Hot air balloon makes dramatic unexpected landing

Passengers enjoying a hot air balloon ride over Norwich on August 26 had a lot more of a thrill than they expected.

After taking off from Bluebell Road in Cringleford, a suburb south of the city, the wind dropped suddenly and the hot air balloon pilot decided that it would be better to prepare for an unscheduled, but safe, early landing.

Thus it was that the 16 passengers found themselves drifting across local residents’ gardens, many of whom were out enjoying the summer weather, with one family even calling out to ask if the passengers would like a burger from their barbecue.

On board was Jacquie Craske from nearby Thorpe St. Andrew, who described her first hot air balloon ride as more exciting than climbing Kilimanjaro and Michelle Martin accompanied by her boyfriend, who had purchased the hot air balloon flight as a surprise birthday present.

Speaking after the hot air balloon pilot had safely brought the balloon back to ground, Michelle described the experience as the most surprising birthday she had had, praising the pilot for his skill in negotiating the buildings on the controlled descent.

Photographs taken by residents have been posted onto Facebook and Twitter and show the hot air balloon passengers speaking to people on the ground. The pilot put the balloon down close to Round House Way on the outskirts of the city at around 6.30 pm and, although it was very close to some major roads, no disruption was caused to traffic.

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