.

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Response to GoCubsGo (Reply #30)

Sun Apr 24, 2022, 02:12 PM

40. I know

I hate seeing balloons released. They're horrible for animals and the environment

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Response to XanaDUer2 (Reply #40)

Sun Apr 24, 2022, 02:17 PM

41. When I saw the OP's subject line, that's what I thought this was going to be about.

Not the hot air kind. Which, I can see being a problem if you live around Albuquerque or a few other places. But, I suspect the damage by them pales in comparison to the smaller kind.

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Response to EndlessWire (Original post)

Sun Apr 24, 2022, 10:41 AM

3. Even though I am (was) a glider pilot, balloons scare me.

I feel the same way about helicopters. I guess I need to see those fixed wings.

Anywho, in their defense, they sometimes don't have a lot of control over how low they fly. It all depends on the weather. According to the FARs all aircraft must give balloons the right-of-way, which isn't hard since they rarely interfere with other traffic. They are by far the most vulnerable.

Even though I'd never take a ride, I do think they're lovely and interesting. I also enjoy hearing the whoosh the burner makes as it feeds the envelope. There's no mistaking that sound. We had several set down in the open space behind our house way back when.

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Response to Laffy Kat (Reply #3)

Sun Apr 24, 2022, 12:38 PM

20. I was wondering...

… if weather wouldn’t play a part in how easily the balloons rise? The air pressure, best guess?

And I would assume there are weather restrictions that all balloonists are expected to follow.

As a for instance, one would have been insane to launch a balloon in my area yesterday, given the high winds and gusts. (Had most of the dogs in the community unnerved,if not freaked out.)

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Response to tapper (Reply #20)

Sun Apr 24, 2022, 02:05 PM

35. Very Minor Effect

I did a couple gigs with a blues band (sitting in on piano) that were part of a hot air balloon festival.
Hanging out with the crews & being invited to ride on several I found a whole lot out about these things.
Cooler weather requires a hotter flame (more fuel) because of higher air density. Same with high humidity.
But, taking off is essentially unaffected by that.
Wind, as I'm sure you expected, is a whole different matter. Most pilots won't go up in gusty conditions. Too unpredictable.

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Response to EndlessWire (Original post)

Sun Apr 24, 2022, 10:49 AM

4. "GET OFF THE AIR ABOVE MY LAWN!!!"

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Response to brooklynite (Reply #4)

Sun Apr 24, 2022, 01:31 PM

23. I needed that chuckle....hahaha n/t

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Response to brooklynite (Reply #4)

Sun Apr 24, 2022, 02:02 PM

31. Thanks for belittling me. n/t

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Response to EndlessWire (Original post)

Sun Apr 24, 2022, 11:10 AM

6. So, How Often Does This Happen?

Do you live near a place where hot air balloons frequently fly? Or is this some big balloon festival or something?

I know I've never had a hot air balloon anywhere near my house. Miles away.

Tell us more.

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #6)

Sun Apr 24, 2022, 11:54 AM

17. It happens almost not at all.

Now if you'll excuse me I'm going to sit on my porch and worry about being eaten by a leopard, a thing that actually happens more often than balloons crashing on people's houses.

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Response to Ocelot II (Reply #17)

Sun Apr 24, 2022, 11:57 AM

18. That's what I was thinking, too.

There's some place in Wisconsin, Hudson, I think, where they have a big gathering of hot air balloons from time to time. It's not really in a place where there are lots of homes around. Rural. I don't remember hearing about any balloon crashing into someone's house, although I suppose they end up in some farmer's field from time to time.

That's why I asked the OP if he/she lived where there were balloon festivals nearby. I can't imagine any other situation where such a thing might happen.

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #6)

Sun Apr 24, 2022, 01:52 PM

25. It was just a rant.

I did warn everybody. It happens every weekend, and sometimes in the early part of the week.

