FOUR CORNERS, LAKE COUNTY –By Scott Fais, Feature Reporter News13 – Bay News9 TV – Video
The serenity of dawn serves as a canvas for miracle of flight. ”We perform morning flights out here, based on good weather and safety first,” pilot Adam Carusone.
At daybreak in south Lake County, the sounds of cattle in the distance accompany great anticipation. “It’s the oldest form of aviation known to mankind,” remarks Balloon Pilot Mark Roberson. Both Adam and Mark are pilots, yet their cockpits are baskets.
“It’s a rather simple form of flight. There are very few mechanical things that can go wrong, Adam explained while setting up his hot air balloon. Central Florida is home to a community of ballooning enthusiasts.
Adam’s company, Guru Balloon, offers morning sight-seeing tours. “Because we take off at sunrise and land before most people go to work, most of them don’t even know it exists,” he said while instructing me to hold open the balloon’s envelope, the inflation fan begins to fill our balloon.
Within minutes, the colorful globe fights to be airborne. “You lift off very gently,” Mark said in preparation. ”The majority of the people don’t even know, you’re lifting off. “Loaded up and ready to fly… it happens; the moment when earth’s gravitational pull melts away…. and we’re free floating.
“We’re moving with the wind,” Adam says. Like a sailing ship crossing the Atlantic, we’re now sailing three dimensionally across the sky. At just 11 miles per hour, it feels like we’re suspended in time.
“You’re floating like a bubble in the sky,” Mark says with a grin. My ears start popping as we gently climb to 18-hundred feet during our 45-minute adventure over Lake, Orange and Osceola Counties.
“There are tons of people taking our photos right now,” Adam says. ”It’s not something everyone sees every day. “From this point-of-view, the hustle and bustle slows down and the problems of the world… seem far away.
“You see a lot of good from up here,” Adam concludes.
To see a video version of this story, click on the video icon above.
Hot Air Ballooning
Up, Up and Away! Guru Balloon launches at sunrise for one wake up call you’ll wish you had every morning.
West of I-4, South of Clermont
Lake, Orange, Osceola Counties.
Changes according to sunrise. Expect to arrive 90 minutes before Sunrise.
$170.00 per passenger
Comfort Suites Maingate
7888 W Irlo Bronson Hwy
Kissimmee, FL 34747
GPS Longitude & Latitude:
Latitude:N 28° 20′ 32.5649″
Longitude:W 81° 36′ 6.8749″
Passengers will leave their vehicles in the Comfort Suites Maingate lot and travel to the selected starting point inside a chartered van. After landing, passengers will be driven back to the Hotel.
From Downtown Orlando: 25 Minutes
From Downtown Tampa: 1 hour, 15 Minutes
Guru Balloon: http://guruballoon.com/