Splash and Dash
The wind had slowed as Pilot Eliav came over the trees on the Northside of the Green River. He asked his passengers if they were okay with getting their feet wet and doing a splash and dash on the river. A splash and dash in a hot air balloon is when a balloon comes down to a body of water and touches the bottom of the basket to water. Pilots need to be careful of a few things when performing a splash and dash:
1. Aware of possible obstacles. Fingerlings of trees won’t hut the balloon fabric, but dead or sharp tree branches will. Although most leafy trees won’t hurt balloon fabric, you don’t want the balloon’s fabric to touch large branches. The only time balloon pilots are trained to touch trees is on faster wind landings. Balloon pilots in faster wind landing situations are trained to drag the basket portion through the foliage to slow the balloon’s speed, helping pilots make slower landings.
2. If the basket goes too deep into the water, there will be a lot of added weight! The pilot will need to increase the heat in the balloon to compensate for the additional load.
3. When doing splash and dashes in rivers, it’s essential to realize that the river flow will move the balloon downstream.