Students Get Sneak Peak of Hot Air Balloons

On Thursday, September 21, 2023,  students at Big Cross and Kensington elementary schools had a special visit with a sneak peak of some hot air balloons in the area for the Adirondack Hot Air Balloon Festival.

Capt. Matt Hunter and wife Nichol brought one of their four balloons, Capt’s Dream, all the way from Florida. Matt is originally from the area. He attended Big Cross and currently has family members enrolled. 

The Kensington students were visited by B.J. Sullivan who traveled from Nashville, TN, which is a short drive compared to his trip to Ireland, where he once lifted off the field near the castle shot in the movie Braveheart

In addition to the spectacular experience, each pilot incorporated some math, science, and history for the students to think about. 

  • Balloons are measured in cubic feet
  • The life span of a balloon is measured in hours, not yearsBalloon baskets are made of wicker because it is not only strong, but can absorb the disperse energy upon landing
  • A chicken, duck, and goat took the first test flight

The students asked excellent questions and learned:

  • The average flight elevation is 500 – 2,000 feet. However, a balloon can reach 12,000 feet
  • The flight direction is determined by the direction of the wind and wind directions can vary depending on the elevation level
  • Balloons have turning vents to help spin the balloon which is useful for displaying banners