Apply the following procedures, as appropriate, when unmanned free balloons are within airspace for which you have control jurisdiction:
NOTE: These procedures apply to unmanned free balloons that carry payloads as described in 14 CFR Section 101.1(a)(4). Payloads may weigh several hundred pounds and the physical shape of the balloons change at various altitudes/flight levels. (See FIG 9-6-1.) Balloon and payload ascend at an average rate of 400 feet a minute. Over the descent area, the payload is normally released from the balloon and descends by parachute at a minimum rate of 1,000 feet a minute. The balloon is normally deflated automatically when the payload is released. The operator is required to advise ATC 1 hour in advance of descent in accordance with 14 CFR Section 101.39.
NOTE: The prelaunch notice information should be posted on flight progress strips for planning and operational purposes.
NOTE: Some operators have equipped their balloons with transponder beacons in addition to a radar reflection device or material required by 14 CFR Section 101.35, but at cruise altitude, the balloon’s communications equipment and transponder, if so equipped, are operated intermittently to conserve battery energy.
NOTE: Unless ATC requires otherwise, operators of unmanned free balloons are required to monitor the course of the balloon and record its position at least every two hours. As required in 14 CFR Section 101.39a, balloon position reports are not forwarded by the operator unless requested by ATC.
Balloons become derelict when a moored balloon slips its mooring and becomes a hazard to air navigation or when an unmanned free balloon flight cannot be terminated as planned. When this occurs: