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Pilot explains why he landed hot air balloon in an Indio neighborhood

Wednesday afternoon, a hot air balloon made an unexpected landing near the intersection of Bliss Avenue and Monroe Street.

The pilot of the balloon told KESQ/CBS Local 2’s Lauren Coronado that when the winds unexpectedly switched on him, he decided to make the landing.

The Balloon Federation of America calls that good piloting.

The 30-year-old veteran pilot said he was aiming for an open field behind the neighborhood.

“I dropped a tethering line to my ground crew so they could provide me further assistance as we touched down. I had a crewman on the basket as we made contact and the other holding the line to stop any forward movement,” the pilot said in a statement

“Its got all the requirements we’re always looking for. ‘Is your crew there? Is it safe? Do yo have enough room? Can you retrieve your equipment?’ It meets all those requirements. so it’s pretty good landing,” said Dean Carlton of the Balloon Federation of America.

Carlton is on the Board of Directors for the BFA. He said this kind of landing isn’t uncommon.

Read: Hot air balloon lands in Indio intersection

“Obviously we make flight plans with our crews but sometimes the weather changes and it doesn’t have to change much,” Carlton said. “A wind shift of 3 or 4 degrees can change your heading and you’ll have to have alternative strategies for good safe landing, which is why we practice landing more than any other practice we do during training.”

No one was injured in connection with the landing. A crew with Magical Adventure Balloon Ride, the company that owned the balloon, picked up the riders and pilot. No equipment was damaged.

We looked into Magical Adventure Balloon Ride’s history. There were no filed cases of prior crashes or injuries.

The BFA said a landing like this shouldn’t be reported to the Federal Aviation Administration.

KESQ News Team


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