Authorities report two unexpected hot-air balloon landings
BY BRIAN STANLEY firstname.lastname@example.org August 20, 2012 2:38PM
A hot air balloon crash landed at 7:10 p.m. Saturday on the 800 block of Junie Court, near Black Road and Midland Avenue in Joliet. | submitted photo
Updated: September 22, 2012 6:19AM
WILL COUNTY — Two hot air balloons crash landed within approximately 12 hours of each other this weekend in Joliet and Crest Hill.
The first incident occurred after a pilot and 10 passengers took off at 5:35 p.m. Saturday from Joliet Airport in a rainbow-colored balloon. The flight was scheduled to last for an hour before returning to the airport.
“The pilot advised he had tried to land several times, but winds had shifted and he couldn’t land safely,” Joliet police said.
As the balloon ran out of fuel at 7:10 p.m. it came down on the 800 block of Junie Court, near Black Road and Midland Avenue. The pilot managed to land in the street without damaging any property. No one was injured.
Joliet police said the National Transportation and Safety Board and Federal Aviation Administration were contacted about the incident and interviewed the pilot on Sunday.
On Sunday morning, Lockport Township firefighters arrived for work at Fire Station 6 on Renwick Road to see a dolphin balloon descending over the nearby Prairie Bluffs golf course.
“Speaking only as a non-hot-air balloon expert, it seemed there was no wind and it moved about 100 feet in a half-hour,” Chief Dave Skoryi said.
Firefighters watched as the balloon sank lower and lower until landing on the course at 7:38 a.m.
Skoryi said the landing appeared to be “controlled” and firefighters were not called to treat any injuries.