Hot Air Ballooning in Lugano, Switzerland
A balloon provides the perfect perch to see Switzerland’s southern metropolis in its best light. Eager balloonists rise to watch water-skiers ply the waters of lush Lake Ticino along the fringe of a city with a tangle of meandering cobblestone streets, finally touching down in the soft bower of a grassy field.
Lugano’s weather is legendarily mild, so visitors of all ages can expect reliable takeoffs and bluebird-blue skies year-round as they embark on their adventures.
What to Expect
If interested, able-bodied passengers work with the ground crew and the pilot to rig the hot-air balloon and prepare it for flight. The crew inflates the balloon envelope while passengers wait outside the basket. When the balloon is nearly ready to fly, passengers climb inside.
When boarding is complete, the pilot fires it up and the balloon slowly picks up from the ground to rise over Lugano. The landing is similarly mellow. Once the balloon has landed, a vehicle comes to collect the balloon and its passengers from the safe spot the pilot has chosen to land.
Types of Flights
Balloon Team SA offers several classes of hot-air balloon flight: simple, bare-bones observation flights without provided refreshments, observational flights with a customized breakfast included, observational flights with a champagne brunch and night flights.
The latter offers night owls a chance to to see Lugano aglimmer against the backdrop of the lake. Flight times vary with changing conditions, so call first to discuss any scheduling issues that must be addressed.
Highly prestigious and very expensive indeed, a balloon Alpine crossing with Balloon Team SA is a once-in-a-lifetime undertaking for most people. The mountain peaks tower up beneath the basket as the balloon crosses the central Alpine massif from north to Lugano at the south.
The trip takes about two days to complete. The adventure requires supplementary oxygen to compensate for the thin air at altitudes of between 13,000 and 20,000 feet above mean sea level.
Balloon Team SA also trains keen newcomers to pilot their own balloons. The outfit’s training either meets or exceeds the highest requirements in international balloon aviation and covers both theoretical and practical elements of flying.
Courses are certified by the Federal Office of Civil Aviation (FOCA), the Swiss aviation authority, and satisfy European Aviation Safety Authority Flight Crew Licensing (EASA-FCL) standard requirements.
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