Ballooning in Vermont – Post Mills Style

With a title like Ballooning in Vermont, most people likely think this is about the Quechee balloon festival traditionally held on Father’s Day weekend. But I’d like to tell you about a very different hot air balloon event.

I’m keeping this piece short so you have time to see the photos and read the text on the linked pages at the end of this article.

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Brian Boland, an extraordinary balloonist and balloon maker, will hold his 11th Experimental Balloon and Airship Meet in Post Mills, Vermont, May 20-22, 2016. If one characterizes Quechee as traditional and conventional, Post Mills would have to be labeled avant-garde and almost “hippy”, or at least laid-back. At Post Mills you might see twice as many balloons as in Quechee, and the many unconventional balloons there are fun and exciting to see.

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Some balloonists get airborne in lawn chairs instead of baskets, and sometimes even less. If the wind is light Brian might cruise around the field in a balloon with a rudder and maneuvered by a propeller attached to his basket as in the photo above.

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The event takes place at the Post Mills Airport. Parking is free and just across the road from where the balloons launch. Admission is also free. And if you arrive early or stay late you can tour Brian’s marvelous museum — also free. The two and a half story museum is filled with wild memorabilia of all sorts related to balloons and balloon making.

Brian Boland's Balloon Museum

The photo below shows the Post Mills airport and Lake Fairlee. To the left of the road is the parking area. You can see Brian’s home and museum at the bottom left. Across the grass runway 3 gliders and 3 tow planes are parked. Other gliders are folded up in the 11 long tubes to the right of the visible gliders. Balloons launch all along the runway which extends a considerable distance to the right of this photo.

Post Mills Airport

On April 5, 2015 Brian flew one of the over 160 balloons he has built from Post Mills, Vermont to Lyme, New Hampshire. During this flight he set an amazing record – 10,000 total hours aloft in a hot air balloon. (There are only 8760 hours in a year.)  He is possibly the only person to ever achieve this. You can see pictures and read about this flight by clicking the appropriate link below.

Crossing the Connecticut River into NH

Crossing the Connecticut River into NH

Please explore these pages:

Brian’s Balloon Museum and the 2014 Experimental Balloon and Airship Meet

10th Experimental Balloon and Airship Meet in 2015

Brian’s amazing flight when he surpassed 10,000 hours aloft

~ Jim Block

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6 Comments

  1. Donna Micchdlli April 8, 2017 at 04:50 #

    Yes could you please tell me what time the lift-offs are? Are there any AM flights?
    Thank you

    Like most balloon events they launch at dawn and dust. Jim

    • Jeff Foliage April 8, 2017 at 13:43 #

      They usually do around 6AM and 6PM depending on the weather. much above 10MPH and gusting and the flights are canceled. I got there 2 years ago just as they were taking off with a low-pressure overhead and they had a field day with some of the best flying in years…
      Jeff Folger

  2. Marion May 3, 2017 at 16:30 #

    Can people buy baloon rides at the fundraiser and if so how much and if not, why not?

    • Butch_Lombardi May 6, 2017 at 10:27 #

      Marion, you can purchase rides. The Quechee Hot Air Balloon Festival is in June (usually Father’s Day Weekend). Many people fly over that weekend. Contact the Quechee Chamber of Commerce or search online for the festival. There should be info there on flights.

    • Butch_Lombardi May 6, 2017 at 10:31 #

      Marion, here’s a link… http://www.quecheeballoonfestival.com

    • Jim Block May 15, 2017 at 07:53 #

      Sorry for the late reply — I was in Iceland for two weeks.
      The Post Mills event is much lower key than the Quechee one. Most everything is free except for food that local charities supply. You can charter a balloon ride with Brian Boland at other times, possibly the most experienced balloonist in the world. He owns the airport and puts on this event. (802) 333-9254 is his number.