Equipment & Requirements
Reach for the Stars is an excellent tether balloon. Our modified basket will generally hold 4 ambulatory people OR 1 wheelchair passenger and 2-3 additional ambulatory people, depending on weight. Our tether height is approximately 75 feet.
Because of the custom basket with door the loading and unloading time can be much faster than with a traditional basket which requires climbing in and out. However, keep in mind that when offering tethered rides to people with mobility limitations, the loading/unloading time will go up considerably. This limits the number of people who can be serviced during a given time frame. A typical cycle time is 6 to 10 minutes per wheelchair passenger. This would mean in a typical two hour tether, you would probably be able to give rides to 12-20 wheelchair passengers (and 24-60 of their family and friends).
Because of the lower number of people serviced, a hosting event should not plan on making a profit with the wheelchair tether. Instead, this should be looked at as a terrific community service activity. Corporate or community sponsors are a good source of additional income. We are happy to acknowledge a sponsor’s donation by attaching a banner to the balloon’s envelope or basket.
Since wheelchair rides are limited in number, we have found that general advertising is an impractical way of reaching passengers. You don’t want to risk the disappointment of more wheelchair passengers showing up expecting rides than you are able to provide. We recommend that you solicit groups in your community that support the physically challenged and have them select (via a drawing) the number of people that you expect to service in your tether period. Always have a couple extra people chosen as back-ups in case someone doesn’t show up.
Tether Crew Requirements
We require a minimum of 6 ADULT crew people during the entire tethering operation. At least 1 of those people must have previous balloon crew experience. Because of the heavy and awkward weights and potential safety issues involved, these crew members MUST be adults. Please see the list below of duties required of the crew. Gloves are required for all crew members and will be provided by us.
Equipment unloading & Setup:
All 6 people are needed.
All 6 people are needed
1 person on the Crown Line
2 people located at the throat of the balloon
1 person on the fan
1 person as fire watch/crowd control
During Tether Ops:
1 person as door operator, loading and unloading people
4 people for line control and “weight on” the basket
1 person for crowd control, fuel tank handler and fire watch
All 6 people are needed
Walk-in Balloon crew requirements:
Need 4 adults
Balloon Education Booth crew requirements:
2 adults knowledgeable about balloons to answer customer questions.
Tether Site/Location Requirements
1) Wind must be calm. Since we will be loading / unloading people with physical limitations, that process requires a very stable platform and it can take a significantly longer amount of time. To minimize risk to all concerned, wind conditions must be calm. Typically, the calmest time for ballooning is early after sunrise and / or the last hour before sunset. Obviously, conditions can vary at different locations.
Please contact us concerning your proposed hours of operations.
2) The recommended tether site dimensions should be a square with 150 ft sides. There should be no overhead obstructions (trees, power lines, etc.) within another 100 ft of the sides of the box. Ideally, this location should be grass. Wheelchairs don’t work well in dirt or thick grass. A “Loading Zone”, such as a street or hard packed surface is great along one of the boxes sides. Preferably, the loading zone would not be located downwind of the balloon.
Please call with any questions or concerns regarding site selection.