Don's Early Light hot air ballooning Lancaster/Palmdale, CA


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Your Balloon Flight
What it is like to fly in a Hot Air Balloon
         Suspended above the earth, there is no feeling of motion or height, just the magic of flight.  You do not feel the wind since the balloon is traveling at the same speed as the wind.  A flag hung from the basket would hang straight down.
         Above your head, spread in a colorful array against the rising sun, the interior of the balloon resembles nothing so much as the inside of some glorious cathedral lighted through stained glass windows.
         Airborne you sail serenely with the wind, adjusting your altitude with short blasts from the propane burners followed by periods of beautiful and complete silence.  Slightly longer periods of burn allow the balloon to achieve greater altitude while longer periods without a burn result in gentle decent.
         Balloons have no means of steering and are at the mercy of the winds.  The skillful pilot may try higher or lower elevations in an effort to capture wind currents of different speed or direction.  In a balloon, unlike other areas of flight, you are completely at natures fancy.  Yet ballooning is one of the safest forms of air sport due to the simplicity of operation and slow flying speeds.  It is also one of the most beautiful and fascinating.

Now your Hot Air Balloon adventure begins...
         We meet in the morning when the air is most calm.  The colorful balloon fabric is stretched on the ground and we begin to fill it with cold air from a portable fan.  When the balloon is about 3/4 full, the air is heated by blasts of flame from propane burners.  The heat will cause the balloon to rise and we are now ready for our flight.  Once airborne the “chase crew” leaves the field, always in radio contact with the balloon. 
         Upon landing champagne is served in the tradition of centurys of ballooning.  You will also receive a Flight Certificate in memory of your flight . The entire adventure will take approximately three hours.  Dress in layers (Winter Months) as it is sometimes cold and as the time goes on it warms up.  Please wear long pants and enclosed shoes.

Some Information About Hot Air Balloons
        The average size envelope contains 77,500 cubic feet of air standing 65 to 75 feet tall.  The fabric is made of rip stop nylon similar to the fabric in a parachute.  The average cost is upwards of $35,000, custom designed models go as high as $100,000 or more.
        Hot Air Balloons and  licenses are regulated by the FAA and the requirements are similar to a fixed wing aircraft.  The balloon is inspected annually by an FAA designated repair station and carries an “N” number.

Some Facts About The Pilot
        Don Kissack has been an Antelope Valley resident since 1976 and started flying fixed wing
aircraft in 1970.  He became involved with balloons in 1985.  After his first flight he said, “hey, I can
do this!” and he did. Don has experience in balloon competitions and has won many events in the
Western US.  He also has experience with the film industry having done television commercials and
tethered flights.   Don is an FAA certified fixed wing pilot, commercial  hot air balloon pilot, flight
instructor and Ordained to perform Weddings in  the balloon.  In 1989 Don and his wife Kamma
had the opportunity to fly their balloon in France for the bicentennial celebration of the 1789
French Revolution.

        The crew of a hot air balloon is essential for safe operation.  The crew is in constant contact
with the pilot by radio. Don is fortunate to have accomplished and reliable crew who have combined
65 years of experience with chase and recovery.  All crew members have in flight qualifications and
have logged many hours of pilot training.

Our Balloons
        Don’s Early Light owns a Balloon Works, Fire Fly 8 which means it is a 105,000 cubic foot
envelope and will carry 4 passengers plus the Pilot.  Our newest addition is a beautiful red, white & blue
larger balloon, 140,000 cubic foot and will carry up to 6 passengers.  We call her Independence.  We  offer
training, advertising, gift certificates, in flight weddings, any special occasion or just for the fun of it.

All flights include:
         Spectacular view of the Antelope Valley from a platform  floating 1,000 to 3,000  feet in the sky.
Champagne or Soft drinks, Snacks, Flight Certificate and a collectible lapel pin of the balloon flown.

         Don's Early Light has a perfect safety record with over 1,200 hours of balloon flight in the last 20 years and will only fly when the weather is ideal.   Safety is our number one priority.
Flights will sometimes be rescheduled due to weather conditions (rain, wind, snow, extreme heat) for the safety of our passengers.