Above the trees, not the clouds
Posted Friday, April 11th, 2014
Why can’t we fly above the clouds? This is not an uncommon question from our balloon passengers.
There is only one reason for this, it’s illegal!
All balloons operate under the rules and regulations of the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA). They are responsible for all the aircraft regulations in Australia. They have many publications out regarding Air Law. In one such publication, the Aeronautical Information Publication (AIP) states that balloons can only fly in VMC (Visual Meteorological Conditions) and by doing so we work under VFR (Visual Flight Rules). Now this is all starting to sound a bit difficult so to make it really simple it means – If you can’t see where you are and if you can’t see the ground, then others can’t see you and you shouldn’t be there. If you are flying through the cloud then you are in the wrong. Now some planes can use IFR (Instrument Flight Rules) which is completely different.
We can fly above the cloud if it is scattered and you can find a way through which is clear and find a way back down which is clear of cloud and you are within sight of the ground