Willamette Valley Balloons puts our passenger’s safety first. You have our word that we will never compromise your safety. Providing a safe ballooning experience for our customers is the foundation for how we run our business. Our safety culture is composed of 5 points:
Highly Experienced Pilot
The pilot we contract with is one of the most experienced you will find in the industry. He is an Airline Transport Pilot (the highest pilot certificate available from the FAA) with more than 20 years experience and over 5,700 hours of flight time. He has flown airplanes commercially and is currently an airplane and helicopter test pilot for his “real” job. He is also an instructor pilot for airplanes, helicopters, and hot air balloons. He holds a Designated Pilot Examiner delegation from the FAA which allows him to give the practical test required for pilots to obtain their Private and Commercial pilot certificates. Piloting is his full time profession.
At least one crew member on each commercial balloon flight is recognized as a Balloon Federation of America Crew Chief. These individuals possess the knowledge, skills, and experience to handle the variety of conditions the balloon may encounter during its flight.
The UltraMagic balloon we fly is one of the best in the industry. It was hand picked by our staff to provide the most safe and comfortable ride possible. Not only is the basket larger than many two-passenger balloons, but the balloon itself is also capable of carrying more weight, operating at lower flight temperatures, and has a system that helps to make landings in a bit of wind or tight locations easier and safer. Our balloon is inspected by an FAA certified inspector every year and 100 hours of operation.
We only fly in weather conditions that are safe for the balloon, with specific attention to the launch and potential landing locations. We start looking at weather forecasts seven days before a scheduled flight. We continue to evaluate the current conditions and FAA approved forecasts until the flight is completed. Updates regarding weather are provided to passengers in the days leading up to your flight so you’re always aware of whether you flight may get cancelled.
Compliance to Regulations and Industry Standards
We always follow the regulations governing balloon flights set forth by the FAA. In addition, we adhere to industry standards for airplane/helicopter scenic flights and also National Transportation Safety Board and Balloon Federation of America recommendations for balloon operators. Our pilot has an FAA Second Class medical certificate – the same medical certificate required for airplane and helicopter commercial pilots. In short, we do everything we can to ensure your flight is safe.