Rules to play Hot Air Ballooning
In competition, the pilots need to be able to read different wind directions at different altitudes. Balloon competitions are often called races but theyre most often a test of accuracy, not speed. For most competitive balloon flights, the goal is to fly as close as possible to one or more exact points called targets. Once a pilot has directed the balloon as close as possible to a target, a weighted marker with an identifying number written on it is dropped. The distance between a pilots marker and that target determines his or her score. During some competitive flights, pilots will be required to fly to 5 or more targets before landing. To assist with navigation, topographic maps and GPS units are used. Another common form of competition is the Hare and Hound race. The Hare balloon takes off a set amount of time before the Hound balloons and typically flies with multiple altitude changes to make it more difficult for the chasing balloons to match its flight path. After a set amount of flight time, the Hare will land and typically lay out a target cross for the Hounds to drop their weighted markers near. As above, the distance between a pilots marker and the target determines his or her score.