I'm sorry I upset everyone. It scares the bezeebus out of me when I hear the burners over my head. I thought I could rant a bit without getting chewed out. My mistake, sorry everyone. Of course, the war in Ukraine is more important, and also the politics of the country.

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Response to EndlessWire (Reply #25)

Sun Apr 24, 2022, 01:55 PM

27. Don't apologize

It's happening to you now. Great it doesn't happen to others. You have the right to be annoyed. It's a diverse message board. I hope no one flies over your home very low again.

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Response to XanaDUer2 (Reply #27)

Sun Apr 24, 2022, 02:03 PM

34. TY. n/t

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Response to EndlessWire (Reply #34)

Sun Apr 24, 2022, 02:06 PM

37. You're welcome

You said it was a rant. I rant all the time here. Sometimes people just need some sympathy. If you can hear the flames, that's too fucking close. My rants are in a forum.

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Response to EndlessWire (Reply #25)

Sun Apr 24, 2022, 02:02 PM

32. OK. Maybe you should have said that it happens often

in your original post. Apparently you live near a place where hot air balloons fly. I can understand your annoyance about that, but have no solution for you. I'm sure whoever is operating them has some local jurisdiction that allows it. If not, then maybe you can find somewhere to complain to some authority.

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Response to EndlessWire (Original post)

Sun Apr 24, 2022, 11:13 AM

7. It isn't even the balloons that are the

biggest menace, it's the damn chase trucks! That said, a balloon basket swumg right through my neighbor's patio door.

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Response to EndlessWire (Original post)

Sun Apr 24, 2022, 11:26 AM

9. I'd be pissed, too

Like they don't even care about destroying someone's property

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Response to XanaDUer2 (Reply #9)

Sun Apr 24, 2022, 11:42 AM

11. See post #8. Balloons rarely crash,

and the instances where they cause property damage on the ground are close to zero. They have to maintain an altitude of at least 1,000 feet above the ground near people or buildings.

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Response to Ocelot II (Reply #11)

Sun Apr 24, 2022, 01:56 PM

28. Why do you think, then, that

they choose to fly so close to my roof? My house isn't 1,000 feet high. I am not exaggerating when I say that I saw them almost not clearing the ground today.

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Response to EndlessWire (Reply #28)

Sun Apr 24, 2022, 01:57 PM

29. If you think they were too low, contact the FAA.

Balloons do have altimeters so they'd know how high they were. And it might have been in the process of taking off or landing.

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Response to Ocelot II (Reply #29)

Sun Apr 24, 2022, 02:05 PM

36. Taking off or landing? Really? n/t

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Response to EndlessWire (Reply #36)

Sun Apr 24, 2022, 02:29 PM

42. How to complain to the FAA:

https://www.faa.gov/about/office_org/headquarters_offices/aae/programs_services/faa_hotlines

Or you can look up the Flight Standards District Office for your area and contact them directly.

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Response to EndlessWire (Original post)

Sun Apr 24, 2022, 11:51 AM

15. But, but, but...

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Response to EndlessWire (Original post)

Sun Apr 24, 2022, 11:52 AM

16. NENA - 99 Luftballons



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Response to Celerity (Reply #16)

Sun Apr 24, 2022, 12:01 PM

19. I will never stop having it bad for 80s Nena.

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Response to Iggo (Reply #19)

Sun Apr 24, 2022, 01:03 PM

21. She's still pretty hot. And 99 Luft Balloons is one of my favorite songs.


https://www.nena.de/de

However, I was very disappointed to find out about her stance on Covid vaccinations and social distancing at her concerts.

