Hot air balloons fly in the prevailing winds and cannot be steered beyond the different wind layers that are present in the atmosphere. Flying a balloon competition therefore requires a great deal of skill in reading and using the winds at various altitudes to bring the balloon close to a predefined target. There are many variations of the competition task but in most cases they involve the pilot throwing a marker on a target, which is often a large cross laid out in a large open field. The marker drops are measured and scored by “observers” on the ground. The closest drop to the center of the target determines the winner of the task. Competitors all fly the same tasks, which are set by the competition director at the daily task briefings. The flights are monitored by official judges and by a flight logger, an electronic flight monitoring device. Pilots violating the competition rules will be given penalties. With the evolution of technology in wind reading and navigation, pilots are often able to hit the target very precisely and differences in results are often only a few centimeters. The pilot who accumulates most points over a number of flights and tasks will be the champion of the competition.
Different tasks that can be flown
Judge Declared Goal
Pilot Declared Goal
Fly In – Fly On
Gordon Bennett Memorial
Calculated Rate of Approach Task
Minimum Distance Double Drop
Official Notice Board
The competitors will receive official flight information about rules, tasks, weather and results through the “Electronic Notice Board”
Competitors from all over the world will come to Mersch. Quite some world top ranked pilots will challenge all participants in a great competition.
The results will be published a few hours after each flight.