On Wednesday, an early-morning hot air balloon excursion over Melbourne turned out to be more eventful than imagined when it crashed onto an apartment rooftop.
The balloon, which was flying for the first time in Melbourne, Australia, wound up draped over two rooftops in Elwood’s southern suburbs, and photos showed the basket resting in a carpark. Mr. Brau, the director of Liberty Balloon Flights, avoided light poles and overhead cables, but his attempt to maintain altitude resulted in damage to certain buildings.
Watch the incredible moment a hot air balloon crashes through trees and lands on a residential street in Elwood. Thankfully no one was injured during the unplanned landing. The ATSB has commenced a transport safety investigation. 7NEWS at 6pm. More: https://t.co/pxPDXn0vfV #7NEWS pic.twitter.com/zYSwQkMI1P— 7NEWS Melbourne (@7NewsMelbourne) April 20, 2022
No one was hurt in the incident, which was captured on video by passenger Jayde Magookin as he and 12 others were thrown over roofs and treetops. The balloon, according to pilot Nick Brau, was spanking new but would not fly properly. Mr. Magookin, 34, described the crash landing as “terrifying,” but added that he and the other passengers could now laugh about it.
The pilot told the BBC that he didn’t know what went wrong and that the accident had scared him since “it’s not very pleasant when these things happen.” The Australian Transport Safety Bureau will now conduct an inquiry. Mr. Brau said it was his first mishap in 27 years of hot air ballooning, and passengers congratulated him for being calm and landing safely. The balloon was one of six in a fleet, with the other five landing safely.
Mr Magookin stated he realized something wasn’t right when the hot air balloon diverged from the rest of the group. Passengers could feel the balloon “skimming the tops of trees” and “narrowly missing electrical poles” at this point. His 30-year-old wife, Aelia, can be seen nervously cowering down in the basket as it crashes through a rooftop and ploughs into trees in the footage. Mr Magookin was recovering from a recent heart attack when the pair was scheduled to fly out early two weeks ago. He told the BBC that it had been “a complete round of bad luck.”
Mr Magookin, on the other hand, chuckled and responded, “always, definitely” when asked if he would fly in a hot air balloon again. Despite the fact that he had previously been afraid of heights, he claimed that the accident had given him the confidence to overcome his phobia.
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