‘Near miss’ or a load of hot air for Milton Keynes residents?

The balloon over Middleton
The balloon over Middleton

Virgin Balloon Flights have said there was no cause for concern after one of its hot air balloons came a little too close for the comfort of some home-owners last week.

“At one point we thought it was going to hit our roof! It was a near miss in a residential street,” said Dave Dorrmann.

But a spokesman for Virgin Balloon Flights said the proximity of the balloon to the houses was perfectly normal.

“Due to their huge size, standing at 120 feet tall or 10 storeys high when inflated, our balloons are an impressive sight, especially when flying lower to the ground as the pilot comes in to land or begins to look for a suitable landing site towards the end of a flight,” they said.

“Balloons can’t be ‘steered’ in the traditional sense, they travel with the wind before the pilot lands in clear, open space and obviously have to come in low in order to do so,” they said.

“Thursday evening’s flight had the pilot in full control at all times and was low over the Middleton area shortly before 7.30pm as he looked for a suitable place to land, which he did perfectly safely a few minutes later in a field off Newport Road,” they added.

Pic: Dave Dorrmann