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Melbourne

A hot air balloon on its maiden flight with 12 people on board made an airplane landing in an exceedingly Melbourne street.

Emergency services were called to an Elwood property at about 7.20 am on Wednesday to seek out a balloon draped over two rooftops and therefore the basket within the yard and lot.

Fire Rescue Victoria’s high-angle rescue technicians were brought in to get rid of the deflated balloon. Police and SES volunteers were also at the scene.

No one was injured. The Australian Transport Safety Bureau is investigating, interviewing the pilot and passengers, and taking the balloon for examination.

Nick Brau, the chief pilot for Liberty Balloon Flights, said that the balloon was on its maiden journey.

It flew for about half an hour but struggled to induce within the air properly. He said the incident was “a bit embarrassing” and there was a malfunction he couldn’t explain.

“The valve that releases hot air from the highest, which we use to maneuver the balloon, didn’t seal properly,” Brau said.

“So I used to be losing lots of warmth and it absolutely was difficult to stay the balloon up within the air so that’s why I used to be flying low and that I was aiming for the beach but we didn’t make it for about 200 meters.”

Karen, a passenger, was on board along with her family for her daughter’s birthday and said the basket bumped the tops of some buildings on the way down.

She said: Brau did a tremendous job landing the balloon on the tiny suburban street.

“He missed the powerlines, he missed the cars, some big elm trees that [were] buffeted at our fall, so we didn’t come down too aggressively, although it absolutely was, you know, quite a thud,” Karen said.

“But nobody was hurt, he was incredibly calm. He did a tremendous job, really.”

Chris Kessaris, the owner of the pet grooming store Petiquette by Caroline, was two doors down from where the new air balloon eventually touched down.

While Kessaris didn’t see the incident directly, he was surprised to search out a sizeable amount of straw within the backyard when he arrived this morning to figure out.
“There have been plenty of people gathering around,” he said.

Despite being within the balloon’s flight path, Kessaris wasn’t surprised by the affair.

He said there have been “always dramas” with hot air balloons within the area.

“Chris from Petiquette definitely won’t be getting his arse during a hot air balloon, and you’ll quote me on it,” he said of the incident.

“We’ve seen them two meters above the water out where they are doing the kite surfing in St Kilda.”

“There are always dramas with them, they’re always flying low to the ground, I’ve had it on my Instagram sometimes.”

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