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Is a hot air balloon ride a safe tourist activity?

by | Jan 13, 2020 | Injuries

There are many things that you may do on a vacation to Nevada. While the lights and excitement of Las Vegas are quite attractive, you may want to get away for the day and enjoy the other scenery that the state has to offer. The natural beauty of Nevada is best seen from above. This makes hot air balloon rides a popular option for tourists in the area. 

You may wonder, though, about the safety of these crafts. After all, the last thing you want is to suffer a serious injury, or worse, while on vacation. According to CNN, hot air balloons are generally quite safe. As the oldest form of air travel, they do not have accidents often and even when they do, they are rarely fatal. This is best seen by comparing hot air balloon accident deaths to airplane deaths from 2000 to 2016. In that time, hot air balloon accidents claimed 37 lives, but airplane accidents were responsible for 728 deaths. 

Pilots and threats 

The biggest risk with a hot air balloon is an inexperienced pilot. The balloon pilot has complete control over the craft. He or she must navigate the wind properly to keep the balloon on course and safely take off and land. There are not very many trained air balloon pilots, but there are also very few regulations for them. 

Uninsulated electric lines present the biggest threat to a balloon. They can cause a spark, which can ignite the balloon. 

Overall safe 

All said, hot air balloons remain quite safe. They have a simple design that does not have all the mechanical parts that could break down or malfunction. The simple controls mean that the pilot can easily spot issues before the balloon leaves the ground and can usually control issues that may go wrong in the air. 

If you want to take a hot air balloon ride on vacation in the state, then rest assured that it is a relatively safe option. Just make sure that your pilot has good training and experience.