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Entries in Hot Air Balloon (3)

Wednesday
Feb272013

Deadly Balloon Accidents Relatively Rare

Brand X Pictures/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- The tragic hot air balloon crash in Luxor, Egypt on Tuesday that killed 19 people was one of the deadliest accidents of its kind, with reports that some tourists leaped 1,000 feet rather than remain in the burning basket.

However, as USA Today reports, more than 90 percent of hot air balloon accidents in the U.S. since 1964 have not resulted in fatalities.

According to the National Transportation Safety Board, 67 accidents of the 760 reported over the past 50 years have been fatal.

The most recent one was a year ago when a pilot crashed into the woods in Georgia because of bad weather.  But before that happened, the pilot had all seven passengers who were in the balloon for a parachute outing jump to safety.

Air safety expert Carl Holden of Australia said 11 people were killed in a hot air balloon accident last year in New Zealand.

Nonetheless, Holden remarked, "People have been flying hot air balloons safely, since 1783 to be exact, long before the Wright Brother's first successful powered flight in 1903."

Former Federal Aviation Administration inspector Dominic Chemello also contends, "From an accident safety standpoint balloons are about 10 times safer than airline travel."

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Jan082013

WATCH: Hot-Air Balloon Wedding Crash Caught on Tape

ABC News(NEW YORK) -- It was supposed to have been a romantic sunset wedding in a hot-air balloon for Kerin and Jonathan Narcisse.  But romance quickly turned to fear as the couple and 11 others, including their wedding party and the balloon's operator, braced for a crash landing.

One moment Kerin and Jonathan were exchanging their wedding vows, thousands of feet in the air; the next, the newlyweds were on their sides, stranded, in a stranger's backyard.  A member of the wedding party recorded Monday's crash on her cellphone.

The newlyweds had no idea what was happening.

"A couple times he tried to land, we floated over," Jonathan Narcisse said.  "We kept missing landing spots.  Next thing you know, we're descending and I'm thinking, 'How is he going to land here, because there's no place to land.'"

The balloon hit a fence, skidded through some trees, and then stopped.

"I got a little worried when we hit the fence and I thought, 'Well, if the fence doesn't stop us then we're going down this hill,'" Kerin Narcisse said.

Making the ordeal all the more terrifying, the bride's dream of a mid-air wedding was actually the groom's worst nightmare, as it turns out.  He's scared of heights.

"I am," he said.  "Terrified."

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Jul112012

Hot Air Balloon Knocked Down by Strong Winds

Brand X Pictures/Thinkstock(SCOTTSDALE, Ariz.) -- An early morning hot air balloon ride ended in near disaster for five people Tuesday after the balloon they were riding in crashed to the ground in a field outside Scottsdale, Ariz.

The balloon’s precarious position in the sky was first spotted shortly after 7 a.m. by a helicopter reporter for local TV station KTVK, who described the scene as “terribly wrong.”

“I knew something wasn’t right,” said the reporter, Tammy Rose.

A camera captured the balloon as it began to sway in the sky after it got caught up in winds as strong as 20 mph.  The wind gust knocked the balloon, and its five passengers, to the ground.

“They actually hit the ground several times,” said Rose. “You could see something had gone terribly wrong.”

The balloon and basket holding the passengers were dragged between 800 and 900 feet through a field on the Salt River Pima Indian Reservation where the crash occurred.  After kicking up a dust storm of its own on the field, the basket came to a stop on its side, according to KTVK.

The five people presumed to be on board all emerged from the deflated balloon unscathed and declined medical attention.

The pilot called the crash a “textbook high-wind landing” and reportedly warned passengers ahead of time that they could experience a rough landing due to the weather.

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Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio