Virgin Balloons has apologised to the villagers of Lambley after one of its balloons narrowly missed houses as it came in to land. The incident happened as the hot air balloon, operated by Virgin aborted a landing in a field due to their being horses in it.
Villager Russ Swann, who witnessed the incident and also captured it on video said: “The balloon came by and when it disappeared behind my next door neighbour’s house we ran up into the field and saw it going through the village at what looked like chimney pot height.”
Virgin Balloons maintain that the balloon was fully controlled during the flight, issuing a statement which said: “One of our Virgin balloons took off from our launch site at Wollaton Park in Nottingham at 1825 BST on Sunday carrying 16 passengers and travelled on the wind out of the city in a north easterly direction.”
The statement when on to say, “On approach for landing the pilot reduced altitude, but aborted the landing when he noticed two horses in the field and, using the quieter ‘whisper’ burner, quickly gained altitude and flew on.”
Virgin Balloons said that the pilot eventually landed the hot air balloon in a field further down, successfully completing the flight and that the land owner and the owner of the horses were satisfied with the landing.