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Residents helped to pack away balloon
RESIDENTS in Limes Park were stunned when a giant hot air balloon landed in a small green in the housing development.
Around 70 people dashed out of their homes to see what was happening when the Virgin balloon landed on the patch of land, off Peggs Way yesterday.
Tony Wood, who lives in Mill Road, saw the strange sight as he was driving back from a day out just before 5pm.
Mr Wood, 45, said: “Everyone was coming out from their houses to see what was going on. There must have been about 70 people who came out to see what was happening and try and help.
“The green seemed too small for it to land in and everyone was trying to help get it folded away.
Mr Wood, who works in IT network security said: “I’ve never seen anything like it round here before.”
The balloon, which was carrying 16 passengers, landed in Limes Park after setting off from the War Memorial Park at 4.10pm yesterday.
A Virgin Balloon Flights’ spokesman said the landing had been safe and controlled.
He said “After the usual flight time of around an hour, the experienced pilot identified a large green field in the Limes Park area ahead as a potential landing site and, rather than set down in water-logged fields beyond, he performed a safe, controlled and upright landing.
“Excited residents came out to see the balloon and, after deflation, some local children got the chance to help with packing it away.
“Balloons cannot be steered like other aircraft, so skilled pilots use wind direction at different altitudes to control the balloon. Every flight is different and it is not unusual for balloons to land in public green spaces, which they are permitted to do.”