Residents of a Vernon apartment building had a surprise land on their doorsteps Sunday when a hot air balloon made an emergency stop in their parking lot.
Pilots of two balloons had taken off for their annual New Year’s Day flight nearby but quickly found there wasn’t enough wind to get going.
The first pilot opted to land where he started, at Kal Tire Place. The second balloon operator, however, found himself in the parking lot of an apartment building.
There was a ground team that responded but some of the people watching the ordeal also ran in and helped the balloon land safely. It was something they all seemingly took in stride.
“We didn’t go far. We went to 27th (Street) and back. (There’s) not much, wind it’s all over the place today,” David Gleed, one of the hot air balloon pilots.
“I prefer getting somewhere. We saw a lot of the north end of Vernon that’s for sure.”
The pilots regularly participate in the Vernon Winter Carnival.
“It just kept changing on us,” pilot Evan Erickson said, referring to the wind.
“We do our best with what we’ve got and we’ve got these nice lines in our baskets in case we ever need people to just pull us to a safe spot.”
The concern, Erickson said, was whether they would hit a roof or a car. Luckily, they did not.
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