Updated : May 27, 2020 in TRAVEL

Safety Equipment of Hot Air Balloon

To ensure the safety of the pilot and passengers, a Myanmar air balloon must carry several pieces and safety equipment.

Basket

In case the burner remains out of the flame and in the event that the ignition system does not work, the pilot must have, in the basket, immediate access to a device that serves as an ignition to rekindle the flame. Many systems, especially those that carry passengers, have several cylinders, all connected by their own pipe to two or more burners, to keep the balloon safe in the event that one of the burners is damaged.

A fire extinguisher is also carried in the basket in the event of a fire or flame. The extinguisher must be suitable for the type of material to be extinguished, to which the pilots always carry 1 or 2 kg of category A, B and E.

A handling line, or drop line, is another mandatory safety device in many countries. It consists of a rope, cable or strap, between 20 meters and 30 meters in length, which is connected to the basket with a quick release device. When atmospheric conditions and wind are calm or non-existent, the pilot can launch this cable so that the ground crew can guide the balloon to an appropriate place to land.

Also, in many countries, on commercial balloons, the pilot is obliged to wear a seat belt in order to ensure that he, often being the only crew member, remains on board.

Other safety equipment may include a first aid kit, a blanket resistant to high temperatures, a strong knife to cut ropes, among others, and many pieces of equipment vary from country to country, often ending up being the pilot to decide.

Crew

The person responsible for flying the airplane must wear at least heat and flame resistant gloves. These gloves can be made of resistant leather or even more sophisticated materials, such as nomex. In this way, the pilot will be able to close the gas valve in the event of a fuel leak or a flame. A quick intervention by the pilot can turn a possible disaster into a simple unforeseen event. In addition to proper gloves, the pilot must also wear clothing made of appropriate materials so that, in the event of coming into contact with a flame, it does not immediately come into contact with the skin. The misuse of several fibers, with the exception of those that are suitable for use in high temperature environments, can melt and maximize skin damage. Many pilots also advise their crew to wear similar clothing on their arms and legs, as well as appropriate footwear that reinforces the ankle. Finally, in some balloons, especially those that have the burner hanging from the envelope instead of being rigidly supported in the basket, they may require the use of protective helmets.

Solo team

The ground team that provides support for the hot air balloon should wear gloves in their hands whenever possible when handling the ropes. Due to the proportion and mass of the balloon, a medium-sized balloon is enough to cause burns, through the friction between the string and the hands, to anyone who tries to stop or slow the balloon by pulling the strings. The ground team must also wear pants and shoes appropriate for the type of terrain and conditions under which the balloon may land.