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How to Fly Your Sky Lanterns

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Here's how to use your Sky Lanterns. It's really easy, and once you've done it a couple of times you'll find you can launch a lot of them all by yourself.

Before you start though, do your pre-flight check to make sure that you're well away from trees, houses, overhead obstructions, power lines, and things like that.

Be sure there's nothing flammable on the ground around you like dry leaves or dead grass.

Also, make sure there's no wind. Wind is the number one enemy of Sky Lanterns. Wind will either prevent you from being able to fill the lantern with hot air, or worse yet it can blow your Sky Lanterns sideways.

If it's windy out, wait for another time. Snow can be beautiful as a background, but you can't launch in the rain. Rain will make your sky lantern much too heavy to fly.

There are 4 simple steps to using your Sky Lanterns. Remember, always 4 steps.
  1. Open
  2. Light
  3. Wait
  4. Fly

Step 1 - Opening Your Sky Lantern

Your Sky Lanterns come to you folded flat so the first thing you have to do is get them opened.

Find the sticky adhesive edge of the plastic sleeve and open it up.

Slide your sky lantern out of the bag.

Next, pull the shiny white paper off of the fuel pad.

Now here's the trick to getting Sky Lanterns lit quickly and easily. The fuel pads are made with layers of wax cloth and tissue paper.

Pick a corner of the fuel pad and spread the layers open as wide as you can. This will make lighting your lantern much faster.

Now there's a wrong way and a right way to open up the Sky Lantern. The right way is to always open your lantern gently. This is a lot like opening up a garbage bag...but you have to be even more careful.

Hold the edges of the bamboo ring, and gently shake the tissue paper bag to open it up. Gently wave the lantern back and forth to completely fill it with air.

Make sure all the creases and edges are opened up. You may have to reach into the tissue bag to open up any creases.

Check your lantern now to make sure there aren't any tears or big holes. Anything smaller than a quarter inch won't be a problem unless there are a lot of them.

Step 2 - Lighting Your Sky Lantern

Find the corner of the fuel pad that you opened up and point it down towards the ground. Then use a lighter or a torch to light the corners of the tissue paper.

Keep holding everything so that the corner is pointing down, and the fire is coming up.

You want the flames at the corner you just lit to spread vertically up to the opposite corner.

Be careful to keep the tissue paper away from the flames.

Step 3 - Wait For Your Sky Lantern to Fill

Once the fuel pad gets burning really well, flip the whole lantern right side up.

Keep holding it while the fuel pad gets really hot and fills the lantern with hot air. Remember, this is a mini hot air balloon, and just like any other hot air balloon it takes a while to fill with air.

This is the step that many people try to skip over. Be patient!

It can take 60 seconds or more for the Sky Lantern to fill with hot air. Sometimes it can take longer. Sometimes it goes faster.

Just keep holding it in one place. Keep gently shaking it so that any creases or folds will open up and fill with hot air.

Step 4 - Let it Fly!

Now here's the secret to success that every Sky Lantern pilot knows.

Keep holding the Sky Lantern until it starts to pull upward – you'll be able to feel it.

Once you feel this upward tug, hold it for 15 seconds longer. You want the maximum amount of hot air in the balloon before you release it.

Now it's time to fly your lantern. Once your Sky Lanterns is really pushing to rise…just let it go!

Your lantern should start to rise, and then gain speed and altitude quickly. If it doesn't rise, grab it and hold on a bit longer. Never let your lanterns fly sideways.

It will fly as long as the fuel pad is burning. Once the fuel pad goes out, it will drop.

But it will not come down as long as the fuel pad is burning!

Don't forget the four steps to successfully flying your Sky Lanterns.
  1. Open
  2. Light
  3. Wait
  4. Fly
Enjoy!

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