Grand Est Mondial Air Ballons

Frequently asked questions
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Who organizes the GEMAB?

The event was designed by Philippe Buron Pilâtre. It is the association Les Portes du Ciel which manages the event and the company Pilâtre de Rozier SIGA which ensures the part marketing, coordination and communication. More than 200 partners, including the Grand Est region, are financing the event, which in particular makes it possible to offer entry and parking to the public.

Why can’t the public go on the field around the balls?

Because it’s the law. By interministerial decree in France (as in Europe), the public is not allowed on the flight area during an air show and must be separated by barriers.

This is not the case, for example, in the United States where the public can walk between the balloons.

Why do balloons fly early in the morning or late at night?

The balloons must fly in a stable atmosphere with winds less than 10 knots (18 km/h) and on an event like the GEMAB at less than 5 knots. This is impossible in the middle of the day in summer. On the other hand, in winter, the atmosphere is more stable and we can fly during the day.

How long does a flight last?

A flight lasts on average one hour. But the passenger is involved in the preparation of the flight and the return after the flight. The balloon does not return to its point of departure, it is a vehicle on the ground which comes to recover the pilot, his passengers and the balloon.

At what age can you get into a balloon?

The practice of hot air ballooning is rather reserved for older children.

Indeed, aerostation is a full-fledged sport activity but still contemplative for the happy passengers.

A child who is too young or immature will quickly get bored and will not be able to enjoy this beautiful experience to the fullest.

We do not accept children under 6 years old and less than 1m20 tall. For obvious safety reasons, it is impossible to hold children in one’s arms to allow them to enjoy the landscape.

And any child under the age of 12 must be accompanied by a responsible adult.

Can you fly when you are disabled?

There are adapted pods for disabled people. In all cases, the advice of the attending physician is required. Very strongly discouraged in case of mental handicap. During #GEMAB, we ensure the accessibility of the party for all with reserved access and parking for PRM, but also adapted sanitary facilities and a priority viewing area with awareness signage for all.

We certainly welcome one or two balloons with accessible gondolas, but the few places in these gondolas are reserved for the Meurthe et Moselle department.

Why does it cost 270 euros to fly in a balloon?

It is an exceptional discipline. We make few flights per year, buying a balloon is expensive (average of 50.000 euros), we also need a vehicle to pull the trailer and bring back the passengers after the flight. You add to that the insurance, the mandatory visits, the repairs and the propane without forgetting the training. But a flight lasts one hour and gives you unforgettable sensations: the price of the exceptional.

Why don’t we know in advance if it will fly?

Weather is not an exact science. It can rain in Metz and Nancy and be sunny on the Chambley airfield. We must take into account the observation in the area where the balloon is located but also the regional and national weather reports to anticipate the evolutions. Sometimes an hour before, we don’t know if the winds are going to drop, if the rain is not going to come.

How do you fly in a hot air balloon?

A hot air balloon goes at the speed of the wind, in the direction of the wind. To change direction, the pilot must find a different wind at a different altitude. The pilot is the sole master of the verticality. It doses the heating of the air in its envelope to go up and down.

What is the difference between a gas balloon and a hot air balloon?

They are both called balloons, but the gas balloon is a free balloon inflated with helium or hydrogen. We carry ballast (water or sand) that we pour regularly to gain altitude. To land we open the valve. These flights can last up to 90 hours. For hot-air balloons, these are balloons filled with cold air that are heated with a burner connected to propane tanks. To go up you have to heat up and to go down you have to stop heating. And the flight usually lasts only one hour.

How to become a pilot and how much does it cost?

You need a pilot’s license and an aeronautical medical exam that you can obtain by following theoretical and practical courses with an instructor. You can start as early as 16 years old and there is no maximum age. It takes about a year to learn (assimilate all the knowledge and experience the aerology of the four seasons). And for the price it is necessary to count between 6.000 and 8.000 euros.

Why do only balloons fly during mass flights?

By prefectural order of demonstration welcoming of the public, one cannot have other aircraft than the hot-air balloons during the evolutions of the latter. When the hot air balloons are not flying, the airfield becomes active again and other flying machines are welcomed.

How to come to GEMAB with an aircraft?

It is necessary to send a request by e-mail indicating day, type of aircraft, number of passengers. And on arrival, sign the entry form.


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