How to Fly Your Sky Lanterns
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
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
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.
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.