Motorists looked on in shock as a hot air balloon made a ‘controlled landing’ next to a busy Doncaster road.
The Virgin Balloons flight from Cusworth Hall landed next to Sandall Stones Road behind Hugerhill School, Edenthorpe, at around 9.25am yesterday.
Witness Lee Buckle said: “The hot air balloon was seen by many residents flying very low over houses looking for a place to put down, it did so at the height of rush hour, blocking Doncaster Road.
“More than 40 cars were held up as workmen from the nearby road works rushed to get the balloon off the road and into the field.
“The balloon had to semi inflate so it could be lifted and pushed off the road.”
A spokesman for Virgin Balloons said the landing was normal and planned.
“The highly experienced pilot of our hot air balloon flight from Doncaster carried out a planned and controlled landing on a patch of grassed scrubland in Edenthorpe.
“A group of workmen nearby asked our pilot if he wanted their assistance to move the balloon a few feet further into the scrubland, in order to give him more space to deflate the envelope.
“The balloon did not land on a road, nor was any road closed as a result of the landing.
“Hot air balloons cannot be steered in the traditional sense and travel in the direction the wind takes them, before landing where the pilot sees a large enough, open space, which is what happened in this case.
“This was a normal landing and our full basket of happy passengers enjoyed a post-landing champagne toast before going on their way.”
The hot air balloon was forced to make a controlled landing in April 2013, when Star reporter Darren Burke was onboard.
The flight was coming towards the end of its trip on April 10 when a lack of wind brought it to a halt near the viaduct in Conisbrough.
Darren said the pilot decided to steer the balloon into a field, skimming treetops before it landed on top of some trees and crashed through branches to the ground.
Twelve passengers on board were unhurt.
“Everyone is OK. They are all laughing and joking about it. The pilot knew what he was doing. He brought it down safely and in a controlled way,” he said at the time.
The first hot air balloon flight took off from Cusworth Hall on April 7, 2013, after a number of delays bad weather.