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Summary: Hot air balloons tend to attract attention when they are in the air. They are large, colorful, and often fairly close to observers, making the encounter a real treat for those on the ground. Operators are considered to be pilots, but piloting a hot air balloon is significantly different than flying an airplane, even a small one. Insurance considerations are different as well; a hard landing in an airplane may be nothing more than a loud and somewhat disruptive bump, but a hard landing in a hot air balloon can result in passenger injuries or even death.


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