Most hot-air balloon systems use propane to fuel their burners. After each flight, the pilot will need to refuel the tanks for their next flight. While some pilots will wait until the day before their next flight to refuel, Most will typically do it after the morning flight and post-flight celebration.
Propane can be inherently dangerous if the proper safety precautions are not used. Below is a list of safety guidelines for crew to use if being asked to assist in the refueling process:
• NO SMOKING around the balloon • Avoid wearing nylon or synthetic fabrics in the refueling area, remove tarps from the basket and chase flags from the refueling area, as they can sometimes create sparks • Follow the direction of the pilot • Leave cell phones out of the fueling area, and make sure that pilot lights and all electronics are turned off and removed from the basket • Remove all strikers and lighters from the area • Always follow the directions of the pilot • Always wear gloves while participating in the refueling process
Most pilots will only allow one other crew member to assist in refueling, and most balloon festivals will require no more than 2 people in the refueling area at any time. Just be sure to stay safe and follow the directions of the pilot when involved in refueling.