From Wikipedia:
Nena's initial live appearances in 2020 were cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic but were replaced from July that year with the "Niemand hält uns auf" (nobody stops us) series of 12 drive-in, "picnic" and "360" concerts held in accordance with Germany's prevailing social distancing rules.[46][47] In February 2021 in the debate in Germany about how COVID-19 restrictions should be lifted, Nena sparked controversy by announcing, "there will be no two-class society at my concerts. You're all always welcome. Whether you get vaccinated or not is entirely your decision and should be respected by everyone."[48] Nevertheless, the majority of Nena's concerts originally planned for 2021 were postponed to 2022, although she remained scheduled to appear at a number of festivals.[49] However, in July 2021, organisers cancelled her appearances in some festivals after Nena encouraged fans to disregard social-distancing rules during a concert in Berlin. In September 2021 Nena cancelled all her remaining 2022 concerts in Germany declaring, "all people are welcome at a Nena concert. Our country is going in a totally different direction and I am not going to be a part of it."[52]

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Response to Liberal In Texas (Reply #21)

Sun Apr 24, 2022, 02:10 PM

39. Speaking Of That Song...

...have you ever heard or read why the English version became "Red" balloons?
I also dig the song, in both languages, even though I can't speak German. But, I know luft is air, not red.

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Response to EndlessWire (Original post)

Sun Apr 24, 2022, 01:11 PM

22. Sounds like a race or rally...

Where certain aerobatic fetes are performed in a contest of skills.

I used to live near a balloon port and I thought it was cool,like having dragons taking a cruise over the land. And they are pretty to see.

They use fire in a very controlled sense and only by crashing with the burners flaring would they be likely to start a fire. Not saying it can't happen but I have never heard of such a thing and the equipment probably has safety features preventing such things.

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Response to EndlessWire (Original post)

Sun Apr 24, 2022, 01:54 PM

26. If they were that low in a residential area and "skimming trees"

It was likely they were looking for a landing spot and preparing for it. One summer years ago my now ex and I helped the same ballonist land on two different occasions in Westborough, Ma when we encountered him by chance. The first was in the evening on our ride home from work.
We spotted him as we drove along a number of back roads we were on and eventually caught up to him near a pond. He was descending and it looked to us like he was go to come down in the pond so we raced ahead and stopped at the pond. It turned out to be intentional. The pilot, who had and apprentice in the gondola was showing off a "pond skimming" where they get low enough over water to dunk the gondola into the water fir a bit. If they screw up and the basket takes on too much water they can get into trouble. We were close enough for a discussion and we asked him if he was in trouble and he explained it was on purpose. He then asked if we could follow him and help him land as his chase crew hadn't caught up yet. So we followed them. He gave it some gas and ascended. Were were headed north about to cross over a busy Rte 9. We found out later that he intentionally skimmed some trees with the gondola to slow them because he spotted his landing spot. It was an elementary or middle school up ahead. We raced a head and pulled into the school and he touched down in the schools field. The wind was dragging the ballon across the field towards a treeline with the two of them in the gondola. He asked me to try and get ahead of them and pull the rope hanging rom the top of the Ballon down to get it out of the wind. I was was in my late twenties and an extremely fit runner and sprinted ajead,, got the rope, and used my weight to pull it down. It even dragged ne along until the Ballon came to a stop. Although the pilot seems skilled doing the water skimming so close to having to do a landing in a residential area (he was almost out of propane) seemed like it was cutting it close. My ex and I helped him prep the ballon for the chase crew and we had it ready for the trailer by the time they arrived. For our efforts the pilot gave his business card. No offer of a ride or a discount for getting my @$$ dragged across a playing field to keep him from hitting the trees.

We ran into him again on an early Saturday morning on a trip to a family event. It may have been that weekend or the next (it was a long time ago) . He landed in front of one of the now defunct Digital Equipment Corporation buildings on Rte 9. We spotted him and arrived before he did.. it seemed like too windy of a morning for it
It was a large facility with a lot of frontage and he was being dragged parallel to the building across the lawn. We were parked down wind and I got out and did another pull down of the top rope but just blew him off after the landing and we got in our car and headed to the family event.

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Response to EndlessWire (Original post)

Sun Apr 24, 2022, 02:08 PM

38. How many fires were started by a balloon? My suggestion, stand outside, wave your fist and cuss

them!

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