Skip to Content

UC Air Fair Hot Air Balloon Rides Dictated By Wind Conditions

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
UC Air Fair Hot Air Balloon Rides Dictated By Wind Conditions

Visitors to the Upper Cumberland Air Fair this weekend will have the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to try a hot air balloon ride.

Pilot Fred Poole is one of three pilots who can take riders up to 1,400 feet in the air above the Upper Cumberland in his 210,000 cubic feet balloon named “Joy.” Poole said the key to success this weekend will all depend on the amount of wind in the air. He said they generally do not take to the sky if the wind is stronger than 15 miles an hour for safety reasons.

“And at tether events, it’s even more dangerous because there’s a lot of crowd around it, and we have to secure it with like three different tether lines,” Poole said. “And a balloon can lift about 2,500 pounds, my balloon can.”

Poole said in those conditions, the balloon is strong enough to pull drag a truck across the field. He said balloon pilots are somewhat of meteorologists, due to their abilities to track wind speeds and wind patterns.

Poole said that safety comes first, and in large crowds such as the ones attending the Air Fair, they won’t take any chances. He said even if it becomes too dangerous for hot air balloon flights, there are plenty of other aircraft opportunities to see and do this weekend.

“People see the ropes and they see the balloon and they say that it doesn’t seem that windy” “But they don’t understand that the momentum and force can literally pick up a car and drag it into a tent of spectators. So we have to keep an eye on the wind, and keep an eye out for thunderstorms because those can create downdrafts and updrafts. But the weather looks beautiful for this weekend, so hopefully, we’ll be fine.”

Poole said if you are attending the Air Fair and plan on wanting a hot air balloon ride, keep an eye on those weather conditions.


The post UC Air Fair Hot Air Balloon Rides Dictated By Wind Conditions appeared first on News Talk 94.1/AM 1600.