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Hot air balloon landing...in my neighbor's back yard!

Post in 'The Inglenook' started by Badfish740, Aug 9, 2010.

  1. Badfish740

    Badfish740 Minister of Fire

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    It's been a while since I've posted on hearth.com because once the furnace goes cold for the season my mind turns to warm weather stuff. Recently I was thinking that I needed to get back on here because summer isn't all that far away, and then this happened... My brother-in-law pulled into our driveway, walked in and said "Ummm...there's a hot air balloon hovering over your house..." We told him that it happens all the time, because this time of year it does-Hunterdon County is the hot air ballooning capital of New Jersey and it's not at all uncommon to see them floating around on a summer night. This time though we went outside and saw it sitting literally over my neighbor's house-then I saw a Suburban pulling an enclosed trailer fly by-I figured it had to be a chase vehicle. The next thing we knew it was getting lower and lower. The whole neighborhood crowded into the backyard while the basket touched down. I never thought they could land in such a small space, but they sure did. It was a couple celebrating their second anniversary-they had planned to land in a large field on the other side of the state highway, but there just wasn't enough wind, so they looked for a yard with the least amount of trees. My neighbors were happy because they got a bottle of champagne (apparently they always carry one with them and present it to a property owner if they land somewhere unexpected)-it was pretty neat. Here are some pics:

    Touchdown
    [​IMG]

    My BIL standing next to the envelope
    [​IMG]

    Deflated
    [​IMG]

    The basket
    [​IMG]

    All rolled up
    [​IMG]

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  2. loon

    loon Minister of Fire

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    WOW!!! dont see that everyday :)
  3. fossil

    fossil Accidental Moderator Staff Member

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    Matriculated at the University of New Mexico 1974-1977 to earn my BSME. Every October, Albuquerque hosts one of the premiere hot air balloon festivals in the nation. Back then, you could just go out there early in the morning and hang out with the balloonists, help them set up and inflate their balloons, maybe snag a ride. I was walking out of class on the campus one day during the festival, and here comes a balloon landing right in the common area between halls. Sometimes they just have to get it down. It takes a good bit of skill, since there are no horizontal propulsors of any kind, and no steering wheel...just either up or down, and judge the rest. Some aren't so lucky...I remember during one balloon festival when a balloon came down and hit a power line, got tangled, caught on fire, and the basket dropped to the ground and a couple folks died. Rick
  4. Badfish740

    Badfish740 Minister of Fire

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    And that is the reason my wife can't convince me to go up in one. Even though we live in a rural area, the mountains and fields are crisscrossed with high tension wires.
  5. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    What a tight LZ!
  6. gzecc

    gzecc Minister of Fire

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    I did it with my xwife for my 30th bday. In our area (readington NJ same as original post) its very wind dependent. Wind must be going west between a certain MPH. This will put you into large fields and away from power lines and housing developments. Our trip was posponed a # of times because condition weren't just right.
  7. billb3

    billb3 Minister of Fire

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    ... and you can hit a telephone pole driving down the street with a mechanical failure or distraction.


    Had one get hung up in a tree in the back yard once.
    Misjudged the 30 to 40 rise , I guess - or not paying attention ?
    That gas flame makes quite a racket trying to provide some lift.
    Heard a branch break and away it went.
  8. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    It is always better to be on the ground wishing you could be up there than to be up there wishing you were on the ground. I'd agree for sure that is a tight landing zone!
  9. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    I hate to tell you this, but summer is here already. Fall is only 6 weeks away.

    Next year they plan on putting steering wheels on those balloons.
  10. Badfish740

    Badfish740 Minister of Fire

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    Ha! Ya got me-thank God fall is only 6 weeks away, I can't take much more of this 90+ business.
  11. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    I'm with you. Although I am hoping to still get in several decent rides on the bike, I will welcome fall even if it comes tomorrow! I hate this weather.
  12. ColdNH

    ColdNH Minister of Fire

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    Went and proposed to the fiance in a hot air balloon about this time last summer, like your pictures we landed in a very tight area as well! I was shocked that he put it down right where he wanted too. there wasnt enough wind at first to hit a large field we planned on landing in until we started to go down and lower elevation winds pushed us off course, so we ended up putting it down right next to an industrial building in the parking lot. Fun trip. the pilot had 2 bottles of champagne, but there was no one working at the building that day.

    early morning fog
    [​IMG]
    Henniker NH
    [​IMG]
    balloon way up there
    [​IMG]
    The landing
    [​IMG]


    /sorry for hi-jacking your thread.
  13. firefighterjake

    firefighterjake Minister of Fire

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    Hi jack away . . . loved the pic.

    The one of Henniker, NH shows the college that I graduated from . . . the odd-shaped building was the dorm I stayed at in my freshman year . . . the dining hall where I ate way too many french fries and ice cream . . . the Security Office where I worked my way through college . . . and the covered bridge which was where . . . well, let's just say the covered bridge was a popular spot for many college couples. ;) :)
  14. gzecc

    gzecc Minister of Fire

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    Wow, Its a small world. I had a few in the covered bridge too!
  15. northwinds

    northwinds Minister of Fire

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    My wife was given a balloon ride as a present in Sonoma County, California. The wind carried the balloon way past the expected landing zone.
    I was in the chase vehicle, and as we crested a foothill, I saw her balloon bounce/crash to a stop in a field littered with shotgun shells, broken
    bottles, and large no trespassing signs. The balloon company got us out of there fast. A couple of people were banged up but no one was really injured.
    Too exciting for my tastes. The sound of a big tree crashing through the forest is thrill enough for me.
  16. Badfish740

    Badfish740 Minister of Fire

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    You bring up an interesting point. We live in a pretty suburban neighborhood with kids running around and whatnot-when the lady piloting the balloon touched down she said "Are we ok here?" The lady who owned the property replied "Sure!" That made me wonder what would happen if a balloon touched down in a clearing in the woods and the guys from Deliverance came out with a pack of dogs and some shotguns. At that point do you just crank up the gas and hope for wind? ;)
  17. Fsappo

    Fsappo New Member

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    Fast story..Back in the days of my youth, on a nice Sunday afternoon, my buddies and I were in someones house smoking in a fashion that would cause...err, we were getting stoned. (20 years ago +) So, just at the peak of our highness, Im looking out the window and see a hot air balloon basket fly by. I say to my buddies who didnt see it "duuuuuudes, I just saw some dudes flying in the yard in some basket" They laugh and tell me im stoned. But they keep lookin at the window. Then, passing by the window, and covering all the area we could see out of...a cascade of colors. The balloon itself deflated right in front of the window of a bunch of stoned teenagers. We have no idea what is happening. We look at each other and say "did you see that too?" That kind of thing. We're freaking out (not putting 2 and 2 together). We dare each other to go outside. Finally one of my buddies gets up and opens the door. There's a man in uniform standing there smiling. Now we are really freaking out. He says "We're here with your bottle" More freaking out...what bottle? What does he know? Did someone buy booze and leave it somewhere? We all creep towards the door and the lawn is covered in colors and there are a ton of people outside taking photos...It kind of gets blurry after that, but holy moly, did those guys pick a great place to land.

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