Welcome to the site of Sedona Sunset Ballooning, LLC. Located in the suburbs of Chicago, Pilot and owner Glenn O’Connell has been flying passengers in Northeast Illinois for over 30 years.

We offer hot air balloon rides year round, at sunrise and just before sunset, weather permitting. Your flight may include travel over rivers, small lakes, forest preserves, private estates, and small farms. It is not uncommon to see deer, herons, bald eagles, and various other forms of wildlife while on your flight.

Whether you are planning a surprise proposal, a special anniversary, a birthday present, or just want to try something you’ve never done before, we will strive to make sure that your flight will be one that you will remember for years to come.

The duration of flights are approximately one hour. After take-off, the first few minutes are spent at tree top level, allowing you to get a feel for the flight. From there we ascend to approximately the height of the Willis (Sears) Tower in Chicago, which is approximately 1,500 feet above ground level.

At this altitude you may be able to see the skyline of Chicago and the flight may take us over the towns of McHenry, Crystal Lake, or Barrington. The entire balloon event from our meeting, flying, landing, and packing up and return trip via our chase vehicle is approximately two and a half to three hours.

Standard

$ 220 per person (max 4 people)

Mon – Fri

  • Great for:
  • Bucket list
  • Birthdays

Weekend

$ 250 per person (max 4 people)

Sat – Sun

  • Great for:
  • Bucket list
  • Birthdays

Payment due immediately following flight.
No money down.

Availability

Flying Season: May – November
May
M-F evening flights only
Weekend – mornings & evenings
June/July
2 daily Flights
7 days/week
Aug/Sep/Oct/Nov
M-F evening flights only
Weekend – mornings &evenings

Flights may be cancelled at any time due to weather conditions, including after arriving at the meeting site. Please see our Weather section for more information on flight guidelines.

Static Tether
Tethered Rides
Balloon is tied off and will not leave the ground. Balloon is tied off but can go up and down for rides.
Maximum height is 35-40 ft above the ground
Winds must be less than 10 mph Calm winds; less than 5 mph
Weather permitting, call for details
$3,250 for 2 hours (min. is 2 hours) – additional $750/hour after 2 hours

Scheduling Fee Requirements

  • $250.00 is non-refundable.
  • Site Survey by operator required.
  • Open area: 200′ x 200′ green grass – No trees, fences, or power lines.
  • Additional insured (if needed – check with your own insurance provider).
  • Permits (if needed).
  • FAA approval if close to airports.
  • Time of day: Early morning, or early evening (winds are generally lightest at these times).
  • Mid-day is possible but very unlikely due to varying winds.
  • Travel fees may apply; call for quote.
  • Payment is due after event.
  • A basic contract must be signed.
  • Inside gymnasium, cold air inflation
  • Discussion of the history of balloons/ballooning
  • Can be used for school awards program
  • Red Ribbon week
  • Science programs
  • Cost is $450.00 per event
  • Typical time in gymnasium is approximately 2.5 hours. This may vary depending on type of presentation.

Health Requirements

Passengers

Passengers must be able to stand for at least one hour, as there are no seats on board. Passengers must also be able to hold on very tight for landing. If you are pregnant, you will not be allowed to fly. No supplemental oxygen supply can be used during the flight.

Clothing

On the day of your flight, dress as if you were to be outside for 3 hours. No open toed shoes or flip flops. Hiking boots are the best, but gym shoes are acceptable.

Activity Waiver

An activity waiver must be filled out and signed before your flight can begin. This waiver will include, but will not be limited to assumption of risk, following pilot instructions, and landing instructions.

Balloon flights are completely weather dependent. Because weather patterns are unpredictable, please note that when making your reservations, it is not uncommon for a flight to be cancelled several times before you actually fly. You will find the information below helpful when understanding the weather parameters of flying balloons.

Weather Requirements

Winds less than 7 mph for take-off, but diminishing for landing.
No rain within 75 miles of our flight path.
Upper level winds less than 15 mph at 3,000 ft.
FAA “VFR” limits: 3,000 feet cloud ceiling and 3 miles visibility.
Flight will be cancelled due to extreme heat when outside temperatures are over 95 degrees F.
Flights may be cancelled at any time including after arrival to meeting site due to changes in weather.

Weather sites that we use include:

NOAA.GOV
Chicago
basic forecast
forecast discussion
aviation discussion
US Airnet, Chicago O’Hare Airport (ORD)
Accu Weather
WGN Weather

Pilot Bio

Pilot and owner Glenn O’Connell received his pilot license in 1982 and has been involved in ballooning for more than 35 years. Glenn has had the opportunity to fly in many mid-western states, the Grand Tetons area in Idaho, as well as Canada.

Balloon Information

Current Balloon:

Name: Sedona Sunset
Make/Model: Cameron A105 – 24 Gore

105,000 cubic feet
Stands 85 feet tall and 55 feet wide
Maximum capacity is 4 passengers
Ultra Double Burner with 36 million BTU output
Fuel type: propane

Previous Balloon:

Name: Solar Flare
Make/Model: Cameron C100 – 16 gore

100,000 cubic feet
75 feet tall and 50 feet wide
Maximum capacity is 3 passengers
Ultra Single Burner with 18 million BTU output
Fuel type: propane

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